At Work + Wonder, one of our favorite phrases is “We’re all just walking each other home.” It’s a simple image that reminds us to behave with kindness and compassion as we make our way home to Heaven. But how do we continue walking when our neighbor harms us or betrays our trust? How can you walk someone home when you don’t want to walk with them? When you don’t believe they deserve that home?
Elder Gong recounts the parable of two brothers. One is obedient and loyal for many years. The other is wayward, frivolous, and untrustworthy. After years away, the wayward brother comes home, having wasted his inheritance. Their father welcomes him home with open arms and total forgiveness, much to the dismay of the first brother. He doesn’t understand why there is such celebration and joy for someone so undeserving, while he, the good son, gets no appreciation for his years of hard work and devotion.
“God waits to welcome us,” Elder Gong says, whether we are the first brother or the second. The point of this story is not that it is good or bad to wander. Rather, it is that we should rejoice for the return of every soul to God, and to be a source—a home—of encouragement and safety for each other, regardless of how deserving we deem each other to be. We can always trust God. He will help us to know, through personal revelation and gospel principles, if, how, and when to trust others again. In the meantime, we must act with service and compassion.
Heavenly Father will make everything right in the end. It is not our responsibility to be scorekeepers. The beautiful power of atonement is in Jesus Christ’s hands, pierced though they may be. Our duty is to stay on the path, forgive freely, and encourage those walking near us along their way.
We’re all just walking each other home.
I am a source of encouragement and safety for others as we journey home together. I trust God to guide and welcome us all
Look for opportunities to "walk with someone." Perhaps this looks like helping an elderly woman carry groceries to her car. Maybe it looks like lending a compassionate ear to a friend going through a hard time. Or maybe it's more of a private act of extending forgiveness to someone.