After the Savior ministered to a group of people on the American continent for three days, Mormon tell us that He continued to visit them. “He did show himself unto them oft, and did break bread oft, and bless it, and give it unto them” (3 Nephi 26:13).
One of those visits occurred as His twelve disciples “were gathered together and were united in mighty prayer and fasting” (3 Nephi 27:1). I’ve been thinking today about what that means. I think it’s more than simply fasting and praying together. I think they were in a cooperative frame of mind, willing to support one another, willing to accommodate one another, valuing their relationship with one another over their individual desires.
“By union of feeling, we obtain pow’r with God,” taught the Prophet Joseph Smith (“Minutes and Discourse, 9 June 1842,” 61, Joseph Smith Papers). Why does unity invite revelation? I’ve thought of a few reasons:
- In order to be unified, we must each be malleable. If we insist on doing things our own way and are unreceptive to the opinions of others, we are likely not receptive to the quiet influence of God either. Hard-heartedness affects our relationships with each other and with God.
- We all have different gifts. As we learn to value one another’s gifts, we become more holy than any of us can be on our own.
- In showing kindness and mercy toward one another, we follow the example of the Savior.
We should strive for unity with all people, even those who are different from us. As President Russell M. Nelson has taught:
We don’t have to be alike or look alike to have love for each other. We don’t even have to agree with each other to love each other. If we have any hope of reclaiming the goodwill and sense of humanity for which we yearn, it must begin with each of us, one person at a time.“NAACP Convention Remarks,” 21 July 2019
The Charlotte Area Latter-day Saints recently organized a virtual interfaith choir to show the harmony that is possible when people of different faiths unite to share an important message. Here is a video of that choir singing “We Are One:”
Today, I will strive for more unity with others — my family, my work colleagues, my church colleagues, and my friends and neighbors. I will remember that we invite the power of God into our lives as we achieve unity with one another.