Nothing steals our happiness more than disharmony. This is true for marriages, families, neighbors and nations. Sadly, conflict seems to be everywhere right now! Contention is one of Satan’s greatest weapons. Clearly he and his troops are out in unprecedented numbers waging war wherever they can! So how can we stop this army of animosity?
One of the lessons we learn from the war chapters in the Book of Mormon is that victory only came when there was unity. The same is true today. When we are at odds with each other, there is no chance for unity. And the Lord has made it very clear that if we are not one, we are not His. (See D&C 38:27).
In order to have unity, we must avoid contention. Differences and disagreements will inevitably arise. And while there are many things in life we cannot control, one thing we always have control over is how we speak. We can eliminate gossip, fault-finding and comparisons from our thoughts and our language. You and I cannot control how someone acts toward us, but we can always choose how we will react to them. We can choose to not be offended. Unity is only possible when we put aside our pride. Challenging as these things may be, the rewards will be well worth it!
Marion G. Romney – “There is but one way that we can be united, and that way is to seek the Lord and His righteousness (see 3 Nephi 13:33). Unity comes by following the light from above. It does not come out of the confusions below.”1
It is undeniable that contention drives away the Spirit. Many years ago, Russell M. Nelson warned that contention “is a corroding canker of the spirit.”2 Many times since becoming the prophet he has reminded us of the need to have the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost. Perhaps the most powerful was when he said, “If we are to have any hope of sifting through the myriad of voices and the philosophies of men that attack truth, we must learn to receive revelation. … In coming days, it will not be possible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting, and constant influence of the Holy Ghost.”3
We cannot afford to let contention rob us of the essential and spiritually life-saving influence of the Holy Ghost. With the help of the Holy Ghost, we can know how to better create harmony and unity in our lives. Each day as we work on being more unified with those around us, we get a little closer to becoming who the Savior has asked us to become.
1. Unity – Marion G. Romney
2. The Canker of Contention – Russell M. Nelson
3. Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives – Russell M. Nelson