22 And behold, ye shall meet together oft; and ye shall not forbid any man from coming unto you when ye shall meet together, but suffer them that they may come unto you and forbid them not;
23 But ye shall pray for them, and shall not cast them out; and if it so be that they come unto you oft ye shall pray for them unto the Father, in my name.
24 Therefore, hold up your light that it may shine unto the world. Behold I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do. Behold ye see that I have prayed unto the Father, and ye all have witnessed.
25 And ye see that I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me, that ye might feel and see; even so shall ye do unto the world; and whosoever breaketh this commandment suffereth himself to be led into temptation.
(3 Nephi 18:22-25)
As we saw yesterday, the church is named after Jesus Christ for at least two reasons:
- Because it was established by Him.
- Because its members have promised to take upon themselves His name.
Because the church represents the Savior, the actions of the church must reflect His character as closely as possible. This includes both official decisions of church leaders and also the actions of individual church members.
In the passage above, the Savior lists three things that He expects the members of His church to do. In all three cases, He points to His own actions as the pattern they should follow:
- Welcome everyone to your meetings. Don’t turn anyone away. “I have commanded that none of you should go away, but rather have commanded that ye should come unto me.”
- Pray for other people. “Behold, ye see that I have prayed unto the Father, and ye have all witnessed.”
- Light the world. “Behold, I am the light which ye shall hold up—that which ye have seen me do.”
Elder Ulisses Soares has reminded us of the importance of being inclusive and welcoming as we interact with new people at church:
As members, we should always be attentive and look for new faces when attending Church activities and meetings, regardless of the responsibilities, assignments, or concerns we may have. We can do simple things to help these new friends feel embraced and welcome in the Church, such as giving a warm greeting, smiling sincerely at them, sitting together to sing and worship, introducing them to other members, and so forth. As we open our hearts to our new friends in some of these ways, we are acting in the spirit of ministering. When we minister to them like the Savior did, they won’t feel like “strangers within our gates.” They will feel like they can fit in and make new friends, and most importantly, they will feel the Savior’s love through our genuine care (“One in Christ,” General Conference, August 2018).
Today I will strive to reflect the Savior’s love as I interact with other people. I will help other people feel welcome at church meetings. I will pray for them. And I will hold up the light I receive from Him, by striving to act as He would act if He were here.