We’re One Big Family
My 7-year-old daughter is the sweetest, most lovable girl you’ll ever meet. She’s the type of girl who will stand up for the underdog and sit by the kid who is sitting alone.
I asked her why it’s important to reach out and love others, especially those who are different, and she wisely responded, “Because we all live on this earth and we’re all brothers and sisters.”
She’s right. We are all children of God. It’s as simple as that. That makes us one big, eternal family. And if we’re all brothers and sisters, whether we know someone personally or not, whether we agree with their choices or not, they’re family and we should love them.
We know love is important to our Heavenly Father because He said that the first and great commandment
is to “love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. …
“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself” (Matthew 22:37, 39
As my daughter said, a neighbor in this case is anyone who lives on this earth. And as my little boys teach me every day, that means every person is worthy of a smile, a hello, a conversation, and, when needed, meaningful acts of love and service.
Everyone Deserves Love
The message of the Messiah was a message of love and inclusion. Jesus said, “This is my commandment, that ye love one another, as I have loved you” (John 15:12
If we truly love like Him, no one should ever feel left out, lonely, unappreciated, or unloved.
As Latter-day Saints, sometimes in our earnestness to teach our children the importance of choosing the right, we inadvertently teach them to only choose the Church. We tell them to have good friends and date people with high standards. And while that is absolutely important, it doesn’t mean that relationships should be exclusionary.
God is “no respecter of persons” (Acts 10:34
). This statement is the essence of the gospel we preach and ought to live. The teachings and blessings of Christ are not limited to certain groups or nationalities. Neither is His love.
Naturally, kids play with anybody. We teach them prejudices and preferences. If we are true disciples of Jesus Christ, we wouldn’t do that, for “he that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love” (1 John 4:8