Elder Patrick Kearon: Refuge from the Storm

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Elder Patrick Kearon (LDS Church)

Millions of refugees are without homes in the world today, something that Elder Patrick Kearon emphasized during his address.

Elder Kearon, of the Seventy, stressed the importance of helping those in need.

“There are an estimated 60 million refugees in the world today, which means that ‘one in every 122 humans has been forced to flee their homes,'” Elder Kearon said.  “Half of these are children.”

Many refugees can only travel with the clothes on their back after leaving their homes, careers and schools. The LDS Church is currently working with 75 organizations in 17 European countries to provide service and charity to those in need.

“The Savior knows how it feels to be a refugee — he was one,” Elder Kearon said. “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.”

The church launched a new website encouraging Latter-day Saint women to serve refugees. The website, iwasastranger.lds.org, encourages Mormon women to help refugees in their communities by prayerfully seeking opportunities to serve according to their individual and family circumstances. Relief Society General President Sister Linda K. Burton announced the effort at the General Women’s Session of the 186th General Conference on Saturday, March 26.

He praised the service that church members from around have offered to those in need.

“Seasoned members of the Church who have given years of service and leadership attest to the fact that ministering to these people so immediately in need has provided the richest, most fulfilling experience in their service so far, ‘rescuing all that is finest down deep inside them,” Elder Kearon said.

He likened those who relieve the suffering around them to the people of Alma, who valued charity in prosperity but also warned against fighting against one another.

“Additionally, each one of us can increase our awareness of the world events that drive these families from their homes. We must take a stand against intolerance and advocate respect and understanding across cultures and traditions,” Elder Kearon said.

He concluded by advising viewers to personally foster and develop personal relationships with these refugees and lending a hand.

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