When frustrations, hatred, divisiveness, conflict, or differences arise between us and another, do we ever give ourselves a moment to stop and remember the fact that our Savior gave His life for them? Do we understand our Heavenly Parents look at them with infinite love and understanding their infinite potential?
Elder D. Todd Christofferson recently spoke powerfully and emphatically to those who might feel isolated within the Church as well as to Church members who might be struggling accepting others as fellow brothers and sisters. On Facebook, he shared this unforgettable message:
I don't believe I've ever met anybody who didn't want to belong to something that made them feel worthwhile, that made them feel that they had value.
When people wonder “Is there a place for me in the church?” there may be any number of things behind that. And now they ask themselves, “Do I fit? Do I belong here? Do they really need me?” And I want to say emphatically, “Yes.”
I understand people's feelings at times that they may not be needed. And sometimes others are guilty of saying, “We don't need this person. We don't need that person. We're fine as we are.” Neither one is true. That's not the Christian way. That's not the way Christ sees us. He sees all of us with infinite worth, and whatever our condition at the moment may be, the body of Christ is there to sustain each member.
Each of us, whenever the feeling of isolation may come upon us, needs to stop and think, “Jesus Christ died for me. Jesus Christ thought me worthy of His blood. And He loves me, He has hopes for me, and He can make a difference in my life. His grace can transform me. And maybe this person sitting next to me, ignoring me or even wanting to move away, maybe he or she doesn't. But that doesn't change the reality of what Christ feels toward me and the possibilities I have in Christ.”
It breaks my heart if someone comes and is very vulnerable and says, “I want to try it, I want to be here,” and then gets a cold shoulder or a lack of interest. And that's tragic. We have to be better than that.