People around the world gather to watch the 191st Semiannual General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in their homes. While I’ve watched over the weekend, I’ve had time to reflect on my experience with the Church these past few years.
In Elder Gerrit W. Gong’s talk, “Room in the Inn,” he shared the importance of community.
“We all have something needed to contribute,” Elder Gong said. “Our journey to God is often found together. We belong as a united community—whether confronting pandemics, storms, wildfires, droughts or quietly meeting daily needs. We receive inspiration as we counsel together, listening to each person, including each sister and the Spirit.”
As I heard those words, I felt an outpouring of love. I thought about my time investigating the Church, and how I went from feeling unworthy and useless to feeling like a loved child of God.
The first time I had watched a conference from the Church was in October 2018. It was the weekend before my baptism date, and I still had so many questions about the Church.
I wasn’t sure if I would go through with it. Worries of judgment from my family and friends washed over me. I also struggled with believing I was worthy of becoming a member.
What turned my worries around were the feelings I had experienced during my first conference. I had an overwhelming sense of peace from our Church leaders’ words, but I also felt comfort from the small community supporting me.
I was baptized in a young single adult ward, where I was able to make amazing friends that were my age. They had created a spiritual and united community that welcomed me with open arms and love. I remember a small voice in my head told me, “This is where you belong.”
Gong shares that there is room for everyone in the Lord’s inn — His Church.
“As our hearts change and we receive His image in our countenance, we see Him and ourselves in His Church,” Elder Gong said.
It is important that as we draw closer to God and deepen our conversion, we see ourselves as worthy members of Christ’s Church. As we unite and let each other know that we are in the right place, we take steps that take us closer to being with our Heavenly Father.
After watching that October 2018 conference, I wrote in my journal, “This has been the happiest I have been in a long time. My smile feels like it’s reaching my ears, and my eyes always seem to be full of tears. I love these people so much, and I can’t imagine my life without knowing Christ. How did I live life before?”
As I watched the conference this past weekend, I feel similar feelings even after all this time. I am proud to be in such a loving community.