Faith and Refugees

I have been more busy lately than I usually am, and I figured that, by the time I could get this entry written and posted, this would all be old news. It’s not. I think that saddens me most of all.

I notice a lot of fear surrounding the subject of refugees and immigrants in America. I have no doubt that some of it is founded. I’m sure that there have been crimes, some of them quite hideous, that have been committed by refugees. Their culture is different, and some of their holy works call for holy wars and extermination of those who will not join their religion. They speak in their native tongue and we can’t understand — and it feels like there is something sinister going on. They come in great need and place a strain on our resources.

Then, the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have the audacity to come out and challenge the members of the church to go into the places that the refugees are and serve them!

The response I saw on social media was mixed. There were a lot of people essentially claiming that church leaders are out of touch and have no idea the dangers and risks they are asking good, upstanding members to take. Then, there were others who defended our leaders.

Today, I just want to ask a few questions for each of us to consider:

  • Do I really believe and/or know that REAL prophets and apostles are on the earth today?
  • Do I really believe and/or know that the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are REAL prophets and apostles?
  • Does God REALLY reveal His will to the prophets and apostles?
  • Can we trust these prophets and apostles to deliver God’s messages as they guide us?

If you answered no to some of these questions, I’m not going to be so hard on you. I hope that you will continue to pray, study, and seek the things of righteousness. I hope that you will listen as the Holy Spirit speaks to you, and that you will have courage in following his promptings.

If you answered yes, then I have some reminders for you:

  • The gospel is all about faith. Faith can’t happen unless we have the opportunity to doubt and fear. Part of faith is trusting the lead of God’s appointed leaders on this earth, overcoming our doubts, and following.
  • Heavenly Father protects his children who delight to serve him and keep his commandments. We have the Holy Spirit as our guide. If we are seeking to do God’s will, God’s will is done. This promise doesn’t protect us from everything bad that can happen in life, but we can walk with confidence that we will either be safe, or we will be given learning experiences to help us grow.
  • The call to help others as our eternal brothers and sisters is not a call to be foolish, and I have never seen our leaders ask us to rush out and be foolhardy as we seek to follow commandments and calls for help! If there is reason to be concerned for personal safety, then we can still go and serve, but maybe we need to personally organize a small group, or husbands and wives need to go and serve together.

So, I have to ask myself (and anyone reading this post), am I going to cave to Satan’s fear, doubt, and distrust? Or, am I willing to step out in faith, seeking the guidance that is brought by the Holy Ghost as I pray and ponder? Will I reach out to offer the hand of brotherhood or sisterhood to those who need a hand up and a friend, or will I recoil and use labels to separate and promote discord?