Unity

Eternal Marriage Student Manual, (2003), 344–46


There is little we cannot accomplish if we will go forward with united hearts to do so.

—President Gordon B. Hinckley

Selected Teachings

Importance of Unity in Marriage

Elder Ezra Taft Benson

“A husband and wife must attain righteous unity and oneness in their goals, desires, and actions” (“Salvation—A Family Affair,” Ensign, July 1992, 2; or Conference Report, Oct. 1982, 85; Ensign, Nov. 1982, 59).

Sister Barbara Winder

“I couldn’t help thinking of the words of Paul as he admonished the Church to serve in unity and purpose, and as he taught that all parts must function for the good of the whole. So it is in a marriage and in a family that we must function together” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1984, 79; or Ensign, May 1984, 59).

Achieving Unity through Seeking the Lord and His Righteousness

President Marion G. Romney

“There is but one way that we can be united, and that way is to seek the Lord and his righteousness. (see 3 Nephi 13:33.) Unity comes by following the light from above. It does not come out of the confusions below. While men depend upon their own wisdom and walk in their own way, without the guidance of the Lord they cannot live in unity. Neither can they come to unity by following uninspired men.

“The way to unity is for us to learn the will of the Lord and then to do it. Until this basic principle is understood and observed, there will be no unity and peace on the earth” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1983, 21–22; or Ensign, May 1983, 17).

Elder L. Tom Perry

“We see the unity that comes from a faith in God and a desire to build His kingdom. And we see the dissension that results when the hearts of the people turn to selfish wants and desires, to the pleasures of the flesh, to riches and worldly possessions” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1987, 39; or Ensign, May 1987, 33).

Elder James E. Faust

“Our unity comes from full agreement with righteous principles and general response to the operation of the Spirit of God” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1993, 53; or Ensign, Nov. 1993, 38).

Achieving Unity through Charity

Elder James E. Faust

“It is far more difficult to be of one heart and mind than to be physically one. This unity of heart and mind is manifest in sincere expressions of ‘I appreciate you’ and ‘I am proud of you.’ Such domestic harmony results from forgiving and forgetting, essential elements of a maturing marriage relationship. Someone has said that we should keep our eyes wide open before marriage and half shut afterward (Magdeleine de Scudéry, in John P. Bradley, et al., comp., The International Dictionary of Thoughts [Chicago: J. G. Ferguson Publishing Co., 1969], p. 472). True charity ought to begin in marriage, for it is a relationship that must be rebuilt every day” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1993, 46; or Ensign, May 1993, 36).

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin

“I believe we must constantly nourish the seeds of love, harmony, and unity in our homes and families. Fathers are to preside over their families in kindness, remembering that ‘no power or influence can or ought to be maintained by virtue of the priesthood, only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned’ (D&C 121:41). Husbands and wives are to love each other with a pure love that transcends selfishness” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1989, 8; or Ensign, May 1989, 8).

Elder William R. Bradford

“Within each of us there is an intense need to feel that we belong. This feeling of unity and togetherness comes through the warmth of a smile, a handshake, or a hug, through laughter and unspoken demonstrations of love. It comes in the quiet, reverent moments of soft conversation, and in listening. It comes from a still, small voice reminding us that we are brothers and sisters, the children of a Heavenly Father” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1987, 91–92; or Ensign, Nov. 1987, 75–76).

Achieving Unity through Loyalty

President J. Reuben Clark Jr.

“An essential part of unity is loyalty. There can be no union where loyalty does not exist. Loyalty is a pretty difficult quality to possess. It requires the ability to put away selfishness, greed, ambition and all of the baser qualities of the human mind. You cannot be loyal unless you are willing to surrender. There is no growth, mental, physical or spiritual, unless there be some curtailment, some sacrifice may I say, on the part of him who would be loyal. His own preferences and desires must be put away, and he must see only the great purpose which lies out ahead” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1950, 180).

Achieving Unity through Effective Communication

Elder Marvin J. Ashton

“May our gracious and kind Heavenly Father help us in our needs and desires for more effective family communication. Communication can help build family unity if we will work at it and sacrifice for it. For this goal, I pray in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1976, 82; or Ensign, May 1976, 54).

Elder LeGrand R. Curtis

“To have a time when the family meets at the kitchen table may take considerable adjustment and careful planning, but what could be of more importance to the unity of the family, the spiritual growth of the family, the bridges built between members of a family as they talk, listen, and respond, surrounded by love? Our major success is simply trying—over and over” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1995, 110; or Ensign, May 1995, 83).

Blessings of Unity

President David O. McKay

“A child has a right to feel that in his home he has a place of refuge, a place of protection from the dangers and evils of the outside world. Family unity and integrity are necessary to supply this need” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1965, 7).

President Gordon B. Hinckley

“I sense the great strength that can come of our unity. There is little we cannot accomplish if we will go forward with united hearts to do so” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1988, 59; or Ensign, Nov. 1988, 48).

Elder Richard G. Scott

“Marriage allows these different characteristics to come together in oneness—in unity—to bless a husband and wife, their children and grandchildren. For the greatest happiness and productivity in life, both husband and wife are needed. Their efforts interlock and are complementary. Each has individual traits that best fit the role the Lord has defined for happiness as a man or woman. When used as the Lord intends, those capacities allow a married couple to think, act, and rejoice as one—to face challenges together and overcome them as one, to grow in love and understanding, and through temple ordinances to be bound together as one whole, eternally. That is the plan” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1996, 101; or Ensign, Nov. 1996, 74).

Elder Henry B. Eyring

“The Savior of the world, Jesus Christ, said of those who would be part of His Church: ‘Be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine’ (D&C 38:27). And at the creation of man and woman, unity for them in marriage was not given as hope; it was a command! ‘Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh’ (Genesis 2:24). Our Heavenly Father wants our hearts to be knit together. That union in love is not simply an ideal. It is a necessity. …

“The Savior of the world spoke of that unity and how we will have our natures changed to make it possible. He taught it clearly in the prayer He gave in His last meeting with His Apostles before His death. That supernally beautiful prayer is recorded in the book of John. He was about to face the terrible sacrifice for all of us that would make eternal life possible. He was about to leave the Apostles whom He had ordained, whom He loved, and with whom He would leave the keys to lead His Church. And so He prayed to His Father, the perfect Son to the perfect Parent. We see in His words the way families will be made one, as will all the children of our Heavenly Father who follow the Savior and His servants:

“‘As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

“‘And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

“‘Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

“‘That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me’ (John 17:18–21).

“In those few words He made clear how the gospel of Jesus Christ can allow hearts to be made one. Those who would believe the truth He taught could accept the ordinances and the covenants offered by His authorized servants. Then, through obedience to those ordinances and covenants, their natures would be changed. The Savior’s Atonement in that way makes it possible for us to be sanctified. We can then live in unity, as we must to have peace in this life and to dwell with the Father and His Son in eternity” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1998, 85–86; or Ensign, May 1998, 66).