While speaking at a religious freedom symposium, Elder Renlund mentioned a "medicine" that can help a society "that would otherwise be aggressive and sick.”
“Religious freedom is a marker for other freedoms in society that temper the natural impulses that are counter to a prosperous, thriving and progressing society,” said an apostle for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Church’s Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and his wife, Ruth Lybbert Renlund, spoke at an international religious freedom symposium in Costa Rica, June 9, 2017. They presented their comments together from his perspective as an apostle and doctor of cardiology and heart transplantation and her background as a civil litigation attorney.
“Religion and religious freedom are not only good for an individual but also benefit society,” explained Ruth Renlund. “The benefit to the individual is clear through the exercise of an individual’s moral agency — the ability to choose to believe and act according to the dictates of conscience.”
Elder Renlund’s years of medical research were devoted to how a person’s body handles a transplanted heart. He said medicines are used to suppress the body’s immune system to trick the human body into not doing something it is programmed to do. “Many of my former patients send me thank you notes on the 25th anniversary of their heart transplant,” he said. “For these patients, immunological tolerance has allowed them to accept a foreign tissue as if it were self.”