“Whoever enters our meetinghouses should feel at home. The responsibility to welcome everyone has growing importance. The world in which we live is going through a period of great upheaval. Because of the increased availability of transportation, speed of communication, and globalization of economies, the earth is becoming one large village where people and nations meet, connect, and intermingle like never before.
…It is very likely that the next person converted to the gospel in your ward will be someone who does not come from your usual circle of friends and acquaintances. You may note this by his or her appearance, language, manner of dress, or color of skin. This person may have grown up in another religion, with a different background or a different lifestyle.
…We all need to work together to build spiritual unity within our wards and branches. An example of perfect unity existed among the people of God after Christ visited the Americas. The record observes that there were no “Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God.”
Unity is not achieved by ignoring and isolating members who seem to be different or weaker and only associating with people who are like us. On the contrary, unity is gained by welcoming and serving those who are new and who have particular needs. These members are a blessing for the Church and provide us with opportunities to serve our neighbors and thus purify our own hearts.
…I bear witness that no one is a stranger to our Heavenly Father. There is no one whose soul is not precious to Him. With Peter, I testify that “God is no respecter of persons: but in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him.”
I pray that when the Lord gathers His sheep at the last day, He may say to each one of us, “I was a stranger, and ye took me in.”
Then we will say to Him, “When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in?”
And He will answer us, “Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.”