To include them in the household of God, we need to comprehend their needs, to recognize the gospel principles that describe how we should treat them, and to examine the obstacles that sometimes keep us from befriending the strangers in our midst. What are the needs of these strangers? It is most instructive to listen to their own stories. Consider these four:.
George was happy with the challenge of his new job, but I lived in a state of shock for months. I missed my friends, familiar roads and stores, even the fresh seafood we had always eaten until we moved here, far from the sea. Most of all I missed my reputation. Back home everyone knew me for my pies and my roadshows; here in our new ward, people seemed to look past me while shaking hands.
They already had their friends and were busy with their own affairs. As soon as that crisis came, there were ward members on all sides to bolster me.
I have felt at home here ever since. We felt like second-class Mormons: we still had our testimonies, but we had no official call to serve. Finally we volunteered to one bishop, who was kind enough to let us serve as substitutes for vacationing home teachers and visiting teachers. But our need to serve was so great that we gave ourselves the task of welcoming newcomers in each ward we lived in. Hardly a Sunday went by without our bringing someone home to dinner. Each one turned out to be uniquely interesting.
We discovered that it takes just one family to make a friendly ward. My wife and I have resided in at least twelve different wards since our temple marriage three years ago. People look down on us because we move so often.
Supposing that the climate would be hot, we left our sweaters and blankets in storage. Oh, we were cold in our drafty summer cottage that winter, but were too afraid to light the space heaters or ask to borrow blankets. When we hear these stories, it is easy to empathize with the strangers.
Nearly every one of us has at some time stood in the shoes of the stranger, but we kick those shoes off as soon as possible and in a moment forget how uncomfortable they were. Being a stranger is uncomfortable because it causes a temporary loss of identity. Most people depend greatly on feedback from friends to tell them who they are, to judge their own particular talents and abilities, and to construct an appropriate social role within a group of friends.
When they are cut off from friends, familiar places, and routines, they may feel worthless and useless. Those who strive for a living relationship with their Heavenly Father are more immune to this sort of identity crisis. But most humans, still spiritually immature, feel great emotional stress whenever they are strangers. The stranger needs to be accepted as an equal, recognized and loved, in order to grow in spirit. His physical and spiritual needs are thus precisely the same as those of nonstrangers, with just one difference: the stranger has no social framework within which to fulfill these social needs until someone becomes his friend.
The scriptures are explicit in describing both why and how we should extend our concern to the stranger. Why should we aid the stranger? Love ye therefore the stranger. In this same passage Moses reminds the children of Israel that they owe obedience as a debt to the God who has chosen them and preserved them in their flight from Egypt.
Loving the stranger is simply one of the commandments we must obey. How should we aid the stranger? Christ commended physical assistance to the stranger when he described the judgment that will occur at his second coming:. There he can receive whatever physical necessities he may lack, as well as the love and attention to feed his emotional needs.
Like the good Samaritan, we must give freely of our time and means to preserve the physical and spiritual life of the stranger. Ye are also commanded not to cast any one who belongeth to the church out of your sacrament meetings. Certainly we would never shut the door on a stranger at church, but do we not emotionally cast him out of our midst if we fail to ask his name, shake his hand, or take him home for dinner? We tend to esteem our family and friends above everyone else in the world.
We should count it a privilege to welcome the least among strangers.
Unfortunately it is often so much more convenient to ignore the stranger than to love him. We can easily imagine a ward where every member has a reasonable excuse for not fellowshipping strangers.
Can you help these ward members find a way around their excuses? Bishopric: We usually meet them, but seldom have an opportunity for follow-through. Church business is scheduled after each Sunday meeting. Am I ready? Playing Nina's game Strangers, was a emotional ride with comic encounters, small flirts, and an ending painted with melancholy as I the one feeling most at home. A simple yet complex game, everyone was drawn into the rules of the game, and what it was about. In the beginning everything was awkward and weird but after a few minutes of play.
Everything became so.. A new identity was born.
And for that glimpse of time it was there it was a great experience of when two cultures meet. Looking forward for more. A game where I got out with a bitersweet feeling concerning the total integration that one could achieve through n actual assimilation to the host culture. Amazing worshops and games, felt trusting towards the people around me and the game designer. A must. About Curriculum Vitae Contact.