Happy Father’s Day to all the dads, grand dads, and future dads.
Today I will talk about Unity with our Heavenly Father,
How do we become one with the Father?
And what does it mean to be one with God?
But first I would like to say a little tribute to my father since it is Father’s Day, and he would have been 98 years old if he was still alive, but he had a wonderful life and lived to be 90 years and my parents were married for 65 years. My mother lived to be 92 years.
We were not members of this church, but we believed in God and the 10 Commandants. I grew up in the 1950’s, so I am a “mid-century modern” woman!
Here are some highlights of what my earthly father taught us:
“Set High Goals”, “Don’t take yourself too seriously”, “Learn to laugh at yourself”’ and “Never regret lost opportunities.”
Family comes first, even though they are not perfect. They know who your friends are. Always be honest in everything you do. Admit when you are wrong, apologize, and pay for your own mistakes. Learn how to be self-supporting and self-reliant, and pay your own way in life. (But my parents also believed in paying for our college educations, and made plans so that they could provide for us.)
My parents believed that children need love and discipline, and need to be taught to respect their fellow man, especially those who never enjoyed the privileged social life and higher education. Teach your children right from wrong, and to be a good citizen. We were a patriotic family, and my dad was a veteran of WWII.
My father told us to remember that we could learn something from other people, so don’t think that you are smarter than they are, they might know something that you do not know and you can learn something new. Be respectful and always keep learning, seek out knowledge and show respect.
There were three daughters in my family, I am the middle child, so I turned out the best, right, because I am the only one who joined The Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints!
One of the most important lessons that my dad stressed was about keeping a good reputation. He taught: “Your reputation is the easiest thing to lose, the hardest thing to earn, and the most difficult thing to reclaim once it is lost."
Back in the day of growing up in the 1950’s, the televisions were all black and white. The TV shows portrayed strong family values and lessons to learn.
The dads went to work and the mothers stayed home to raise the kids, prepare meals and clean up the house without complaining. The clothes were different. My mother wore a “house dress” and not yoga pants around the home, we daughters wore dresses to school, not pants and didn’t even own a pair of jeans. The boys would wear corduroy pants or jeans to school, not shorts. Yes, this is true!
Some of you may remember the names of the old TV shows like:
Father Knows Best, My Three Sons, Leave It to Beaver, and Ozzie and Harriet.
These shows taught moral lessons. They portrayed families where it was very important to tell the truth, talk to your parents if you had a problem, and respect your parents.
It was important to listen to the father because he had the final word. Sometimes a child would say, “Don’t tell dad when he gets home.” But the mother and father usually discussed it later in private, and worked out a strategy to solve the situation, and not destroy the trust bond with the child.
Today’s world is a different place, television is very different, and clothes are very different. And words spoken to each other are extremely different.
WE need to follow the teachings of Jesus Christ so we can return to live again with Heavenly Father. We want our families to be together forever. We want to be able to meet again in heaven and have eternal life. We need to become one with the Father through Jesus Christ.
Sharon Eubank gave a talk in 2020 titled,
“By Union of Feeling We Obtain Power with God”.
She states, “Unity is enhanced when people are treated with dignity and respect even though they are different in outward characteristics.”
To me this means do not judge one another. We are not here to judge each other, that is not our job. We don’t know what is happening in their lives, are they having
health issues, job issues, friendship issues, or financial issues. What we can do is listen to them if they want to talk to us about something. Be a good listener and try not to interrupt. That is not always easy—but listen as closely as possible. Heavenly Father will be happy with your behavior.
Think of Hymn #308 – Love One Another
As I have loved you, Love one another
This new commandment, Love one another
By this shall men know, Ye are my disciples
If you have love One to another.
If we accept the gospel of Jesus Christ, we can commit to achieving both righteousness and unity. Jesus said, “Be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine.”
In our “Come Follow Me” Sunday School lessons, we have been talking about this. We have to know Jesus Christ. The only way to get to the Celestial Kingdom and Heavenly Father is through Jesus Christ.
Elder Soares, in April 2023 General Conference, gave a talk titled,
“In Partnership With the Lord”.
He states, “One has no greater possibilities for celestial glory than the other in the eternities. The Savior Himself invites all of us, God’s children, to come to Him to partake of His goodness, “and He denieth none that come unto him.”
“When spouses understand and incorporate this principle, they do not position themselves as president or vice president of their family. There is no superiority nor inferiority in the marriage relationship.”
Remember, equally yoked, walk side by side. Try to become one in thought, desire and purpose with our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, leading and guiding the family unit together.
In Hymn #300, “Families Can Be Together Forever”
The words are:
I have a family here on earth They are so good to me
I want to share my life with them through all eternity
Families can be together forever
Through Heavenly Father’s plan
I always want to be with my own family
And the Lord has shown me how I can…The Lord has shown me how I can.
Elder Soares also talks about the Golden Rule, taught by the Savior in Sermon on the Mount. “And as ye would that me should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.”
In other words, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
Elder Soares said, “The Savior set the perfect example of unity and harmony of purpose and doctrine with our Father in Heaven.”
“He prayed in behalf of His disciples, saying “That they all may be one; as thou, Father art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us…that they may be one, even as we are one.”
“If we work together in a true and equal partnership, we will enjoy the unity taught by the Savior. Our hearts will be joined together in unity and love one toward another. We will find more joy in our journey to eternal life, and our capacity to serve one another.”
Elder D. Todd Christofferson says in his talk titled,
“That They May Be One In Us”…
“We will not be one with God and Christ until we make their will and interest our greatest desire.”
“We have been invited into that perfect unity that exists with the Father and the Son.”
“We may look to Jesus to help restore the inner unity of our soul when we have succumbed to sin and destroyed our peace. Soon after His intercessory plea that we might become “perfect in one”, Jesus suffered and gave His life to atone for sin. The power of His Atonement can erase the effects of sin in us. When we repent, His atoning grace justifies and cleanses us.”
“Becoming at one within ourselves prepares us for the greater blessing of becoming one with God and Christ.
We have a lot of wonderful music in our church and in our Hymn Book.
You could tell a little story with the titles…
I Am a Child of God and I Feel My Savior’s Love because I Am Trying to Be Like Jesus. I was told that Families Can Be Together Forever so I want to Follow the Prophet and Keep the Commandments, so I am trying to Love One Another and Choose The Right.
When I pass through the veil someday, I want the Lord to tell me, “Well done, thy good and valiant servant.”
And I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ