Gospel and Church of Christ bring feeling of acceptance

In his April 1983 general conference address, Elder James M. Paramore of the Seventy told of a couple in the Midwest who had lived in the same home nearly 42 years and knew hardly anyone in their large city. When they retired, they decided "to spend their last years" in the West.

When their bus stopped in Provo, Utah, they took a taxi cab and rode around. They liked what they saw and felt, and the next day bought a home there."When they moved into our ward area, it wasn't hours until food, help, and friendship were offered," Elder Paramore said. "They could not believe what was happening. They now belonged to other warm, compassionate beings – beings who truly loved them and brought security, warmth, and the true love of Christ into their lives. They were never the same again. They belonged to a larger family and were truly happier than they had ever been in their lives.

"The Apostle Paul, himself a convert to Christ and His truths, personally learned not only of the great eternal truths which edified his whole being and changed his life, but also that he belonged to the body of Christ – the people of the kingdom of God on earth who loved and served each other with an open heart and spirit because of the love they felt.

"Listen to his words as he described how it was: `Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God.' (Eph. 2:19.)

"Members say they have never been a stranger anywhere they have gone, Italy, Oslo, Mexico City, Portland – or Orem, Utah. They belonged the minute it was known they were members of the Church of Jesus Christ. Everyone who lives upon this earth needs this feeling of acceptance, and the gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and His Church bring it about. Even though a member lives alone, he is never alone. He belongs; he contributes; he is never forgotten."

Elder Paramore concluded, "Let us reach out to every member, that he might belong to the household of God."