21 And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another.
After baptizing 204 people in the waters of Mormon, Alma organized them into a church. Even though baptism represents a covenant between an individual and the Lord, it also represents that individual’s entrance into a community of saints. Alma wanted these new members of the Church to support one another along the path toward eternal life. He therefore taught them to avoid contention and to seek after unity.
I like the imagery of our hearts being “knit together.” President Eyring taught us three principles which can help members of the Church to be more unified:
- Follow the revelations. When we are all acting in harmony with God’s will, we will be united.
- Be humble. When we disagree with others, look for common ground. Also, learn to value diverse backgrounds and opinions as a “contribution,” not as a “source of irritation.”
- Speak well of others. Focus on their positive qualities and actions, and resist the temptation to criticize them for their faults and failings.
(“Our Hearts Knit As One,” General Conference, October 2008)
Today, I will look for ways to develop greater unity within my family, with members of the Church, and with my colleagues at work. I will remember that my individual achievements are less important in the long run than the goal of having our hearts “knit together in unity and in love.”