We humans tend to think in terms of two groups: us and them. The functional definition of “them” is anyone who does not agree with me on some key issue. We make Muslims into thems because they do not accept Christ. We make other Christians into thems because they do not accept the Restoration. We make other Latter-day Saints into thems when they disagree with us on key points of belief. We make family members into thems when they hurt our feelings. Then we exaggerate differences and vilify the different.
This cannot be according to God’s will. He says that “if ye are not one, ye are not mine” (D&C 38:27).
Perhaps we should be better at finding common ground. Perhaps we could be more tuned to the things we have in common. With many Muslims we share a deep commitment to God. With most other Christians we share a
profound love of Christ. With all Latter-day Saints we share eternal covenants and fundamental truth. With family members we share a bond and covenant.
Are there ways we could be better at finding our common ground and appreciating our shared purpose? Would our worlds be better places as we did so? Is the willingness to see our shared purposes a part of our answer to the commandment to love as He loves? How can we be better at reaching toward unity?
You asked, “How can we be better at reaching toward unity?” I like what Robert L. Millet says in The Miracle of Spiritual Rebirth:
When there is no contention in an individual soul, there is less likely to be contention between souls. Men and women can then “look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another” (Mosiah 18:21). Whereas the spirit of the world divides, the Spirit of God unites. Whereas the spirit of the world encourages divisive competition, the Spirit of God prompts us to look to the needs of others and to cooperate. In short, whereas the spirit of the world celebrates diversity as an end in itself, the Spirit of God calls us to unity in all our diversity.
To me, the key in reaching toward unity is to be the best people we can be with the light and knowledge we have been given. I am reminded repeatedly that Christ is able to do His work in us and in them, whoever “they” may be. Basically, no one is exempt from His ever-reaching redemtive love. Salvation is an individual matter that will ultimately lead to unity; for one day, “Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is the Christ.”
As ever, thanks for the thoughts to ponder,