9 But behold, this was a critical time for such contentions to be among the people of Nephi; for behold, Amalickiah had again stirred up the hearts of the people of the Lamanites against the people of the Nephites, and he was gathering together soldiers from all parts of his land, and arming them, and preparing for war with all diligence…
As Captain Moroni prepared his people to defend themselves against the Lamanites, he had to deal with two internal disturbances. The first was caused by an ambitious but undisciplined leader named Morianton, who invaded a neighboring Nephite territory and had to be driven back to his land by Moroni’s army. The second happened shortly thereafter: a group of people wanted to do away with the democratically elected government and reestablish a monarchy. They were not successful—the people voted to retain their freedom. Nevertheless, the timing couldn’t have been worse, as the Lamanites were now preparing to invade the Nephite lands.
Jesus said, “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand” (Matthew 12:25). In so many areas of our lives, it’s clear that unity is critical to our safety. When we aren’t at peace with ourselves and “[settled]…in [our] hearts,” we are more vulnerable to temptation. (See the Joseph Smith Translation in the footnote to Luke 14:27.) Marriages and families can become weakened by internal contentions, and that weakness is particularly dangerous when external pressures are high, whether those pressures are financial, cultural, or spiritual. If we are wise, we will be aware of those external threats, and we will be particularly conscientious about resolving rifts in our relationships quickly, so that we can stand united and strong in the face of those challenges.
Speaking of the importance of unity as a church, Sister Reyna I. Aburto said:
Girls and boys, young women and young men, sisters and brothers, we are on this journey together. In order to reach our sublime destiny, we need each other, and we need to be unified. The Lord has commanded us, “Be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine” (“With One Accord,” General Conference, April 2018).
Today, I will remember the warning in Mormon’s description above. It is never a good time for contention, but it is a particularly bad time when the organization is under attack. I will strive for unity with my wife, with my children, with my teammates at work, and with fellow members at church. I will remember that we can overcome the storms and the pressures which we will face if we are unified.