Are we not all Refugees?
Deep inside each of us is a feeling we are far from home. When we see others forced from their homes, their livelihoods and their familiar circumstance, a peice of us connects with them.
Update: some people wanted a way to help despite the church not starting such a program. I know of one page that directly reaches out to Syrian refugees. This is the one I know http://www.shropshirefoundation.org/donate/.
The LDS Hymn “A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief” is rumored to be the final song Joseph heard before dying. It speaks of a man cast out of his circumstance, despised of men and acquainted with grief. It is an excellent parable of human interaction
Isaiah states that our savior, even, Jesus Christ would be:
“…despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.” – Isaiah 53:3
But on a deeper level, the verses of the song teach us that great lesson as taught by King Benjamin in the Book of Mormon
“…when ye are in the serviceof your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God.” – Mosiah 2:17
We live in a world of sorrows. A world of tribulation for many. Most of us believe we have a tribulation or are acquainted with sorrow when we cannot find our car keys or our hair will not conform to the norms we have come to expect from it. We struggle with zits, or making it to meetings on time.
But right now, in our world, there are hundreds of thousands who would call our “tribulation”: “Luxury”. Wars and strife have turned them out of their homes. It has ruined businesses that were in families for generations. It has made paupers out of those who had a great standard of living. Worries about cell phone placement are traded for worries about food, clothing and basic necessities.
In addition to the loss of home, culture, and income; many have lost family members. Recently a photo made its way across the internet of a toddler who died due to the family trying to escape the ravages of war while finding safe havens proved too difficult for too long.
In Europe, this need for shelter is understood. Although possibly starting to fade from memory, many of those who live now remember stories from grandmothers and grandfathers of their need to find shelter from the ravages of World War II. Many countries have opened their doors to our Heavenly Father’s children to accept our Brothers and Sisters seeking refuge from the pains of destruction. However, our nation resists.
It is perhaps out of fear, and we can understand fear for the safety of our neighborhoods, our loved ones, our surroundings. September 11th, 2001 still serves as a grave reminder of what can happen by those within our own borders can do. However, the scriptures teach us a better way.
“There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear:” -1 John 4:18
Elder Tom Perry, who recently passed away, taught us in October Conference of 2011; when we see our brothers and sisters on this earth with celestial eyes, we will not fear them.
We invite every member to write to their congressman to invite additional refugees into our homes and into our neighborhoods. We ask Bishops and Stake Presidents to be prepared to administer to those who have “no place to lay their heads”, similar to how Christ was when He walked this earth. We announce tonight, a worldwide program of using the donations to Deseret Industries and to Humanitarian aid to be distributed directly to these refugees in any state, country, or province they are found. Any donations given will be delivered with financial transparency, but also with privacy to the receiver. Then, we can truly state that we did not sound a trump before our alms.
We encourage members to donate generously, that when we meet our savior at the end of our lives, we may honestly hear the words “Fear not, for thou didst it unto me”.
I leave these thoughts with you, in the Sacred Name of Jesus Christ,