This week, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles expressed his heartbreak about those currently being displaced in droves by war and violence. He has had personal experience with the kind of helplessness and hopelessness they might be feeling and shared about it in a recent social media post:
My friends, I am absolutely heartbroken to see the terrible and frightening conditions among so many of those who are seeking refuge from war and violence. I can’t help but be reminded of my experience as a refugee in Europe during World War II. While I pray for all of those who have been forced out of their homes in search of peace in other nations—I especially pray for the children.
I was only four years old when my father was drafted into the German army to fight on the western front. Due to the dangerous conditions surrounding us, my mother decided to move our family out of Czechoslovakia in search of safety. Only seven years later, we had to leave our country again and start afresh. Despite my young age, I can still remember this time of fear and hunger. It is not something one easily forgets.
Many of us feel helpless. I can assure you that this feeling of helplessness permeates the hearts and minds of those fleeing violence right now as well. Though the conditions are dire, we are not helpless. Our connection to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ can heal our wounds, our hearts, and the world.
We are children of one Heavenly Father. We are all brothers and sisters. Our two great commandments are to serve God and our fellowman. Please find an opportunity to help those in need—even if all you can do is pray and fast in behalf of those who struggle. Small acts of kindness mean everything to those who have lost so much.
I pray all of those who have been forced from their homes will be able to feel God’s love through your acts of kindness.