“Inclusion, Unity, and Loving Better” – A Magnified Capacity

Sister Tracy Y. Browning, 2nd Counselor in the Primary General Presidency

Latter-day Saint Women Podcast

“We make covenants as members of the Church to connect to God and to connect to each other. As Latter-day Saints we take that very seriously and we’re trying to refine ourselves in order to live up to those covenants that we make. Be patient with us as we continue to work to connect with you. We desire to connect with you because we love God and we love you and we want to build those bonds of fellowship and brotherly and sisterly relationship stronger because we know that’s what God desires of us. So I would definitely say that to those who are feeling marginalized in the gospel and for those that are trying to understand how we can be more inclusive, I would remind them that love is going to always be the primary answer because it’s contagious. It is the root of the answers to most of the questions of “How can I be more inclusive?”, “How can I have people feel like they belong?”, is probably going to be found in “How I can express love better?”. 

There’s a quote from President Gordon B. Hinckley that I really love where he talks about not necessarily loving more but loving better. I think that is a really key point here that we are going to learn. We’re already on the path. We are covenant keeping people. We love the Savior and desire to live the first and second great commandments. We’re going to learn how to refine ourselves so we can love better so that all of the body of Christ can be gathered because, you know, our President is veeery interested in the gathering of Israel and we are talking about this work. This is the work that he is seeking for us to do and there is a place for us to look within ourselves to understand how we can love people better so they can be gathered in with us.”  

I constantly remind myself that God doesn’t ration His love. It’s not a fixed commodity. It’s offered to everyone. We can consider how we’re ensuring that we’re expressing that love as broadly and widely as we can, and we’re not rationing it, it doesn’t feel exclusive, that it really has arms to reach beyond maybe the 4 walls of our homes or even our neighborhoods. Whatever boundaries we set for each other. Always remember that love is bigger than whatever boundary our human mind can consider. We can always expand in this area infinitely. There isn’t a cap. There isn’t a limit. There’s no top here. That to me is really encouraging that I can be better here. That this is something that is hopeful…

Mosiah 18:8-9 for me really expresses, “What is our opportunity to love better?” and “How can we do that in tangible ways?”. It goes back to those simple baptismal covenants that we made. Particularly the one that says that we’re willing to bear one another’s burdens. And how can we bear one another’s burdens? You can’t always take a problem away from a person or a challenge away from a person but you can absolutely be there as a comfort. You can absolutely be there as someone who’s willing to mourn with them and to hold their hand, to listen, and to talk. 

We’re in an interesting time because we’re in the midst of a global pandemic, but I often think about how we can use our homes where I know they are those places of security that we are trying to build as President Nelson has asked us to. How we can use our homes, invite people in so that they can also have the benefit of feeling that security and love and what that feels like. There are simple things that we can do. The scriptures often tell us what the path is and frankly when we get on our knees, and we know that as covenant keeping people we’re entitled to that revelation. Invite the Lord in the processes, trying to figure out the answer to that question when it comes to your specific circumstance for the people in your sphere of influence, where we ask the Lord, “What is it that you want me to do Lord for anyone that is in my circle? What can I do to offer help?” Trust me, He knows His children really well. He knows your strengths and He can marry those things for you and put promptings in your mind. If you will act on that you will find that your capacity to love better will be magnified and will certainly increase.”