As I have struggled with the events of the past week or so I have had friends and family reach out to me in love and kindness. Thank you all.
I want you to know that I am still here. I still have a testimony of my Savior Jesus Christ. I know that my Heavenly Father loves me. That this church is true.
I have read many Facebook status', news articles, blogs and comments, I have shared some of those on social media. In searching for understanding and healing I have turned to the words of our Latter-Day prophets and have found peace and comfort in all most anything that I have opened up. I have read about faith, hope and charity. Learned more about the word hope.
I am eternally grateful for hope.
As I was searching to find truth and understanding I came upon the quote above and it led me to the talk that this comes from "Ye Are No More Strangers" which was given by Bishop Gerald Causse in the October 2013 General Conference.
Following are some of the truths that spoke to me. May they speak to you as well.
"Though the membership of the Church is increasing in its diversity, our sacred heritage transcends our differences. As members of the Church, we are admitted into the house of Israel. We become brothers and sisters, equal heirs to the same spiritual lineage. "
"During His earthly ministry, Jesus was an example of one who went far beyond the simple obligation of hospitality and tolerance. Those who were excluded from society, those who were rejected and considered to be impure by the self-righteous, were given His compassion and respect. They received an equal part of His teachings and ministry."
They received an equal part
"In this Church our wards and our quorums do not belong to us. They belong to Jesus Christ. Whoever enters our meetinghouses should feel at home. The responsibility to welcome everyone has growing importance. "
"We all need to work together to build spiritual unity within our wards and branches...
Unity is not achieved by ignoring and isolating members who seem to be different or weaker and only associating with people who are like us. On the contrary, unity is gained by welcoming and serving those who are new and who have particular needs. These members are a blessing for the Church and provide us with opportunities to serve our neighbors and thus purify our own hearts."Unity.
"In this Church there are no strangers and no outcasts. There are only brothers and sisters. The knowledge that we have of an Eternal Father helps us be more sensitive to the brotherhood and sisterhood that should exist among all men and women upon the earth."
He then tells of this passage from the novel Les Miserables...
“‘This is not my house; it is the house of Jesus Christ. This door does not demand of him who enters whether he has a name, but whether he has a grief. You suffer, you are hungry and thirsty; you are welcome. … What need have I to know your name? Besides, before you told me [your name], you had one which I knew.’“[Valjean] opened his eyes in astonishment.“‘Really? You knew what I was called?’“‘Yes,’ replied the Bishop, ‘you are called my brother.’”7
We are all brothers and sisters.
"So, my brothers, it is your duty to reach out to anyone who appears at the doors of your Church buildings. Welcome them with gratitude and without prejudice. If people you do not know walk into one of your meetings, greet them warmly and invite them to sit with you. Please make the first move to help them feel welcome and loved, rather than waiting for them to come to you."Welcome everyone.
"I bear witness that no one is a stranger to our Heavenly Father. There is no one whose soul is not precious to Him."