My husband, Randl, knocked on the bathroom door this morning while I was in the shower to tell me that Joseph Wirthlin had died last night. I grew up around the corner from this sweet man and his large family, and I have many fond memories of his cheerful greetings and gentle handshake. He always made everyone feel comfortable. For the last twenty-plus years of his life, he served in a top leadership position in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS), which gave him ample opportunity to give speeches. One of my favorites was a speech he gave last April entitled "Concern for the One," in which he talked about seeking out the "lost sheep." At the time, I had just recently quit attending church meetings because of my MCS, and his words really resonated with me. Following is an excerpt from that speech:
Some are lost because they are different. They feel as though they don't belong...They may look, act, think, and speak differently than those around them and that sometimes causes them to assume they don't fit in. They conclude that they are not needed.
Tied to this misconception is the erroneous belief that all members of the Church should look, talk, and be alike. The Lord did not people the earth with a vibrant orchestra of personalities only to value the piccolos of the world. Every instrument is precious and adds to the complex beauty of the symphony. All of Heavenly Father's children are different in some degree, yet each has his own beautiful sound that adds depth and richness to the whole.
This variety of creation itself is a testament of how the Lord values all His children. He does not esteem one flesh above another, but He "inviteth them all to come unto him and partake of his goodness; and he denieth none that come unto him, black and white, bond and free, male and female: ...all are alike unto God." [Book of Mormon, 2 Nephi 26:33]
At a time when I was feeling totally rejected by the people that I thought should care the most, these words gave me hope and made me feel valued.