Refugee Relief: “I Was a Stranger”

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With the approval of the First Presidency, the general presidencies of the Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary are inviting women of all ages to give service to refugees in their neighborhoods and local communities through a relief effort titled “I Was a Stranger” (see Leviticus 19:34; Matthew 25:35).

“There are many among us who can be blessed by friendship, mentoring, and other Christlike love and service,” said Sister Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president. “Giving such service is a fundamental part of the gospel.

“I am reminded of the scripture that says we should not be ‘forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares’ [Hebrews 13:2],” Sister Burton said. “We encourage sisters to prayerfully seek opportunities to serve and to consider finding ways to support trusted local community and civic organizations. You may find some helpful ideas at IWasAStranger.lds.org, and you can share experiences by sending an email to IWasAStranger@ldschurch.org.”

A letter from the First Presidency concerning “I Was a Stranger” was sent to stake, ward, and branch councils at the end of March. Guidelines for leaders accompanied the letter. “Sisters may participate in this effort when time and circumstances allow,” the letter counsels, “making sure that no one is expected to ‘run faster than [she] has strength’ and that all ‘things are done in wisdom and order’ (Mosiah 4:27).” A First Presidency letter dated October 27, 2015, also encouraged all members to render Christlike service to those in need.

A letter from the Relief Society, Young Women, and Primary general presidents giving more information about “I Was a Stranger” was also recently distributed in meetings of those organizations.