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What Did Christ Mean When He Said to “Be One”?

What Did Christ Mean When He Said to “Be One”?

Jesus Christ has always called for His people to be unified. In the great Intercessory Prayer, Christ asked that all those whom the Father has given Him would “be one, as we are.” Thousands of years later, as His gospel was unfolded again in the latter days, He told Joseph Smith, “be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.”

What does it mean to be one and how can we achieve more unity as disciples of Christ?

“Be One: Does Not Mean “Be the Same”

As we strive for unity, it’s important to remember that God never intended for us to be stripped of our individuality. Like colors in a rainbow or voices in a choir, all of us are needed in our uniqueness to complete the beauty of God’s plan.

We often want others to look, think, or act the same way we do. We should try to find a balance between enjoying our common connections and opening ourselves up to those who are different. When we insist on conformity, we at best lose opportunities for personal growth and at worst ostracize and judge others. We can be unified without being the same.

Embracing God’s Work and Glory

More than anything else, Jesus wants us to be unified in purpose. When God described a Zion people, he said they were “of one heart and one mind.” We are meant to unify ourselves to move God’s work and glory forward. Our Heavenly Parents and Savior are passionate and unyielding about their desire for our exaltation. Everything they do is with this aim in mind.

Likewise, our duty as the body of the Church is to work together to help all of God’s children to learn about Jesus Christ and experience a personal relationship with Him. Even as we struggle to embrace each other’s differences, we can find joy in building the kingdom of God together.

Humbling Ourselves Before God

We don’t have a lot of control over what others do. One of the best ways to start building unity is to humble ourselves before God and ask Him to direct our lives for good. As we diligently seek to improve our own personal weaknesses, our concern with others will grow small. Our hearts will soften to God’s will and we’ll be more easily led to doing all He would have us do. We can grow in humility through sincere prayer and reflection.

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