In the Saturday afternoon session of LDS General Conference, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland spoke to people those whose lives seem to elude the “peaceful happy moments” celebrated in the hymn “There Is Sunshine in My Soul Today.”
If for a time you are unable to echo the joyous melodies you hear coming from others, I ask you to hold tenaciously to the line in this hymn that reassures “Jesus listening can hear The songs [you] cannot sing.”
He explained that one of the realities of living in a fallen world is that some days are difficult. There are days when faith and fortitude are tested.
These challenges may come from a lack in us, a lack in others, or just a lack in life, but whatever the reasons we find they can rob us of songs we so much want to sing, and darken the promise of “springtime in [the] soul” that Eliza Hewitt celebrates in one of her verses.
Elder Holland encouraged us to have hope and patience. He explained that at times, we may have to draw on the strength of others.
He also explained that it is by divine design that everyone is not the same. Variety makes life rich. We should not disparage our uniqueness or try to conform to fictitious stereotypes. He explained that we must never demean our worth or denigrate our contributions.
He spoke to those who sometimes feel they are on the margins of society or the margins of the Church. He mentioned specifically those who suffer from mental or emotional illness, those with health limitations, those of different races and ethnicity, those who speak different languages, celebrate diverse cultures, and live in a host of locations. There is room for the single, the married, for large families and for the childless. There is room for those who once had questions regarding their faith and room for those who still do. There is room for those with differing sexual attractions.
In short, there is a place for everyone who loves God and honors His commandments as the inviolable measuring rod for personal behavior, for if love of God is the melody of our shared song, surely our common quest to obey Him is the indispensable harmony in it.
Watch or read Elder Holland’s address, “Songs Sung and Unsung.”
In recent years, the Church has been reaching out in unprecedented ways to people with diverse needs. Below are just a few examples of Church resources.
- Mental and emotional illness. The Church provides resources at MentalHealth.lds.org. (Learn more about these resources.)
- Suicide. PreventingSuicide.lds.org provides essential information for those who are contemplating suicide, including links to crisis hotlines. It also describes proactive measures that people can take if they are worried about someone who might be considering suicide. Finally, it reaches out to those who have lost a loved one to suicide with counsel and comfort. (Learn more about these resources.)
- Races and ethnicity. See: Race and the Priesthood in Gospel Topics and Race and the Church. The Church also participates with organizations to improve race relations in society.
- Languages. General conferences are translated into 90+ languages and the Church publishes some materials in as many as 180 languages. Many of these language materials are available on LDS.org.
- Cultures. When temples are dedicated, the Church holds cultural celebrations to honor the culture of the country. The Church also holds other cultural events.
- Single members. The Church supports single members of the Church and has a Single Adult section of LDS.org.
- Childless. See the Gospel Topic on adoption.
- Those who question their faith. The Church provides an extensive Gospel Topics study section as well as several straightforward, in-depth essays on a number of topics about Church history and policies. Also read “Answering Gospel Questions.”
- Those with differing sexual attractions. The Church has published a website at MormonandGay.lds.org to help members understand and live with same-sex attraction in the context of the gospel. Learn more about these resources.