How to Build Unity

First Counselor in the First Presidency

From an October 2008 general conference address.

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We live in many different circumstances. We will come from every nation and many ethnic backgrounds into the kingdom of God.

We know from experience that joy comes when we are blessed with unity. Heavenly Father cannot grant it to us as individuals. The joy of unity He wants so much to give us is not solitary. We must seek it and qualify for it with others. It is not surprising then that God urges us to gather so that He can bless us. He wants us to gather into families. He has established classes, wards, and branches and commanded us to meet together often. In those gatherings, which God has designed for us, lies our great opportunity. We can pray and work for the unity that will bring us joy and multiply our power to serve.

In addition to ordinances, there are principles we are following as a people which are leading to greater unity.

1. Revelation. Revelation is the only way we can know how to follow the will of the Lord together. It requires light from above. The Holy Ghost will testify to our hearts, and to the hearts of those gathered around with us, what He would have us do. And it is by keeping His commandments that we can have our hearts knit together as one.

2. Be humble. Pride is the great enemy of unity. You have seen and felt its terrible effects. Happily I am seeing more and more skillful peacemakers who calm troubled waters before harm is done. You could be one of those peacemakers, whether you are in the conflict or an observer. One way I have seen it done is to search for anything on which we agree.

3. Speak well of each other. Think of the last time you were asked what you thought about how someone else was doing in their service in your family or in the Church. I can promise you a feeling of peace and joy when you speak generously of others in the Light of Christ.

With the unity I see increasing, the Lord will be able to perform what the world will think of as miraculous. The Saints can accomplish any purpose of the Lord when fully united in righteousness.

How Have You Applied This?

The Lord wants us to love our brothers and sisters, even if people are not the same as we are. We need to bring our brothers and sisters back to church. If we love them enough and pray for them, they will come back to church and back into our Lord’s arms.

Samuel Z., 16, Arizona, USA