There are many different cultures and perspectives within the Church, and sometimes those appear to divide us; however, we are all sons and daughters of a loving Father.
While I did not personally serve a mission, I have heard countless stories from missionaries who had to adapt to different cultures and customs while they were trying to preach the gospel. Elder Rafael E. Pino mentions one of his stories in his talk “Let Doing Good Be Our New Normal,” in which he and his wife were surprised by being served fresh coconut (with chili) and avocado (with sugar). He mentions how trying these was a strange experience; but, after being introduced to these different foods, not only did he and his wife discover that they were the odd ones out, but they also thoroughly enjoyed the new foods.
Even though there were differences in culture and ideas, Elder Pino notes that the most important thing that we should be focusing on is our similarities as we strive to live Christlike lives with eternal perspectives. This is true not only for those serving missions and experiencing different cultures, but also for those of us who find that members of our ward or community have differing cultures, political beliefs, or other important aspects of life. We need to remember that we are all spiritual sons and daughters of our Heavenly Father and recognize that we are all valuable in His eyes.
To learn more about how to build a Christlike community despite our differences, read more of Elder Pino’s talk “Let Doing Good Be Our New Normal”.
—Cecilia Oaks, Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY AVEL CHUKLANOV