14 February 2022

To Those Who Don't Want It: Visitors Welcome!

Here is a wonderful discourse on "Visitors Welcome" directly from Jesus Christ himself.

3 Nephi 18:28-32

28 And now behold, this is the commandment which I give unto you, that ye shall not suffer any one knowingly to partake of my flesh and blood unworthily, when ye shall minister it;

29 For whoso eateth and drinketh my flesh and blood unworthily eateth and drinketh damnation to his soul; therefore if ye know that a man is unworthy to eat and drink of my flesh and blood ye shall forbid him.

30 Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out from among you, but ye shall minister unto him and shall pray for him unto the Father, in my name; and if it so be that he repenteth and is baptized in my name, then shall ye receive him, and shall minister unto him of my flesh and blood.

31 But if he repent not he shall not be numbered among my people, that he may not destroy my people, for behold I know my sheep, and they are numbered.

32 Nevertheless, ye shall not cast him out of your synagogues, or your places of worship, for unto such shall ye continue to minister; for ye know not but what they will return and repent, and come unto me with full purpose of heart, and I shall heal them; and ye shall be the means of bringing salvation unto them.

Every meetinghouse of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a phrase right under the name:  Visitors welcome. This is a manifestation of a charge from Christ to never throw anyone out of Church gatherings. No matter what a person has done or whatever they believe, all people are encouraged to attend public meetings of Latter-day Saints. Now, that doesn't mean that people can take over meetings to espouse their own ideas or use such gatherings to make demands on the Church to be more accomodating of their choices; it just means that no one will be bared from coming and listening. Church meetings are not places to air one's greivences with church authorities or policies or doctrine - there are many other venues to vent such things.  Church meetings are meant to give Latter-day Saints a setting to better learn and understand the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ as revealed through Joseph Smith.  Everyone is free to come, but our adherance to the "Agenda of God", the path to exaltation, will be the subject matter being discussed.

The Church of Jesus Christ is designed to facilitate personal development toward exaltation, which again is to align people with Christ and to become like God, as Christ will do. If a person comes to meetings at Latter-day Saint meetinghouses and they aren't interested in the "Agenda of God", it would not be surprising to feel a bit left out or even uncomfortable. Being out of alignment with Christ or at cross-purposes with him will invariably be discomforting.

Everyone is welcome to come and see what happens in public meetings of the Church. If someone doesn't like it, they don't have to come back but they are always, always welcome.