“That They May Also Be One”

Unity is very important to Jesus.

During His final supper with His apostles, He did several things to emphasize the importance of unity:

  • He washed their feet, saying, “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet” (John 13:14).
  • He commanded them to love one another as He had loved them. (See John 15:12.)
  • He offered a heartfelt prayer, pleading with the Father to bless His apostles, “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).

After His death and resurrection, Jesus visited a group of people on the American continent, making a similar appeal for unity among them:

  • He taught them to be baptized “in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,” because “the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost are one” (3 Nephi 11:24-27). Then, He urged them to avoid contention. (See 3 Nephi 11:29-30.)
  • On the following day, He offered a prayer similar to the one He had offered on behalf of His apostles. “I pray unto thee for them,” He said, “and also for all those who shall believe on their words, that they may believe in me, that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one…that I may be in them as thou, Father, art in me, that we may be one” (3 Nephi 19:23, 29).

The Savior’s representatives continue to plead for unity today. In our most recent general conference, Elder D. Todd Christofferson and Elder Ulisses Soares both delivered messages about the importance of overcoming contention and striving to be one. Both of them quoted from a talk delivered by President Russell M. Nelson a year ago, urging us to end conflicts raging in our hearts, our homes, and our lives. Then, President Nelson delivered a sermon entitled “Peacemakers Needed,” in which he said:

The gospel net is the largest net in the world. God has invited all to come unto Him, “black and white, bond and free, male and female.” There is room for everyone. However, there is no room for prejudice, condemnation, or contention of any kind.

Today, I will strive for unity. I will strive to overcome conflicts in my own heart, in my relationships with others, and within the groups I am part of. I will remember that Jesus wants us to be one with Him and with each other, just as He is one with the Father.

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