When Alma invited a group of people to be baptized at the waters of Mormon, he began his invitation with the following words: “As ye are desirous to come into the fold of God, and to be called his people…” (Mosiah 18:8). He then described the obligation they would have to one another: bearing one another’s burdens, mourning with those that mourn, comforting those who needed comfort, and standing as witnesses of God to one another.
A fold is an enclosure in which sheep are kept. We also commonly use the term “the fold” metaphorically, to refer to a group of people with shared values or objectives (Oxford English Dictionary).
Baptism changes our relationship with God, and it changes our relationship with each other. To “come into the fold of God” is to accept the responsibility to care for one another.
After Alma baptized about 200 people, he gave them instructions about their new relationship with one another. They were to avoid contention. They were to focus on what they had in common, not on their differences. Their hearts were to be “knit together in unity and in love one towards another” (Mosiah 18:21).
President Henry B. Eyring has taught us that unity with others is an essential component of God’s greatest blessings for us:
The joy of unity He wants so much to give us is not solitary. We must seek it and qualify for it with others. It is not surprising then that God urges us to gather so that He can bless us. He wants us to gather into families. He has established classes, wards, and branches and commanded us to meet together often. In those gatherings, which God has designed for us, lies our great opportunity. We can pray and work for the unity that will bring us joy and multiply our power to serve.
(“Our Hearts Knit as One,” General Conference, October 2008)
Today, I will remember that my baptism brought me into the fold of God. I will fulfill my baptismal covenant, knowing that I and others will find joy as we serve one another and strive for unity.