(This post was originally published in September 2018 and has been updated for relevancy.)
Have you ever been in a large group of people and yet felt all alone?
High school students often struggle with this. The comparisons common to that age paired with the desperate desire to be liked can lead to loneliness.
Imagine you were on this path of life all alone. In one way it doesn’t make sense because you’re surrounded by loving family and friends. Smiling faces abound. People in your circles are very friendly and welcoming.
Yet in spite of this, you still feel alone. Everyone else around you seems to have it all together. They can’t understand your struggles and if they knew how you really felt you wouldn’t fit in. You hesitate to share doubts or raise questions because it’s perceived as a sign that you’re losing your faith. You may be sent far away from your family on a mission. Your community encourages you to just try harder, but this pressure pushes you into even further isolation.
You’re told that you’re on your own. Achieve the potential you were designed for. You have to be worthy. It’s all up to you. And if bad things happen along the way, you must not be good enough. Over time this pressure can alienate you from God.
That lonely path is a message we’ve heard about repeatedly from our Mormon friends. They’re taught that their eternal destination depends on them alone. Despite the encouragements to turn to God, he feels so far away.
This even impacts their interactions with one another. One stake president shared that his brother was inactive. When we assumed that he would be concerned, he was shocked. “There’s nothing I can do about it,” he said. “That’s his problem.”
What a terrifying road to travel!
By contrast, Biblical Christians are on a very different path. Jesus said, “I am the way” (John 14:6) and this path is all about him. Our steps on this path are not powered by our imperfect efforts. No, he already walked this road perfectly for us.
As Christians, we don’t walk this path alone. We walk together in this marvelous community called the body of Christ.
“Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it” (1 Corinthians 12:27).
God designed each one of us with unique gifts. He did this so that we might be a blessing to one another.
If the path of life was intended for us to travel alone, it would seem that God would have given each individual the exact same skill set—what is necessary to travel that path alone. But instead, God designed us each with different gifts because this path of life really isn’t about us at all. It’s all about helping others grow closer in their walk with God even as they do the same for you.
On this path we can be vulnerable and share our struggles among others who understand because they’ve been there. Here we rediscover the joy of forgiveness and hope in Jesus. Here we become attached to God and one another. And along the way, God uses us to reach out to those still traveling lonely trails and welcome them to the path where he promises:
“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you” (Hebrews 13:5).
So, don’t walk alone—that’s a path he never intended for you. Instead, walk with God together as the body of Christ.
If you have Mormon friends feeling lonely, point them to the Handbook for Healing Scripture Study. This FREE, 4-lesson Scripture Study diagnoses the pains of life, shares their cures and provides treatment plans for what living a life of freedom, forgiveness and peace can look like. Help them see that when you walk the path that’s all about Jesus, you discover your identity and worth.