“But They Were in One,” Ensign, May 1976, 99
My dear brothers and sisters, I am happy, thrilled, and delighted to be with you once again. I am greatly strengthened again, my brothers and sisters, by the energetic, vibrant, and humble spirit of President Kimball and all those who have spoken. President Kimball is not only a great leader but a great man. His faith and works are incomparable. In my estimation he is as great as any prophet that preceded him since the time of Adam. I know that he is one of the great and noble ones the Lord referred to while conversing with Abraham. (See Abr. 3:22.)
In Fourth Nephi, verses 15 and 17, my brothers and sisters, we read:
“There was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.
“There were no robbers, nor murderers, neither were there Lamanites, nor any manner of -ites; but they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God.” [4 Ne. 1:15, 17]
As I look at you today, I can’t help but feel warm and thrilled inside to see a similar atmosphere of love and compassion, unity and warmth among you as was among my forefathers. I see brown faces and white faces together, sitting shoulder to shoulder. I see big nations side by side with small nations. I see American faces with Lamanite faces. I see German faces next to French faces. I see Mexicans next to Chinese. I see Japanese faces next to Polynesians. My brothers and sisters, what I am seeing today demonstrates to me the true gospel in action. As I look over the audience today, I do not see Mexicans, or whites, or Japanese, or Chinese. What I see are children of God. To me you are all children of God. In fact, today I see a glimpse of heaven.
As I look at you I know there is no hate or animosity among you because of the love of God which is swelling in your hearts. There is great evidence of loving your neighbor among you today. But let me ask you, brothers and sisters, you in this tabernacle and all those listening, what about when you leave this conference? And you in this building, when you leave this building, will you have the same feeling? Will you have the same love and regard for everyone and for anyone? The Lord said:
“Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind.
“This is the first and great commandment.
“And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself.” (Matt. 22:37–39.)
Of all the great commandments given to us by our Heavenly Father, he rates these number one and two. My brothers and sisters, you cannot live one without the other; both must be lived and practiced if we are to be found with Him in the celestial glory. In this church there is no place for hate, animosity, or prejudice. Nor are they found in the celestial kingdom.
Again we read in Fourth Nephi:
“And they had all things in common among them; therefore there were not rich and poor, bond and free, but they were all made free, and partakers of the heavenly gift.” (4 Ne. 1:3.)
In like manner, my brothers and sisters, among you today there are really no rich, no poor. To me you’re all equal in the sense that you are all Latter-day Saints and that you are all rich spiritually. What I see in the audience today are people from all walks of life. I see doctors and lawyers sitting next to common men. I see a farmer next to a professional person. I see professional people, educators, and teachers side by side. I see composers, musicians, and artists—all kinds of people from all walks of life, sitting together side by side. And this is as it should be, because if you want to know what the celestial kingdom looks like, you are witnessing today a glimpse of the celestial kingdom and heaven.
My brothers and sisters, the Lord has commanded us to love each other, and to be one in Jesus Christ, and to become perfect as he is. But let me ask you again, brothers and sisters, what will happen after you leave this building and return home? Will you be common with all and listen to the cries of the poor, the deprived, and the oppressed? The Lord said, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” (Matt. 25:40.)
The mission of this church is to focus on others. The Lord has instructed us to give meat to the hungry, give drink to the thirsty, clothe the naked, visit the sick and those in prison. Again Nephi said:
“The people were all converted unto the Lord, upon all the face of the land, both Nephites and Lamanites, and there were no contentions and disputations among them, and every man did deal justly one with another.” (4 Ne. 1:2.)
In like manner today, as I look at you, you are all converted to the Lord and there is no disputation among you. You are all willing and capable of dealing justly with your neighbor. But again I must ask you, what will happen when you leave this building? What will happen when this conference is closed? Will you go out of this building and out into the world and deal justly with your fellowmen? Will you still be converted? Or will you compromise gospel principles and standards? Will you still be willing to deal justly with your fellowmen?
Again we read from Nephi’s account the following:
“And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness; and surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.” (4 Ne. 1:16.)
This passage of scripture, my brothers and sisters, describes the happy and beautiful estate of my Book of Mormon ancestors. They lived in peace and happiness for 200 years without hate or wars or contentions. What a glorious and superb record of righteousness!
Can those of us in this room today, and those of us listening in, duplicate this record of righteousness? I challenge you, my brothers and sisters, as we celebrate the birth of our country, as we celebrate 200 years of our country’s history, I challenge you that between now and when you come back next fall to general conference that you love each other as children of God and not as different races and cultures.
When we are baptized and confirmed as members of this church, we become one in Jesus Christ. In other words, my brothers and sisters, we commit ourselves to follow him. Our attitudes, thoughts, deeds, and actions should conform to his. If we will truly be faithful and righteous, we will truly be called children of Christ, children of God, and we will be entitled to his kingdom.
I want all of you to know that I love my Heavenly Father. I love the Lord Jesus Christ. I love people. This has been one of my greatest assets—loving people. I’m grateful for this attribute that my Heavenly Father has blessed me with.
I know that Jesus Christ lives and that we fought beside him in the preexistence, those of us in this room and those of us listening in. We were side by side with him in the war in heaven as we stood with him and fought Lucifer. And today he has chosen us to come in these last days to stand beside him again, and again to fight Lucifer, Satan, who controls the world.
I have a testimony of the Book of Mormon, the history of my forefathers. America was founded so that the gospel could be restored and so that this sacred record could be brought back to my people and to anyone who will listen.
I know that Joseph Smith really was a true prophet of God, that God the Father and Jesus the Christ actually and really came down and visited with him. It’s no myth, no legend, no fairy tale, no make-believe. It really happened. And with us today is a living prophet, President Kimball. I love him; I sustain him; I respect him. In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.