Hey friends, Rio here! I'm so grateful to jump in this week and share my thoughts—I missed this!! But I have loved getting to hear the perspectives and experiences of the wonderful women who have helped carry the study program this season, such a blessing!
Alright, I want to start with this quote from Elder Christofferson's address...
"It is a sad irony, then, when someone, feeling he or she doesn’t meet the ideal in all aspects of life, concludes that he doesn’t or she doesn’t belong in the very organization designed by God to help us progress toward the ideal."
Here's what I realized as I read these words—I would be willing to bet that each one of us, in some way, can find a reason why we might feel we "don't belong" in the church—why our story doesn't fit, why our family looks different, why our hardships are more complex, why our questions feel harder to answer. Would you agree?
If that's true, then shouldn't the very fact that we each have a sense of aloneness be a reason to belong together. This is where we connect. These are the ties that bind us together and back to Him—the truth that we all feel like unique cases—His church specializes in one-of-a-kind cases! It's the most beautiful part of this gospel—His love, His grace, His redeeming power—it is all tailor made to you, to each of us.
Sometimes it might feel like the church is a giant room with thousands of tables. We're constantly searching for a seat where we feel like we truly belong—a near impossible task because of how uniquely we are each created.
But what if it isn't a room filled with thousands of tables? What if it is one (rrreallly big) table—His table? And instead of welcoming others to our own tables, we scoot over, pat the seat, and assure them that there is a place for them here, because there is a place for everyone in the arms of Jesus.
"We lift and encourage each other in pursuing the upward path, knowing that no matter tribulation and no matter delays in promised blessings, we can “be of good cheer; [for Christ has] overcome the world,” and we are with Him. Being on with the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is without doubt the ultimate in belonging."
Make room next to your seat at His table this week. Be prayerful and ask God to allow your path to cross with someone who might be searching for that sense of belonging, then decide how you can set a place for them at Christ's table. A place where they can feel welcome, loved, heard, known and needed. Don't underestimate the difference the small stuff can make—sometimes those are the very efforts that mean the most.
I am one with Jesus Christ in the gospel covenant. I belong in His Church and kingdom, and I belong in His cause to bring redemption to all of God’s children.