Jesus prayed asking the Father; "That they all may be one...I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me" (John 17:21,23). He prayed for the unity of faithful believers; you and I. Unity with each other and with Him, a "perfect in one" brings His anointing upon us as it has to others in the past. Thus we are empowered to become witnesses to the world, as Jesus prayed to the Father; "that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me." The power of faith and Unity, triggers a blessing that Jesus asked we would have enabling us to be a witness to the world of the truth of Jesus Christ and His words. Unity; the necessary addition to faith that Jesus prayed for us to have, is yet to be among us today. Thus the world suffers greatly because the power of our witness is wanting.
The blessings we desire will be anointed upon us when we are united with each other and with Christ, and are together actively engaged in building His Kingdom. Christ desires to anoint us today with His glory, like the precious ointment upon the head of the brethren who dwell together in unity, that runs down over the body (Psalms 133:1-3). The full measure of His anointed glory that comes when we are truly united with each other and in Christ. Our collective faith qualifies many of the gifts of the Spirit to be present, but our lack of unity blocks the anointing power that Christ wants the church to have. It is held until we all humble ourselves, forgive one another and become unified in Christ and His work. This is worthy of our repentance.
Nephi once described the state of his people after they were united with each other and with Christ, He wrote (4 Nephi 1:17-21):
17.... there was no contention in the land, because of the love of God which did dwell in the hearts of the people.
18 And there were no envyings, nor strifes, nor tumults, nor whoredoms, nor lyings, nor murders, nor any manner of lasciviousness;
19 And surely there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God.
20....they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God;
21 And how blessed were they, for the Lord did bless them in all their doings yea, even they were blessed and prospered....
They were truly united with each other and with Christ. As a result, they were anointed with the "precious ointment" (Psalms 133:1-3) of His Glory and they were blessed and prospered to the extent that "there could not be a happier people among all the people who had been created by the hand of God" and "they were in one, the children of Christ, and heirs to the kingdom of God." Because of their faith AND their unity combined, "the Lord did bless them in all their doings; yea, even they were blessed and prospered." The Lord is ready to anoint us with similar blessings if we become a unified church body. We too can be the happiest people on the face of the earth if we set aside the one thing that holds us back; UNITY. He rewards our individual faith daily, but seeks to reward our collective unity with Him and each other if we desire. It's in our hands. We are the owners and perpetrators of unity. We must make the decision to move forward in unity and set aside all contention, envying, strife, rumors, dislikes, stubbornness and pride. We must look higher than these things and focus our attention on Unity of Purpose and not be distracted by pettiness.
A Visioning Process is planned for the Spring 2014 Conference. You will have a voice in determining the future purposes of the JCRB. You will determine and approve a new direction aimed at advancing the purpose of the JCRB as well as His Kingdom. This will require unity of purpose from all of us in order to succeed in completing those projects you select and support. The Visioning Process is not an end in itself, but a means to begin facilitating unity of purpose among His people and priesthood. For if we are not unified, then we are incomplete and we cannot provide the powerful witness to the world that Jesus prayed for and the anointing He has for us waits on us and our actions. We are reminded:
Be one; and if ye are not one, ye are not mine [Sec. 38:6a]
Our calling is to strive to move forward actively engaged in good works for the Father has already provided us with the means to accomplish great things for His Kingdom if we desire. If this Vision is developed and carried out in the spirit of unity, then unity will override contention, cooperation will silence complaint, brotherly love will overcome bitterness, humility will bury pride, and dedication will eliminate lethargy. This will require of us a greater faith and trust in the Father and in each other as well as hard work, knowing He will bless us as we move forward in unity.
Moving towards unity also requires forgiveness from us all. We must remove all our ill feelings and place regretful events behind us and disengage from recalling them while we pray for those who have offended us. Past events have no fruitful bearing on our future. We cannot allow ill feelings of the past to generate, influence or direct the decisions of our future. We must not bear any grudges. We need fruitful repentance from the feelings of the past and begin renewing our trust in each other and upholding each other in unity. Unity with each other and in Christ should be our new standard, and belief in His purpose will sustain us, our faith will feed us, and His anointing glory will eventually anoint our unity.
And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism; having their hearts knit together in unity and in love, one towards another [Mosiah 9:54]
We have mourned long enough. It's time to set our minds to work for the Vision of the future. Are you willing to lay aside all your disappointments and work for the vision of the future? Let us begin now by throwing off the chains that have bound us and this church and rise up a new people. Engage yourself in the coming Visioning Process anticipating the endowment of His anointing glory through Faith and UNITY. Having a mind to work for these purposes.
Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious ointment upon the head, that ran down upon the beard, even Aaron's beard; that went down to the skirts of his garments.... [Psalm 133:1-2]
In gospel bonds,
Brother Fred Greene