I gave a talk in a ward years ago about charity in which I asked the congregation to consider, very seriously, what their first reaction would be, internally, if they were in the middle of the administration of the sacrament and any of the following people walked into the chapel:
- a drunk man, reeking of alcohol and cigarette smoke
- a teenage girl with multiple tattoos and body piercings, wearing a mini skirt, tank top, fishnet stocking and combat boots
- two adult men holding hands and obviously a couple
told them that they could understand their level of charity through
that simple reaction as much as perhaps through any other way - and I
told them that I hoped, eventually, every one of them would react
immediately by thinking, "Thank God they found us," and by standing up
and asking the person or couple to sit next to them for the rest of the
Yes, we have Samaritans, publicans, sinners and lepers
in our lives, and we ought to think long and hard about who they are.
Maybe, for some people who are different than the stereotypical norm and/or who are struggling in some way with their faith, those "others" are the traditional, orthodox members in their
lives; maybe, for some people who are the stereotypical, orthodox members who are rock solid in their faith, those "others" include active but different members in their lives.
That's worth considering, at least.