January 22, 2019
Writer: J.D. Packer

The definition of pluralism, according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, is “a state of society in which members of diverse ethnic, racial, religious, or social groups maintain and develop their traditional culture or special interest within the confines of a common civilization.” Sister Hilary Weber, an online professor for BYU-Idaho, based her devotional talk on pluralism and taught about what it can do for the ideal cultural framework to create peace.

In her interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, Weber and her husband Dan Weber laid the foundation for the concept of the nano-second we have in this earthly timeline.

"The nanosecond thing came from a Q and A Elder (Lance B.) Wickman gave along with then Elder (Dallin H.) Oaks,” she said. “And he was trying to put this life into perspective.”

Weber has been teaching online for BYU-Idaho over the past eight years. In those eight years she has taught students from all over the world with different backgrounds and stories. Each student has something to offer from their different cultural frameworks.

“It’s amazing how many different students go to BYU Idaho,” she said. “Of course, on campus I am sure as well you have variety. And I have about half and half. So online, we have half who are actually on campus and the other half are around the world. We are talking China, South Korea, Russia, Ghana, and Nigeria. It has been amazing to see that diversity of cultures in that sense and to have their different perspectives in the discussion boards and online.”

Weber emphasized what a nanosecond is and how it goes hand-in-hand with the concept of pluralism. She defined pluralism as allowing a diversity of cultures to live and engage together in relative peace because they agree to live under a “shared moral framework.”

Both Webers talked to BYU-Idaho Radio about how doing family history can teach about the different cultures and what they can bring with them to help everyone achieve pluralism. Brother Weber’s family comes from both Rexburg and Sweden. Two different cultures that when they came together, they were able to achieve things that might not have been easy if it was just the single culture.

“They both had a shared love of the gospel of Jesus Christ,” Dan Weber said. “That’s obviously in a family setting, but we’ve definitely been able to see how through both of our different family history or, as Hilary has shared in this topic, outside of the family setting you can still comprise and come together even if you have a shared belief.”

Sister Weber invited students to look at the big picture when it comes to looking at what really matters. In the nanosecond of mortality, we must learn what is worth working on and what really matters in the grand scheme of things.

“With disagreement, pluralism, the things that we might fight about, and thinking about, ‘how long will this last after this life? Is this an issue in mortality? If it is an issue in mortality, then how do we work on it?’ That’s kind of, in a sense, how those two ideas came to be,” she said.