The Blessings of Being Unified

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    (Adapted from an April 1987 general conference address. See Ensign, May 1987, pages 62–64.)

    Two ranchers who lived side by side in southwestern Montana argued and fought. Each thought that he was being cheated by the other because a rusty barbed wire fence that separated their ranches was not the true property line. The real estate records were unclear on the matter.

    They told their children not to play with one another. The conflict became worse until finally, after years of exchanging words and threats, one of the ranchers said to himself, “Enough of this.” He drove down the lane from his place to his neighbor’s.

    “What do you want?” his neighbor asked.

    “Look, you take your hired men and your sons, and I’ll take mine; and we’ll put the fence wherever you’d like it. I’ve had enough of this quarreling. I want us to be friends.”

    His rawboned neighbor softened, and tears ran down both of their faces. The neighbor responded. “Hey, let’s drive to Virginia City and record that the present fence is where both of us want the property line to be.”

    They did, and the problem was solved. Why? Because a neighbor wanted to be friends with the family next door.

    In the Doctrine and Covenants it says, “If ye are not one ye are not mine” (Doctrine and Covenants 38:27). Are we one with our neighbors? Is the street where you live a little more peaceful because you dwell there?

    There are many reasons to be unified, or peace loving, but perhaps the greatest reason is that the Lord has asked us to be one, or friends, with each other.

    [illustration] Illustrated by Scott Greer