27 And after this manner shall ye baptize in my name; for behold, verily I say unto you, that the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one; and I am in the Father, and the Father in me, and the Father and I are one.
21 And now, behold, my beloved brethren, this is the way; and there is none other way nor name given under heaven whereby man can be saved in the kingdom of God. And now, behold, this is the doctrine of Christ, and the only and true doctrine of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, which is one God, without end. Amen.
Unity is important to God. We know that our Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are separate beings. During His mortal ministry and during His visit to the American continent, the Savior repeatedly spoke of His Father and prayed to the Father. The Father testified that He was pleased with His Son on multiple occasions, including in both of the chapters referenced above. (See 3 Nephi 11:7
and 2 Nephi 31:15
But as important as it is to understand that they are distinct individuals, it is equally important to understand that they are one—
completely united in purpose, in intent, and in manner. And that unity which exists among the members of the Godhead is also the unity which we strive for as disciples of Jesus Christ. In His intercessory prayer, the Savior asked the Father to bless His disciples “that they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us” (John 17:21
). And during His visit to the Nephites and Lamanites, He used nearly the same words: “that they may believe in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one” (3 Nephi 19:23
Doesn’t this help us understand why we are baptized “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (3 Nephi 11:25
)? Through baptism, we enter the fold of God and become members of His church. Isn’t it fitting to be reminded, at that moment, that the Godhead consists of three individuals who are perfectly united, and that our goal as disciples of Christ is to become united with Them and therefore with each other? No wonder that the Savior’s other message in 3 Nephi 11 was that there should be no contention among us (3 Nephi 11:29
). No wonder that He later commanded the church, “be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine” (D&C 38:27
). Unity is a defining attribute of God, and it must also be an attribute of those who strive to follow Him.
Today, as I participate in church meetings, I will remember that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one God. I will strive to emulate that perfect unity by submitting my will to the will of the Father and by working cooperatively with my brothers and sisters.