Japan can be a very lonely country, in spite of the huge crowds of humanity. As a missionary, now, more than ever, I notice the lonely in the crowds. They walk with lowered heads and grey expressions. They walk alone. Nothing really strikes me more than seeing someone so alone. It is difficult to describe. It’s like you are walking along with your missionary companion and everything is normal. Then you see one of them, and you know it immediately when you see him or her.

A string is pulled in your chest and it just erases everything else. It’s like finishing a song with a chord that doesn’t quite fit, and letting it just reverberate. Something is just… off. And it stays that way for a while before things return to normal.

There are really lonely people everywhere. They are in our schools, jobs, and our church too. I wish I had done more for them. I hope to do more for them from now on. To be more aware of them.  To say hello and shake their hands. To be a friend.

Our Savior and perfect example, Jesus Christ, lifted up the hands that hung low. He healed the sick, raised the afflicted, and continues to do so with His perfect understanding of all mankind. My hope is that I can act as He did. That I can lift the afflicted wherever I am, and guide them to the perfect brightness and hope that comes from this gospel.

I pray that the lonely will be uplifted. Let us bear one another’s burdens, that they may be light. This is my special challenge to any who may read this.


Elder Dallin Albright