“Change for the better can come to all. Over the years we have issued appeals to the less active, the offended, the critic, the transgressor â€” to come back. ‘Come back and feast at the table of the Lord and taste again the sweet and satisfying fruits of fellowship with the Saints.’ In the private sanctuary of one’s own conscience lies that spirit, that determination to cast off the old person and to measure up to the stature of true potential. In this spirit, we again issue that heartfelt invitation. Come back, we reach out to you in the pure love of Christ and express our desire to assist you and to welcome you into full fellowship.
To those who are wounded in spirit or who are struggling and fearful. We say, let us lift you and cheer you and calm your fears. Take literally the Lord’s invitation to “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light”â€¦ I would encourage members of the Church wherever they may be to show kindness and respect for all people everywhere. The world in which we live is filled with diversity. We can and should demonstrate respect toward those whose beliefs differ from ours.”– Thomas S. Monson, April 6, 2008
Although it’s much too early to make any sort of definitive characterization about what President Monson’s tenure as prophet will be like, after reaching out to less-active, struggling and disaffected members in his first General Conference address as prophet this weekend, one has to wonder if this will end up being the hallmark of his presidency. Yesterday’s news report that the Church has agreed to meet with the gay Mormon support group Affirmation for the first time certainly seems to bolster the idea.