There is a lot of contention in the world around us. The presidential election for 2020 is only a few days away. And social media is awash in opinion and heated debate as each person makes a case for their candidate. But today in Sunday School I was reminded of the importance of loving others who believe differently than we do, and seeking unity with God,
Loving others who believe differently.
President Dallin H. Oaks explained:
“We should all follow the gospel teachings to love our neighbor and avoid contention. Followers of Christ should be examples of civility. We should love all people, be good listeners, and show concern for their sincere beliefs.
Though we may disagree, we should not be disagreeable. Our stands and communications on controversial topics should not be contentious. We should be wise in explaining and pursuing our positions and in exercising our influence.
In doing so, we ask that others not be offended by our sincere religious beliefs and the free exercise of our religion. We encourage all of us to practice the Savior’s Golden Rule:
‘Whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them’ (Matthew 7:12).
“When our positions do not prevail, we should accept unfavorable results graciously and practice civility with our adversaries” (“Loving Others and Living with Differences,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2014, 27).
Graciousness Leads To Unity
Gracious people are kind when they lose a game or an election. I think there are many gracious people in this world, and in our country.
I also know there are many people of faith who are appealing to our God to help their candidate win the election. Frankly, so am I.
Despite whom wins and who looses in a few days, I want to send out a plea for peace and unity. We are brothers and sisters, children of God. We are expected to live as He would want us to live.
And we will have a responsibility in coming days to help mend the divide this election has caused. Because no matter who wins or loses, there will be deeply disappointed parties. And as gracious and loving Christians, we must help unite our country again.
Unity in Heaven
In sacrament meeting today a gentleman bore his testimony. He told a story about a woman he knows who was very ill and in the hospital. She died and went to the other side, where she saw a church building.
Yes, there are churches in Heaven.
She went inside and they were having a Sacrament Meeting. She wanted to join them but heard a voice say “It’s not your time yet, you need to come back.” She returned to her body just as the Elders finished giving her a blessing of healing.
I learned a lot in that brother’s story. I learned that many of the things that exist here, (church buildings, sacrament meetings, etc.) exist on the other side. That comforts me because of the familiarity of those things.
I also learned that we are going to be gathering together on the other side, and there will be unity. Unity of purpose has always been a theme with God. He wants us to be united with Him. So, He will want us to be united with each other in harmony and love.
Brothers and sisters, we may feel and think differently. But we are all part of God’s great family. We have a lot to rejoice about. Our wonderful country is full of opportunity.
We are blessed to have the fullness of Jesus Christ’s gospel on the earth again. And as we look individually at our lives we are each very blessed by a loving Heavenly Father who loves us.
In Mormon 3:15 it reads in part
15 aVengeance is mine, and I will brepay;
It is God’s job to take care of balancing out justice and mercy. It is our job to let Him by forgiving and stepping back to let Him do His work.
So please my friends, do not let your hearts be troubled. Seek the support and love the Lord provides. Seek for unity, to love our neighbors, and to build God’s kingdom, and all will be well.
Abby is capable and caring. She is learning more about Autism and parenthood every day. Having completed training to be an RBT (Registered Behavior Technician) for ABA therapy she is beginning to understand her son. And even though she is the first to admit she makes a lot of mistakes, she is so grateful to be on this journey. She comes from a family with many autistic members. She invites us to join her, as she shares her adventures. She wishes to emphasize that Autism is a difference not a defect. If you or a family member have autism, Abby wants you to know that the challenges can be overcome, and there are blessings in autism. You or your loved one are not sick or broken. Together we will teach the world this new language.