Apart? Or As One?

Sometimes, keeping the peace can be difficult. This is especially true when we feel like the other person is not trying. There’s a driver who cuts us off. A sibling, our spouse, or our child is being hard to get along with. Guess who wants us to be angry with, upset at, or at odds with others?

Let’s take a look at 3 Nephi 11:29 for a moment. It says:

29 For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another.

We learn something similar in Doctrine and Covenants 10:63, which tells us:

63 And this I do that I may establish my gospel, that there may not be so much contention; yea, Satan doth stir up the hearts of the people to contention concerning the points of my doctrine; and in these things they do err, for they do wrest the scriptures and do not understand them.

Satan wants us to be divisive and create contention with each other. He wants us to be hostile to each other and to break down relationships. He wants us to be separate and apart from each other.

The Lord, on the other hand, as we learn in 4 Nephi 1, specifically verse 17, the Lord’s people are to be ‘one’. Verse 17 informs us:

17 There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God.

They were all of one heart. They were united. They even had all of their goods common.

Also, in the Intercessory Prayer, Christ asks to bless his disciples that they may be one in John 17:21. It says:

“21 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.”

Even more pointedly, we learn from the Doctrine and Covenants, Section 38, verse 27:

“Behold, this I have given unto you as a parable, and it is even as I am. I say unto you, be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.”

The Lord would have us be united. He encourages loving connections between people. He wants us to be at peace with each other. He wants us to love one another and love him.

Look at the greatest commandments according to Christ himself in Matthew 22:36-39, in which he declares:

36 Master, which is the great commandment in the law?

37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.

38 This is the first and great commandment.

39 And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.

Who can you forgive? Who can you reach out in love to? Whose life can you touch the way Christ would? Find them. Do it.

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