The Church magazines will be focusing on the topic of inclusion throughout 2021.
Tracy Browning of the Relief Society General Board wrote an article for the Liahona magazine titled “Including Everyone,” which introduced the new series where people would share their stories of inclusion and exclusion within church settings.
As well as being the kickoff to a new series of articles for the church website, this article discussed the importance of helping those around us feel included and welcomed.
“In the coming months, we will share the stories of sisters and brothers who have struggled to come to know that they belong,” Browning said.
The topic of inclusion is needed now more than ever for BYU students who have faced many struggles due to the pandemic.
“Many are looking for connection, acceptance and a feeling of belonging,” Browning wrote.
BYU’s mission statement also calls for inclusion and love. “All relationships within the BYU community should reflect devout love of God and a loving, genuine concern for the welfare of our neighbor,” the mission statement says.
So how can BYU students look out for those around them despite the unique circumstances each student is in? The easiest way to start is to look at other people’s stories and learn of others’ needs.
“It really takes a commitment to form, in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., a beloved community where they strive to see each other as spiritual brothers and sisters,” said Anthony Bates, BYU’s student leadership director.
Though it takes a commitment to build a beloved community of students, BYU students can be inspired through the Church magazines’ series.
Browning said no struggle is forgotten by God, and as disciples of Jesus Christ, members are called to help through pondering, prayer and then action. The way to understanding one’s struggle is to sincerely understand them and be their genuine friend.
“There is so much to learn from others as we get to know them,” Browning said.