World Conference 2023

God: An Eternal, Loving Community

4 June 2023

By Janné Grover, Council of Twelve Apostles

Finally, brothers and sisters, farewell. Put things in order, listen to my appeal, agree with one another, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you. Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the saints greet you. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit be with all of you.

2 Corinthians 13:11–13

The Apostle Paul closes a difficult letter to the divided church in Corinth with a call to community and a blessing of Triune grace, love, and communion. This blessing expresses the relational nature of God and what it means to be community.

Paul’s counsel to the Corinthians is not a call to sameness, but to oneness. “Agree with one another” might be understood best as set your minds on the same thing or focus on what matters most.

An understanding of God as a community of oneness is the grounding for our understanding of being authentic, loving community amid all that disrupts and divides. Doctrine and Covenants 165:3e affirms, “Oneness and equality in Christ do not mean uniformity. They mean Unity in Diversity and relating in Christ-like love to the circumstances of others as if they were one’s own.” This is not always easy, but it opens a broader understanding of the Enduring Principle Blessings of Community.

The transformative power of loving community cannot be denied. It is experienced when deep holy listening affirms otherness and creates safe space for vulnerability and authentic sharing. God’s love is incarnated in communities of acceptance, where lives claimed by violence, addiction, and trafficking find pathways to peace, healing, and belonging.

Blessings of Community are not just what we receive when peace is understood as the lack or avoidance of conflict. It is when communities are willing to do the hard work of reconciling relationships, embracing the marginalized, and working for justice.

Communities of oneness celebrate diversity and affirm a collective journey of imperfect people living and generously sharing the peace of Christ.

Prayer Phrase

Wherever I am, God is here.

Spiritual Practice

Breathe deeply and prayerfully consider the story you have just read. What is the Spirit’s invitation to you in these words? What does it look like to wake up to God’s presence in this moment?

Today’s Prayer for Peace

Engage in a daily practice of praying for peace in our world. Click here to read today’s prayer and be part of this practice of peace. 

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