Belonging is such a deep and profound need that rests in all of us. As we read in Jeremiah in this week’s lesson, God’s promise that “they shall be my people, and I will be their God” calls to us and speaks to that need. To belong to Him, to be numbered among the chosen can feel so welcoming, comforting and empowering.
It can also feel confusing then when in our faith community, for one reason, another (or many) we feel we don’t belong. What are some things we can consider if we feel we don’t belong?
In each instance where he makes this promise, he explains that He will make covenants with us. “From the greatest to the least…” will know Him. Little children as young as eight are invited to start making and keeping covenants with God through baptism. From such a young age we are invited to belong. He does that through covenants. Seeking, learning, making and renewing covenants is an important aspect of how we can feel we belong.
When we have made covenants, but feel we don’t belong, it’s an opportunity for us to review how we are keeping our covenants, and also consider what covenants are yet unmade that we can work toward?
Our prophet has extended this invitation accompanied with a beautiful promise, he says, “[my] invitation is for you to do a thorough life assessment with the Lord, and perhaps with your parents and your bishop, to ensure that your feet are firmly planted on the covenant path. If you have wandered off, or if there are some things you need to let go of to help your mind and heart be more pure, today is the perfect time to change.”
And here’s the stunning promise:
“Wherever you are on the covenant path—even if, at this moment, you are not centered on the path—I promise you that if you will sincerely and persistently do the spiritual work needed to develop the crucial, spiritual skill of learning how to hear the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, you will have all the direction you will ever need in your life.”