In regard to unity, the Savior declared, “If ye are not one ye are not mine.”23 We know that the
spirit of contention is of the devil.24
In our day, the scriptural imperative for unity is largely ignored, and for many
people the emphasis is on tribalism,25 often based on status, gender, race,
and wealth. In many countries, if not most, people are deeply divided about how to live.
In the Lord’s Church, the only culture we adhere to and teach is the culture of
the gospel of Jesus Christ. The unity we seek is to be unified with the Savior
and His teachings.26
As we look at the primary purposes
of the Church, they are all based on equality before the Lord27 and following the culture of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
With respect to missionary work, the principal qualifications for baptism are humbling oneself before God and coming forth with a broken heart and contrite spirit.28 Education, wealth, race, or
national origin are not even considered.
missionaries humbly serve where called.
They do not attempt to serve based on worldly standards of status or preparation for future
careers. They serve with all their heart, might, mind, and strength wherever they are assigned. They do not choose their missionary
companions, and they seek diligently
to develop Christlike attributes,29 which are at the
heart of the culture of Jesus Christ.
The scriptures give guidance for our most important relationships. The Savior taught that the first commandment was
to “love the Lord thy God.” And the second is to “love thy neighbour as thyself.”30
The Savior additionally explained that everyone is our neighbor.31 The Book of Mormon
makes it clear that there must be no -ites, tribes, or classes.32 We must be united and equal before God.
Sacred ordinances and divine responsibilities are built upon this premise. I
would expect that your own experiences in the temple would be similar to mine. When I
would leave my workaday world in San Francisco and arrive at the Oakland Temple, I would
experience an overwhelming feeling of
love and peace. A major part of that was sensing I was closer to God and
His purposes. The saving ordinances
were my primary focus, but a significant part of those beautiful feelings was the equality and unity that permeate the temple.
Everyone is dressed in white clothing. There is no evidence of wealth, rank, or educational attainment;
we are all brothers and sisters humbling ourselves before God.
In the sacred sealing room, the eternal marriage ordinance
is the same for everyone. I love the fact that the couple from the humblest background
and the couple from the wealthiest background have exactly the same experience. They wear the same type of robes and make
the same covenants across the same altar. They also receive the same eternal priesthood blessings. This is accomplished in a beautiful
temple built by the tithes of the Saints as the sacred house of the Lord.
Fulfilling divinely appointed responsibilities, based on righteousness, unity,
and equality before the Lord, brings personal happiness and peace in this world and prepares us for eternal life in the
world to come.33 It prepares us to
Quentin L. Cook~Prepare to Meet God