Original entry 24 January, 2021
One challenge we face today is finding unity amongst diversity of our beliefs, backgrounds, cultures, goals, and desires. How can we seek for unifying ideas in such a time as this? The answer may lie within past experiences and words spoken by historical figures, lyricists, and everyday people.
What will happen if individuals continue to interact with hostility towards others? Martin Luther King Jr. described the end result of our interactions if we approach one another with hatred and anger when he stated,
Rather than focusing time and energy on hating others because of different beliefs and values, we can root out the hatred and anger by choosing instead to love others. Jesus Christ exemplified perfect love for all races, kindreds, tongues, and people. Why not choose to do love others as He did?
It’s hard to love someone who may declare your views as wrong, senseless, ancient, sinful, or godless, but it’s even harder to love someone when you’re choosing to be intolerant of them as a human being. When faced with differing opinions or views, why not give a listening ear without choosing to criticize, hate, or retaliate? In an article published online in The Liahona, Lori Fuller Sosa brings awareness to the following idea:
“If we could just listen without trying to change someone’s mind, I think we’d be surprised what we might learn” (2019).
Imagine if we all followed this line of thinking. Would it bring more unity?
Nearly 50 years ago, John Lennon once speculated the outcome of our world if we put our differences behind us and sought to live on earth, harmoniously.
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be as one.
Imagine no possessions, I wonder if you can. No need for greed or hunger. A brotherhood of man. Imagine all the people, sharing all the world.
You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one. I hope someday you’ll join us, and the world will be live as one.
Original Lyrics by John Lennon taken from Pass It On
Notice how Lennon erases the concept of greed and hunger. Is this what divides the nations? Money and power?
In 1976, Howard W. Hunter stated,
“It is the proposition that everyone has a price, that material things finally matter most, that ultimately you can buy anything in this world for money.”
It’s true, you can have anything in this world for money, but at what cost? Is a life not worth so a great a value? In Lennon’s lyrics, he shifted the focus from earthly possessions to a “brotherhood of man.” Placing pleasures and monetary value above human life will not unify us. It will divide us. “For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? …[W]hat shall a man give in exchange for his soul?” (Mark 8:36–37.)
Many powerful leaders have sought to eradicate the existence of the poor, the mentally ill, and the races that were not considered elite in their eyes. In God’s eyes, we are all His children. He created us equally. It is not Christ’s doctrine to divide us or to bring contention. This is not from Christ. Christ’s teachings seek to uplift, unify, edify, and inspire all to love.
As The Savior taught,
I know for myself the impact pure Christlike love can have on an individual. I hated religion and any person who preached their beliefs. I discovered that I believed, these religious people thought they were so much better than me. I was judging. The same thing I didn’t like about religion, I was still practicing.
I came to see that I was not loving. I was a very judgmental person. I carried so much hatred, yet it was a religious person who showed me pure Christlike love and did not judge me for my choices, my mistakes, or my beliefs. Charity, the pure love of Christ has the power to change hearts. This love has changed life.
In moving forward to seek unity in diversity, the following question posed nearly 200 years ago, may be relatable to today:
We all share differing perspectives, opinions, and beliefs but ultimately, the way we can seek unity in diversity is to love one another as Christ has loved us. This is my prayer for each of us in the world today. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.