How do we find belonging when we feel out of place?
At a time when I didn’t think I could ever be—or even wanted to be—the “ideal LDS woman,” I often asked myself, “Do I really belong here?” At that time, my testimony in Christ as my Savior and in his gospel didn’t waver, but I doubted that I could (happily) fulfill the role the Church seemed to want me to fit into.
I continued to grapple with these thoughts as I sat in front of my TV one April afternoon, watching general conference. That’s when I heard Elder Jeffrey R. Holland give words of encouragement in his talk “Songs Sung and Unsung.”
It felt like Elder Holland was speaking directly to me as he said, “When we disparage our uniqueness or try to conform to fictitious stereotypes . . . we lose the richness of tone and timbre that God intended when He created a world of diversity.” Those words gave me a rush of comfort because I realized that not only was it only OK that I was different but it was good. I realized that I didn’t have to struggle to be the “ideal woman”; I only needed to work on being the best me.
A member of the church may feel out of place because of ethnicity, political opinion, sexual orientation, past sins, or some other reason. Even though there is no one solution to feeling left out, I learned that we can trust in God, who sees the value of all people, no matter who they are. I know that we all have a place, though it may be difficult to find, and we are all valued for our differences.
Source: LDS General Conference
—Sarah Bennett, Mormon Insights
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Find more insights
To learn about Katie Steed’s experience fitting in at church, read “Why Don’t I Feel Like I Fit In at Church?”
Read the article “I Have a Question and That’s OK” to discover how Maryssa Dennis dealt with her confusion.
Watch “I’m a Mormon” videos to learn about the unique qualities of other Church members.