Today, I’ve been pondering two closely related scriptures:
He invited them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female; and he remembereth the heathen; and all are alike unto God, both Jew and Gentile (2 Nephi 26:33).
There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:28).
Why did Nephi say that we are “all alike unto God?” And did the apostle Paul mean the same thing when he said “ye are all one in Christ Jesus?”
Paul is writing to members of the church. He is emphasizing that we cannot allow characteristics such as race, cultural heritage, social status, and even gender to divide us from one another. Christ wants His disciples to be unified, even as He and the Father are unified. Those distinctions are real, but they are unimportant compared with our goal of being one—completely united as disciples of Christ.
Nephi’s message is broader: members of the church must not only overlook these distinctions amongst themselves; they must recognize that everyone is invited to come to the Savior. “He denieth none that come unto him.” We must not only strive for unity amongst ourselves, but also for an inclusive invitation to all of God’s children.
When Jesus visited the American continent, He pointed out the inclusiveness of His invitation:
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…
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 (3 Nephi 18:22, 25).
Today, I will remember that God is inclusive. He loves all of His children and invites them all to come to Him. Furthermore, when we come to Him, He expects us to be unified, and not to allow our unique characteristics to divide us from one another.