Recently I was feeling lost, alone, far from home—for no good reason. Everything is really okay in my life. However, feeling lost isn’t necessarily a rational emotion. A scripture found only in the Joseph Smith translation of the Bible that illustrates poignantly how I’d been feeling, “What man among you, having a son, and he shall be standing out, and shall say, Father, open thy house that I may come in and sup with thee, will not say, Come in, my son” (JST Matthew 7:17). I felt like the son standing outside, yearning to be “part of the family” again, longing for the invitation to “come in.” The scripture indicates that the Father will say, “Come in.” I knew my Father was standing with arms outstretched, always inviting me, so why couldn’t I feel it?

I suspected general conference would offer me a chance to regain the spiritual connection I seemed to be missing at the moment. I had so often found solace and strength from that venue. The first day of conference I fasted, asking for the Spirit to speak to my heart. I enjoyed both sessions and recognized the brilliance of the messages, but I wasn’t feeling them. What I was feeling was hungry, crabby, and irritable. I was disappointed.

Invitation to Come Home

Sunday morning I flipped on the TV just as the Tabernacle Choir broadcast was starting—not really expecting to feel any more than I had the day before. Mid-way through the broadcast the choir, began singing a song called “Softly and Tenderly Jesus is Calling.” I was drawn in, almost breathless. The song was speaking to my feeling of “lostness”—speaking to my heart. The barriers came tumbling down and I felt the Spirit in great abundance. The feeling continued throughout morning conference—every talk seemed to have something special that applied to me in a very real way.

Between sessions I got on the Internet to see if I could find the words to the song that had softened my heart—so comforting, so exactly what I needed to hear. I wanted to read them over and over. Within seconds I found what I was looking for on What a blessing to have such access through modern technology. Both music and text are by Will L. Thompson. Here are the hauntingly beautiful words:

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals he’s waiting and watching
Watching for you and for me.


Come home, come home;
Ye who are weary come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not his mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?


Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing,
Passing from you and from me;
Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming,
Coming for you and for me.


O for the wonderful love he has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, he has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.


So Much to Come Home To

I read those words over and over the week before Easter. What a perfect time of year to “come home to Jesus”! Easter morning I arose early and turned to the scriptures, knowing that reading His words and the prophecies about Him has always been part of my “coming home.”

It came into my mind to turn to the words “Jesus Christ” in the topical guide. For some reason I had never read through all those references in tandem. I saw that 18 pages (240-258) in my quad are all references about Jesus! I skimmed through them with a feeling of awe.

At one point I went through and underlined the headings that define and describe Jesus: Advocate, the Anointed one, Creator, Deliverer, Exemplar, Firstborn, Good Shepherd, Jehovah, Light of the Word, Lord, Messenger of the Covenant, Only Begotten Son, Redeemer, Rock, Savior, Second Comforter, Son of God, Son Man. Doing nothing more than reading that list lifts my spirits and reminds me how much we have to “come home” to! Such love, such redemptive power!

So Many Ways to Feel Lost

Has there ever been a time in the history of mankind when it is so easy to feel lost? We can be lost in the tsunami wave of information and images and noise and distractions. Lost in the myriad options and opportunities and seeming necessities. Lost in the false values and humanism and alluring voices. Lost in the never-ending demands of a complicated society that touts activity as the ultimate and leaves precious little chance for quite prayer and meditation.

Trying to find our way “home” we may be pulled into all kinds of counterfeit houses that turn out NOT to be “home” at all. Like looking for love in all the wrong places, we may look for “home” in all the wrong places. But in the final analysis, there is only one sure “home”—Jesus.

Jesus Is Calling: Come Home!

We can be sure that His welcome mat is always out, His voice is always pleading

Come home, come home;
Ye who are weary come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!