“God Knows and Loves You”

Elder Alan T. Phillips

2023 October General Conference

“Jesus Christ recognized the divine nature and eternal worth of each person. He explained how the two great commandments to love God and love our neighbor are the foundation of all of God’s commandments.One of our divine responsibilities is to care for those in need. This is why as disciples of Jesus Christ we “bear one another’s burdens, … mourn with those that mourn … , and comfort those that stand in need of comfort.”

Religion is not only about our relationship with God; it is also about our relationship with each other. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland explained that the English word religion comes from the Latin religare, meaning “to tie” or, more literally, “to re-tie.” Thus, “true religion [is] the tie that binds us to God and to each other.”

How we treat one another truly matters. President Russell M. Nelson teaches, “The Savior’s message is clear: His true disciples build, lift, encourage, persuade, and inspire.” This is even more important when our fellow travelers feel lost, alone, forgotten, or removed. We do not have to look far to find people who are struggling. We can start by helping someone in our own family, congregation, or local community. We can also seek to relieve the suffering of the 700 million people living in extreme povertyor the 100 million people who are forcibly displaced due to persecution, conflict, and identity-based violence.Jesus Christ is the perfect example of caring for those in need—the hungry, the stranger, the sick, the poor, the imprisoned. His work is our work.

Elder Gerrit W. Gong teaches that “our journey to God is often found together.” As such, our wards should be a refuge for all of God’s children. Are we passively attending church or actively creating communities whose purpose is to worship, remember Christ, and minister to one another? We can heed President Nelson’s counsel to judge less, love more, and extend the pure love of Jesus Christ through our words and actions.”