“Pride is the great enemy of unity…just days ago I watched as two people – good people – began with a mild disagreement. It started as a discussion of what was true but became a contest about
who was right.”(Pres. Henry B. Eyring)
|Pres. Henry B. Eyring|
It is difficult to go a day without hearing or seeing discussions (sometimes heated) on topics of seeming import to the whole world.
Opinions are created by the things we believe and the environment that has influenced our own reality. These deeply held beliefs are so ingrained in our character that often times we only vaguely understand where they originated.
Our world is not made up of individual entities, living out their existence devoid of contact with outside influences. Societies are a conglomeration of separate people who have chosen to band together for safety, convenience, and association. Recognizing the need for joint efforts, most communities develop systems of compromise that allow for the beliefs of the individual while still protecting the group as a whole.
Difficulties arise as one or more individuals determine ‘their’ needs are more critical than the group as a whole. The focus then becomes not the benefit to the society but the specific need of the one. And the ensuing discussion changes from how to improve the society to how to accommodate the individual.
Imagine the difference if parties involved in leading were to sit down and discuss their desires, needs, opinions, etc. and do so with the intent to benefit ALL and not just the individual or small group. When personal agendas are set aside and “what is good for everyone” is considered, I suspect better solutions would arise to nearly every problem encountered in this life.
The world is full of lobbyists, specialists, religionists, scientists, and any other kind of “ists” you might know. Each is focused on their own little part of the world – at the expense of anything that gets in their way. Often their agenda creates ‘unintended consequences’ – to the detriment of everyone but their own “ist.” The end result can be devastating and deadly.
Unity is the only solution to problems like this.
Not unity in opinion, but unity in purpose.
The best example I can think of is the founding of this nation. A group of men, varied in their beliefs and desires, recognized a need to do something good for the people in their care. These men worked, discussed, fought, and endured until they were able to create something wonderful – a government unlike anything the bulk of the world had ever seen.
Were there contentions?
|There were some pretty strong-willed people in this|
gathering -- but they found a way!
Were there petty desires?
Did many individuals have to give up treasured opinions or agendas for the sake of the whole?
The result of their efforts was the United States of America.
Notice the first word.
Unity was the key. Not necessarily unity in belief, but unity in the desire to join together in a process that was greater than the individual flames burning in each person.
Not in who was right, but in what was right for the whole gave the world an example of what could be.
Is it possible to change the course of where we are headed (or where we find ourselves today)?
I don’t know.
I certainly hope so.
Things will not change until everyone determines that the course of the world/nation is more important than the petty (or major) desires of one group, person, or entity of any kind.
And things will not change until the desire of the group is to live in such a way that the truths of right are the baseline for any actions we take.
Decency, morality, honesty, love, hope, patience, selflessness, and faith must take precedence over all other desires.
Yes, I know, that sounds like we need to be religious.
Without some form of godliness or goodness in our lives, we will be forever wandering in darkness struggling with how to be happy.
You don’t have to be a Latter-day Saint or a Christian but the principles of good and right must be part of the equation if unity and peace are to be established once again.
Life can’t always be about what “I” want.
Let me give you a modern day example.
At the beginning of this essay I quoted Henry B. Eyring, a member of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. He is one of 15 men on the earth today who leads the Church.
|The First Presidency|
When the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles meet together each Thursday, they discuss important decisions that must be made for the benefit of the Church and the world. Each item on their agenda is presented and discussed and a decision is made about what to do.
There are usually three choices for each item:
1. Proceed and do what is proposed
2. Remove the item from the agenda
3. Table a decision until a later time
Sounds pretty normal.
Kind of like a business meeting with high-powered executives in any large company you might imagine. (BTW, these men are not novices to this process. Most have had extensive careers in the world to prepare them for their calling).
|The Quorum of the Twelve|
But here’s the kicker to their process.
NOTHING can proceed, no matter the importance to individuals or the Church as a whole, unless there is complete unity between all fifteen. (see D&C 107:27)
If one holds out, the matter is tabled and reviewed at a later date.
Unity is required for approval of any decision.
Imagine how Congress would look if that were the criteria for getting things done.
The resulting chaos, based on today’s Congress, would be disastrous.
Things have to change in our country/world. We can’t keep separating ourselves by the name tags of our desires, wants, attractions, religions, or anything else that piques our fancy.
We must find a way to unify and improve, not divide and tear down.
|Enoch was successful -- after 365 years.|
In the history of this earth, there has only been one society that exceeded the expectations we have for the United States. They succeeded because they put away their selfishness and worked for the benefit of all. It took them 365 years to accomplish their goal, but they persevered until they won the “battle for unity.”
I believe it is possible but it has to start with individuals. Each person has to decide to seek for unity and peace or nothing will ever happen.
It’s hard to change.
But it can be done.
I’m willing to try. How about you?