Today I had an experience that I felt to share not only with my children in this writing, but also to you as you too will likely encounter a similar experience as mine at some point.
While I was at the gym today I ran into a member of my old McKinney Ward whom has recently left the church.
As soon as I saw him I knew I should talk to him as I had heard that he had left the church.
After asking how his family has been I felt to ask him why he left the church?
His response to me was that his loss of faith began because of the facts that he had learned about Blacks initially not being allowed to hold the Priesthood.
I was thankful that I was able to explain to him that our Heavenly Father loves all of His children and that His purposes include every race, but that only God knows the depth of His designs of His patterns.
I then reminded this individual that inittially even when Jesus Christ was on the earth and during His ministry, He did not allow all people to be taught His gospel and baptized into His church.
In Matt. 10:1-6 Jesus gave specific instruction to withhold teaching to specific groups:
" These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them saying, go not into the way of the Gentiles, and in unto any city of the Samaritans enter ye not; But rather to the lost sheep of the House of Israel. And as ye go preach saying the Kingdom is at hand."
Thus, if one felt that it was racist to not initially allow all people to have the Priesthood, then they too must believe that Jesus Christ Himself was racist as He did not even share any of the gospel with certain groups - at first.
I then explained that just like there was a correct time that the gospel could then be preached to all nations, there was also the time later that the Blacks would receive the Priesthood.
I explained that Jesus Christ knew that His gospel would eventually be given to all of the world as He stated later in His life:
Matt. 24:14 " And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations;and then shall the end come."
And, again Jesus taught after His resurrection - Matt. 28:19 : " Go ye therefore and teach all nations baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost."
So we see that the Lord has His times and seasons for everything.
The conversation continued and this individual explained that they felt there were so many clicks in the church and that it was all about whom you were friends with as to if you received authority through callings.
I sympathized a great deal for this person, and explained how sad that experience makes me feel.
I share that part because I know that if you are reading this now, and you haven't become dis-interested at this point, then you are likely truly care, as I do? I know that the way that we treat these precious brothers and sisters of ours who fall away can make a difference in their future, because remember there was a time that I myself did not attend church - so I know this by experience.
The conversation continued and this individual ended the conversation by saying that no one in the church had yet shown interest in what he thought, up to that point to the extent that I showed that I cared. He explained that most members of the church just avoid and ignore him when they see him. He said that he is not saying that someday he will not go back to the church, but he knows for sure it will not be in McKinney where he felt so dis-included.
For my children, I hope that you will always look out for those whom seem like they are more quiet, or who seem less comfortable at church. I hope that we can seek to look after those whom need more of our time, and I hope that you will always include those whom seem to be struggling in your prayers. I know that as we do this, we are being His hands in their lives. I know that we will be blessed by them, just as much as we will be blessing them.
I am happy to report that this individual's wife still believes in the church. I feel really blessed that I was able to ask her husband for her phone number so that I might be able to let her know she is loved.
I continue to be very thankful for the chances that I have to serve Him and His children. I feel like my Heavenly Father is very merciful to me, and blesses me a great deal.
I say this in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.