Monday, October 25, 2010

Love Them

I went to church with an old friend recently. She goes to a Christian church. The kind that has a band in the front and where people stand and raise their arms when they sing. This was my first experience at her church. It was interesting; different. It is amazing to me the difference between those who have the fullness of the Gospel and those who do not. But, that is not what I am going to write about today.

Knowing that I am Mormon, my friend was hesitant to invite me to her church. I was so glad that she did even though I am pretty sure she expected me to say no. I was visiting from out of town and did not bring church clothes with me. I told her that I did not have a skirt to wear. She looked at me like I was crazy and said, "We don't wear skirts to church; you can wear your jeans and fit right in."  This was a bit different for me and even though I was uncomfortable wearing jeans to church, I went with it. (It helped when she told me that I would look out of place if I wore a skirt...strange.)

We arrived late to the sound of a band playing exuberantly. It was interesting; everyone was standing and some were swaying their arms above their head in praise. The band was playing drums, guitar, bass, and keyboard. Everyone in the band was singing and most of the congregation. The words were displayed on a projection screen. Now, I can't read music, but I rely on the music notes when I sing. I had no idea the tempo, beat, or rhythm of the song, so I did not sing. But people did not care. They welcomed me and continued their own worship. Some sang, some did not, but all worshipped in their own way.

And then, as I took in the scene around me, something unexpected happened. My testimony of the Gospel was strengthened and all without a single spoken word. For, as I looked around at the strangers surrounding me, I heard Heavenly Father whisper to me. "These are my children, too. I love them just as I love you. Love them."

From that moment on, regardless of the words that were spoken or the songs that were sung, I became a better person because I was there. Even though I know that Heavenly Father loves all His children equally, it is so easy to get caught up in the truthfullness of the Gospel that we forget the simple things.

I am so grateful for the Spirit and I pray that I never forget these words or the feeling that accompanied them.

"These are my children, too. I love them just as I love you. Love them."

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