An Easter Post: Refugees, Mormons, and the Law of Moses

I only saw bits and pieces of the Women’s Session of General Conference tonight, but got a teaser of the theme last night from Elder Oaks’ visit to Claremont.

The LDS Church has generally been very favorable to refugees and immigrants. There is good historical reason for this. As dramatized by video in the session today, LDS have institutional memory and family stories about the multiple times we too had to flee because of violence and death, leaving behind everything of value. We too were dependent on others who found us strange and foreign, but who nevertheless opened their hearts and homes.

Deuteronomy is the heart of the law of Moses, both in the sense that that is where much of the text is located, but also because of its sympathetic compassion: You shall love the refugee, for you were refugees in the land of Egypt. (Deu 10:19).

Israel had taken refuge in Egypt because of famine, and were then exploited and oppressed.

As for the refugee, you shall not wrong or oppress them, for you were refugees in the land of Egypt (Exo 22:21)

As for the refugee, you shall not take advantage of them; you know how it feels to be a refugee, because you were refugees in the land of Egypt. (Exo 23:9)

Like a full citizen is how you shall treat the refugee living with you, and you shall love them like yourself, for you were refugees in the land of Egypt. (Lev 19:34)

I can’t embed the other video, here.

But today, we will echo the law of Moses, by remembering our own history as immigrants and refugees driven out,  and acting with according compassion; We have been invited to emulate Christ by “doing unto the least of these.”

Make Easter memorable for someone who needs it.

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