Sunday Supplement blog posts are issued each Sunday as a supplement to the messages heard in our congregations and homes, with emphasis given to how the scriptures and counsel from church leaders can help us to reach out with love, empathy, and compassion to our LGBTQI/SSA sisters and brothers.

“We need to protect our families and be at the forefront together with all people of goodwill in doing everything we can to preserve light, hope, and morality in our communities”.

                                                               -Elder Quentin L. Cook

This month’s the visiting teaching message gave me the opportunity to ponder how I can spread the divine message of Jesus Christ.  During his ministry Christ frequently used the metaphor of light to help us understand how we can communicate the love from God that we feel to others. But how do we use this light?  When we are distressed by a world which we perceive as a threat to our values, we may feel our only way to follow Elder Cook’s counsel is to hold fast to our light in a distant and defensive way, comforting ourselves with the thought that at least we are being an example. But is preserving the light our only commission from the Savior?  The second greatest commandment–to love our neighbor–is certainly a call to spread the light with an engaged and open heart.  The key may be identifying who those “people of goodwill” are that Elder Cook talks about. Are they only our fellow church members?  Are they people that look like us?  People that are easy to love?  We all know the answer. Jesus challenged us to be brave and reach out to those who are most different from us–to “the least of these”–our brothers and sisters who need a friend. We may find goodwill in surprising places–as the man who was robbed and left for dead by the side of the road did when the person he thought was his enemy became, in fact, his rescuer. As LGBT issues come to the forefront of our conversations with our friends and neighbors, let us radiate the Light of Christ as we show our willingness to listen and truly understand the experience of others. We don’t have to agree, we just have to love unconditionally.  Christ promised us he would be with us as we undertake this difficult task. It’s a beautiful way to let our light shine–and a lot less lonely.

LINK to the Visiting Teaching Message for March 2014.