Although it may often seem that the world is divided by borders, religion, or politics, we are all one when we live in Jesus Christ’s kingdom.
The year 2020 was defined by unrest in the United States. With a dangerous virus, a contentious election, and protests and riots taking place, there seemed to be no refuge from stressful news. For many of us, it was easy to divide people into two groups, maybe even “us versus them.” This thought process became a slippery slope to despising our neighbors.
I was an active participant in this mentality. Those who disagreed with me politically were idiots, and those who approached life differently from me were naive. I was claiming to love Christ but failing to practice the great commandment to “love one another.”
In October 2020, Elder Gerrit W. Gong addressed the issue of creating borders where there should be none. In his talk “All Nations, Kindreds, and Tongues,” he stated, “In the household of faith there are to be no strangers, no foreigners, no rich and poor, no outside ‘others.’ As ‘fellowcitizens with the saints,’ we are invited to change the world for the better, from the inside out, one person, one family, one neighborhood at a time.”
Our purpose in life is not to create barriers between people or to judge, criticize, or shame them. Instead, we can approach different perspectives with an open heart and with charity. “Our truest, deepest, most authentic belonging comes when we feel God’s redeeming love, seek grace and miracles through His Son’s Atonement, and establish lasting relationships,” says Elder Gong. We all belong in Christ’s kingdom, and it’s our job to establish these welcoming, lasting relationships with our neighbors.
Instead of focusing on the borders that divide us—be they political, religious, social, or something else—we can all try to focus on our shared heritage as daughters and sons of God.
—Erin Johnston, Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY SAMUEL SILITONGA
Find more insights
Read Sister Jean B. Bingham’s thoughts on leading with love in “Lead, Lift, and Love—Wherever We Are in the World.”
Take a look at “We All Have a Place in the Lord’s Church,” by Arteh Odjidja, for more insights on how differences make us stronger.