“There are an estimated 60 million refugees in the world today,” said Elder Patrick Kearon, a General Authority Seventy, during the Sunday afternoon session of general conference on April 3. Elder Kearon urged members to follow Christ’s teachings and help those who are in need in their communities, particularly refugees.
“As members of the Church, as a people, we don’t have to look back far in our history to reflect on times when we were refugees, violently driven from homes and farms over and over again,” he said. Elder Kearon then quoted Sister Linda K. Burton when she recently asked women to consider what if the refugee’s story was their own story. “Their story is our story, not that many years ago,” Elder Kearon said.
Furthermore, “the Savior knows how it feels to be a refugee — He was one.” Throughout His life, Christ was threatened and in danger until He “ultimately [submitted] to the designs of evil men who had plotted His death. Perhaps, then, it is all the more remarkable to us that He repeatedly taught us to love one another, to love as He loves, to love our neighbor as ourselves,” Elder Kearon said.
Members around the world are already heeding Christ’s commandments and giving aid to refugees and those in need in their communities, but more can lend their support. Elder Kearon reminded members not to serve at the expense of their own families or responsibilities, and not to expect their local leaders to do it for them, but to serve as individuals and families in “this great humanitarian endeavor.”
Elder Kearon told members to look to serve close to their own homes. He suggested trying to find people that need help adapting to their new homes and circumstances. In Matthew 25:40 Christ states, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Elder Kearon urged members to follow the Savior’s teachings.
“We have found refuge. Let us come out from our safe places and share with them, from our abundance, hope for a brighter future, faith in God and in our fellow man, and love that sees beyond cultural and ideological differences to the glorious truth that we are all children of our Father in heaven,” he said.