Liberty Rock School Statement of Religious Instruction
Liberty Rock School is not sponsored by, endorsed by, or affiliated with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (the LDS Church) or any other denomination. Respect for all religions is taught. However, the founders of Liberty Rock School felt deeply about the importance of maintaining an environment where eternal, restored truths would be taught, and where faith in Jesus Christ and love for the Savior would be felt by each child.
We feel, as did the Apostle John when he wrote,
“I have no greater joy than to hear that my children walk in truth” (3 John 1:4).
This joy is felt in the children at Liberty Rock School who can learn and then walk in the way of truth. The reading of the Bible and other books accepted as scripture by the LDS Church are an integral part of daily classroom activity. Also, the writings of LDS Church leaders are frequently referenced and considered to be authoritative.
Our Honor Code incorporates the principles and guidelines found in For the Strength of Youth pamphlet and My Gospel Standards chart published by the LDS Church.
The school welcomes students of other faiths and does not require students or parents to subscribe to any religious creed. In addition to our emphasis on promoting Christian conduct consistent with the teachings of the LDS Church, Liberty Rock School also emphasizes free and open inquiry. This means that we actively encourage students to explore diverse points of view and to engage in lively and respectful discourse with their teachers and peers about ideas, cultures, and values different from their own. The school teaches students to think critically and to evaluate their own perspectives as they grow in their knowledge of the broader world. Liberty Rock School creates and sustains a culture in which students are free to express their own ideas and to hear and seek to understand the ideas of others.
Although the school does not require adherence to any religious creed, the school does require employees, students, and parents to acknowledge that the mission statement of Liberty Rock School is the basis for all activities, teaching, governance and administration at the school. Acknowledgment of the school’s mission statement is not intended to compromise any individual’s values or beliefs, but rather is viewed as acknowledgement by employees, students, and parents that they understand the purposes and values of the school, and that they are willing to honor and abide by those purposes and values. If conduct or speech by an individual or individuals in the school community rises to the level of open and public advocacy against the purposes or values stated in the school’s mission, those individuals may be invited to leave. See Section 46, Non-Discrimination, for school policies affording broad and equal opportunity on the basis of characteristics and conscience of individuals, but not on the basis of conduct.
Daily devotionals, which consist of the Pledge of Allegiance, singing of sacred hymns, prayer, and scriptural instruction, can be expected not only in classes, but in administration, parent, and staff meetings as well. Although we hold regular devotionals that include prayer, singing of sacred hymns, and expressions of religious belief, we feel that it is important to maintain a clear distinction between Liberty Rock School and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and the LDS Church Education System (“CES”). Accordingly, Liberty Rock School employees do not commonly refer to each other as “Brother” or “Sister” as is the convention with CES Staff and in LDS Church meeting houses. Liberty Rock School faculty also do not organize and conduct activities in the scope of their employment that are typically reserved for churches and temples, such as formal testimony meetings or class-sponsored activities requiring recommend-admission into LDS temples.
All are welcome to express their individual views on religious matters while respecting the views of others. Every employee at Liberty Rock School acknowledges that he/she is expected to be a living example of the values, principles, and skills taught at the school, on and off campus. Employees are expected and encouraged to freely and openly incorporate religious and moral instruction in their teaching and administration, while at the same time cautioned about teaching or assessment that is based upon private interpretation of religious doctrine not generally and regularly conveyed in LDS standard works or in LDS General Conferences. In this spirit, employees of the school are encouraged to be sensitive to the subtle but important difference between appropriate “teaching” of faith-oriented values, principles, and skills outlined in the school’s mission statement, and the inappropriate “preaching” of LDS doctrine in ways that might require ecclesiastical authority described by the Fifth Article of Faith,
“We believe that a man must be called of God, by prophecy, and by the laying on of hands by those who are in authority, to preach the Gospel and administer in the ordinances thereof.”