Thursday, January 29, 2009

Our Hearts Knit as One

This entry is part of my general conference application series.

Our Hearts Knit as One, by President Henry B. Eyring
First Counselor in the First Presidency

I was thinking of President Eyring's words this last Monday when we had family night. David, my five-year-old, wanted to help me with the lesson, so I guided him to recount a story from the Friend which we had read the night previous. He was hesitant at first—suddenly shy—but warmed up when it came time to testify. The lesson was on listening to the Spirit, and he told of a time when he left a room at a Christmas party when the other children were watching a "bad movie," because he was uncomfortable. He had the greatest smile on his face as he told of how he had done the right thing by following the example of Jesus.

Of this, President Eyring remembered,

Every lesson in family night ... I would find a way to encourage someone to testify of the Savior and His mission. Sometimes the parents did it. On our best nights we found a way to encourage the children to do it, either by presenting the lesson or answering questions. When testimony about the Savior was borne, the Holy Ghost verified it. On those nights we felt our hearts being knit together.

I distinctly remember the Spirit that came into our home when my sweet, pure boy testified of the Holy Ghost and of Christ. We, too, felt our hearts being knit together as a family.

I think this kind of unity can heal our world. President Eyring reminded that "we see increased conflict between peoples in the world around us." What can we do to have this unity? Multiple solutions were discussed in his address, but I really liked the charge to "speak well of each other."

I've been thinking of something I overheard before a stake conference meeting the Saturday after voting (08 Nov 2008). While seated in the chapel, those sitting near me were complaining against a group of people of a particular political persuasion (how's that for alliteration?). In particular, they were trash-talking LDS members who are affiliated with, or vote after a certain manner. Not a very unifying conversation.

Just then, a great friend and local religious leader walked by, who happens to be a known voter of the political party discussed. He was there to be taught from the Spirit, but was instead greeted with a sarcastic, biting question, "Are you excited that your boy won?"

His reply gave me a living example of President Eyrings charge to speak well of each other in unity. After stating that he wasn't in the chapel to talk politics, he said, "If we'll support him as the Articles of Faith teach, I think we'll be surprised at what we can all do together."

As he calmly walked away after this, carrying the same love and spirit that he had before the interchange, I knew that I had been taught. Not only was I shown a powerful example of how to react to conflict, but I was taught the importance of unity and support. Reflecting on this relates to President Eyring's address. He said,

I can promise you a feeling of peace and joy when you speak generously of others in the Light of Christ. ... It will be because the Lord will let you feel His appreciation for choosing to step away from the possibility of sowing seeds of disunity.

While President Eyring was discussing unity in a church unit, I think we can extrapolate to our lives in general. As we remember and apply the old: "If you can't say anything good about a person, don't say anything at all," we'll find that we can more readily live together in unity.

We need not accept things that are wrong, mind you, but we can, and should, be loving, kind, and supportive of things that are right—even if we don't agree fully with some things about the person/group in question. I hope to be more unified in my family, unified among my friends, and perhaps most significantly, unified in righteousness with those whom I don't fully agree on some points.

It may be hard. It will be worth it.

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