The Importance of Unity

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(This is an excerpt from the book The Beginning of Better Days by Sheri Dew and Virginia Pearce.)

Unity is a holy thing. How many times did the Savior reiterate His oneness with the Father and His injunction that if we are not one, we are not His? Unity doesn‘t mean “rubber-stamping” the word of our leaders. It requires listening, weighing, pondering, seeking inspiration, speaking up, articulating problems, and recommending solutions. It means that when a decision is made in council, all agree to support that decision wholeheartedly. It means we will not hold back or sabotage the final decision, even when it wasn‘t the one we brought to the table.

Several years ago I was serving in the Young Women organization in my ward. One day in a meeting with the youth leaders the bishop presented us with a program to help the young people read the Book of Mormon. He proposed that we offer a trip the next summer to those who completed the reading. As he continued to talk about it, I felt uneasy and finally decided that I should express my misgivings about the idea. This good bishop listened respectfully and responded to my concerns. We had an open discussion in the meeting. I felt heard, and as we listened to one another, I was suddenly filled with ideas—things I could do personally to support the bishop‘s decision. As we enthusiastically carried forth in unity with this program we saw abundant blessings in the lives of leaders and parents as well as young people. Looking back, I realized that had I not voiced my concerns—and had the council not considered them—I could easily have sabotaged the whole program, thereby compromising its success and the abundant blessings that came to me as I worked with the other leaders to make it successful.

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