Latter-day Saint Life

Elder Christofferson on Why We Need to Be Better at Embracing Diversity + How It Strengthens the Church


In a very moving Facebook post at the end of April, Elder D. Todd Christofferson wrote, "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."

A sense of belonging and a sense that we are enough is something every member in the Church craves, but one where we often fall short. Often we feel lonely, hurt, offended, ostracized, or simply we don't seem to fit in. To these people, Elder Christofferson reminded them:

"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.'"

This month, Elder Christofferson followed up on this powerful message, sharing how embracing diversity in the Church makes us stronger. He taught:

"In the ancient Church there was tremendous diversity. And it's not just diversity for diversity's sake, but the fact that people can bring different gifts and perspectives.
"The wide range of experience and backgrounds and challenges that people face will show us what really is essential in the gospel of Christ. And much of the rest that's been perhaps acquired over time and is more cultural than doctrinal can slip away, and we can really learn to be disciples.
"So we, on the one hand, have got to be better as a people at receiving and helping and walking together with everybody. And on the other hand, every individual needs to be determined that they're going to have a place in the kingdom of God, they're going to have a place in the body of Christ. And others who are thoughtless or careless or worse can't prohibit that, can't drive them away, can't take it away from them."

Stay in the loop!
Enter your email to receive updates on our LDS Living content