Society and the world often feel fractured in our day, but when we turn to Christ, we can come to truly love our friends and our enemies.
While the world has always dealt with conflict, the past several years have been especially tense, with disputes arising over politics, religion, culture, lifestyle, etc. In many ways, it feels as though there is no unity anywhere—only conflict.
So how do we create unity?
In President Dallin H. Oaks’s October 2020 general conference talk, “Love Your Enemies,” he addresses this question and shares critical steps to bridging the gap between ourselves and those we consider our enemies.
To create this unity, President Oaks states that we must follow Christ’s example in balancing “eternal laws with the practicalities of man-made laws.”
President Oaks then provides four steps that can enable us to follow the Savior’s example of loving our neighbors:
- Follow the laws of the land.
- Do not let anger overcome you.
- Get to know people.
- Seek to understand the power of Christlike love.
Only by following the Savior’s teachings can true unity be achieved. However, seeking to love our neighbor does not mean we will always agree with others’ opinions and actions, nor does it mean we should simply accept unjust laws or improper governmental activity.
As President Oaks explains, “The Lord has taught me that it is possible to obey and seek to improve [a] nation’s laws and also to love our adversaries and our enemies…with the help of our Lord, Jesus Christ.”
By following Jesus Christ’s teachings and example, it is possible to see others the way Christ sees them and to love them the way he does. While such efforts might be difficult, President Oaks reminds us of the promise that when we strive to obey these teachings, we will be provided with Christ’s help to love our enemies and thereby create a more unified world under Christ.
Read President Dallin H. Oaks’s full talk “Love Your Enemies” to learn more about how to build unity in times of great turbulence.
—Jennifer Fletcher, Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY SASINT
Find more insights
To learn more about loving our enemies, read “Love is Our Response” by Dylan Parker.
To find out more about the unifying power of Christ, read “The Healing Power of Christ” by President Gordon B. Hinckley.