I didn't know what to say today. My heart aches for all my brothers and sisters who are carrying large and heavy burdens. Recently, a ward member lost a loved one to suicide. That's the fourth person in as many weeks whom I personally know that has taken their own life. No less than 5 couples in our ward alone are getting divorced, or contemplating it. I see people everywhere losing their jobs, their homes, and their families. As I was praying about how to help my friends and neighbors, I read this scripture: "...it became expedient that all the people, both the Nephites and the Lamanites, should take up arms against them. Therefore all the Lamanites who had become converted unto the Lord did unite with their brethren,...and their curse was taken from them."( 3 Nephi 2:11-16)
Doctrine and Covenants 38 tells the parable of the 12 sons. The commandment given is to be one, and my notes in the margins point out that whenever the Spirit of the Lord is present there will be unity! In Doctrine and Covenants 38:27, the Lord says, "If ye are not one ye are not mine." In LDS.org, I found the following quotes under "Unity":
"We can seek and promote this standard of unity in our families and in the Church. If we are married, we and our spouse can be unified in purpose and action. We can allow our unique qualities to complement one another as we face challenges together and grow in love and understanding. We can also be unified with other family members and with members of the Church by serving together, teaching one another, and encouraging one another. We can become one with the President of the Church and other Church leaders as we study their words and follow their counsel.As the Church grows throughout the world, all Latter-day Saints can be united. Our hearts can be “knit together in unity and in love one towards another” (Mosiah 18:21)."
I want to add my testimony to all of yours that I know that Jesus Christ is the son of the God. He is my Savior and Redeemer. Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. My ancestors knew it and I know it. The Spirit has witnessed to me of other prophets, such as Spencer W. Kimball, Gordon B. Hinckley, and Thomas s. Monson. The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. The Bible is the word of God and the Doctrine and Covenants is the word of God given to his prophets in these latter days. This is a time to unite in gratitude for the many tender mercies we are sent each day to help us through these difficult times. As we are united, we never need carry our burdens on our own.
These are exciting times! As we pull our loads together, we will witness many miracles, large and small, that will strengthen us. May God be with you, friends...always and forever.