1 | Unity and diversity are not opposites. In fact, the two hand in hand lead to some of the most beautiful and rich experiences we can have on this earth. Cast your mind upon the people who make up the church, all of us with distinctive cultures and life experiences. Yet, as different as we may be, we are unified in our desire to serve and faith in Jesus Christ. It causes me to think of missionaries, who because of their love for God and righteousness are able to find unity with the most diverse people around the world. Though not everyone we interact with believes in the gospel of Jesus Christ, we can take this concept of finding some common ground and "foster an atmosphere of inclusion and respect for diversity" as Elder Cook says.
2 | Overlook the small things. The times in my life that I have felt nearest to God, it has been far easier to forego judgement, withhold harsh words and extend compassion. This is the very essence of charity is it not? The more you feel of God's love for YOU, the greater desire you have to help other's feel the same through your actions. We are able to access the power of unity more fully when we are able to extend the power of mercy. Sister Eubank reasoned, "perhaps what we need more of in our ministering is mercy". So overlook the small things, and "clear the bad as quickly as the good will grow".
3 | Differences can be advantages. I was once in a calling in which my fellow committee members personalities could not have been more opposite. Although this could have proven to be a hindrance and frustration, it actually served to our advantage. Our different strengths combined allowed for our committee to accomplish far more than we ever could have on our own. The same can be said in any relationship. Each person contributing their unique talents and capabilities will allow us to build Zion.
"I believe the change we seek in ourselves and in the groups we belong to will come less by activism and more by actively trying every day to understand one another. Why? Because we are building Zion—a people “of one heart and one mind."
"If we are to follow President Nelson’s admonition to gather scattered Israel, we will find we are as different as the Jews and Gentiles were in Paul’s time. Yet we can be united in our love of and faith in Jesus Christ."
QUENTIN L. COOK
INVITATION: Contemplate the question Sister Eubank poses and answer the prompt in your journal, "What power from God might I access if I am just a little bit more unified with others?" After contemplating this, think of someone in your life with whom you feel your relationship is estranged, strained, or lacking. Send them a text, or a card. Perhaps give them a call or meet up for lunch. Simply put, let this person know that you are thinking of them and perhaps what talents or traits they have that you admire. If each of us were to do this, think of the unity we could create, particularly in these crazy times! We will all do better by seeking to understand one another and create unity.
AFFIRMATION: I know Father in Heaven loves ALL of His children. As my sacred obligation, I can become like Him if I apply mercy and create unity in my home for the benefit of society.
-Ashlynn Rhodes, Customer Service