Recommended by Us

The 2 Nephi verses Pres. Holland loves—and that explain why we put ‘Visitors Welcome’ on every church

visitors welcome.png
Photo from

Busy week? Me too. LDS Living is here to catch you up and get you ready for discussions on Sunday. Here’s a nugget of wisdom from this week’s Come, Follow Me study of 2 Nephi 26–30.

Driving through the older neighborhoods in Utah you’ll find a lot of different-looking Latter-day Saint church buildings. But they have a lot in common too. The chapels, pews, carpeted walls, and gyms are all familiar ground to those of us who grew up attending every week. And there is one more reminder on the outside that we should remember during our worship inside: The sign that reads “Visitors Welcome.”

All Alike unto God

These signs are a great part of our gospel culture and a good reminder when we walk into church each Sunday. It doesn’t say anywhere in the Doctrine and Covenants that these signs have to be posted, nor is it listed anywhere in the Church Handbook. But there is a segment in 2 Nephi 26 that captures the spirit of that sign:

2 Nephi 26:26-28

26 Behold, hath he commanded any that they should depart out of the synagogues, or out of the houses of worship? Behold, I say unto you, Nay.
27 Hath he commanded any that they should not partake of his salvation? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but he hath given it free for all men; and he hath commanded his people that they should persuade all men to repentance.
28 Behold, hath the Lord commanded any that they should not partake of his goodness? Behold I say unto you, Nay; but all men are privileged the one like unto the other, and none are forbidden.

We welcome all to our houses of worship, we welcome everyone to partake in salvation, and we welcome the world to the privilege of God’s goodness. The last verse in this chapter makes it clear what is meant by “everyone”—Black and white, bond and free, male and female. Everyone means everyone, because all are alike unto God, without prejudice.

In his book Christ and the New Covenant: The Messianic Message of the Book of Mormon, President Jeffrey R. Holland shares his affinity for these verses:

Perhaps no other passage in the Book of Mormon conveys more plainly the breadth of Christ's gift for all people everywhere than those, which Nephi then recorded. The gift was given freely and would be denied to no one who came to partake of that mercy and salvation.
President Jeffrey R. Holland

This gift—the Atonement of Jesus Christ—is open to all, and it is a pretty incredible gift. Nephi compares it to buying milk and honey without price. Because the price of course has been paid, for all of us, in more ways than one.

► You may also like: Watch: What the “Visitors Welcome" signs on our meetinghouses truly mean

If God will deny no one that comes unto Him, then we have the same job. And that extends beyond the overly eager welcoming of first-time visitors to the building. It also means not treating members of our wards and branches like visitors. In addition to 2 Nephi, you and add one more citation to the bottom of the “Visitors Welcome” sign and that’s Ephesians 2:19.

Ephesians 2:19

“Ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints.”

Church can be a place for everyone to come together.

So as Tammy concludes every podcast, you are God’s favorite, and that goes for everyone. You are His favorite, and so is everyone around you. Everyone sitting next to you on Sunday and every house you pass on your way to church. The world is full of God’s favorites.

So that was my takeaway this week. To hear more takeaways from other Latter-day Saints on this block of scripture, join our study group on Facebook and Instagram.

Sunday on Monday is a Come, Follow Me podcast hosted by Tammy Uzelac Hall that is released every Monday to guide you through the scripture readings for the week. This week covers 2 Nephi 26–30 and our podcast guests were Jennifer and Mike Lindsay. You can listen to full episodes on Deseret Bookshelf Plus and find out more at

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