A House Divided

When the Pharisees accused Jesus of casting out devils by the power of Satan, He responded that this was illogical:

Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand:

And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand?

Matthew 12:25-26, see also Mark 3:23-26, Luke 11:17-18

God seeks to bring people together. Satan seeks to divide us, because people are easier to conquer if they are alone. Jesus warned Peter that Satan wanted to sift His disciples as wheat. (See Luke 22:31.) He gave the same warning to His twelve disciples on the American continent. (See 3 Nephi 18:18.) To sift is to separate or to scatter.

Early in the Book of Mormon, Lehi’s family divided into two groups: the Nephites and the Lamanites. (See 2 Nephi 5:5-9, Jacob 1:13-14.) Later, things got so bad that the people “did separate one from another into tribes, every man according to his family and his kindred and friends; and thus they did destroy the government of the land” (3 Nephi 7:2). But when Jesus came, He brought them together again. He taught them that contention is of the devil. (See 3 Nephi 11:29.) He prayed that they might be one, just as He and His Father are one. (See 3 Nephi 19:23, 29.)

In a time of division, Abraham Lincoln worked tirelessly to hold the United States together. In his first inaugural address, he said:

Perpetuity is implied, if not expressed, in the fundamental law of all national governments. It is safe to assert that no government proper ever had a provision in its organic law for its own termination. Continue to execute all the express provisions of our National Constitution, and the Union will endure forever, it being impossible to destroy it except by some action not provided for in the instrument itself.

First Inaugural Address of Abraham Lincoln, 4 March 1861

President Dallin H. Oaks has made the same observation:

The Constitution and laws [of the United States] contain no invitation to revolution or anarchy…. Redress of grievances by mobs is redress by illegal means. That is anarchy, a condition that has no effective governance and no formal police, which undermines rather than protects individual rights.

“Love Your Enemies,” General Conference, October 2020

Today, I will follow the Savior’s example by being a uniter. In my family, at church, at work, and in my community, I will seek to bring people together, to find common ground, and to unify rather than to divide.

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