All science puns aside, I want to talk about solutions. Chemical solutions. In grade school, you probably learned that a mixture is like stirring sand into water. The sand doesn’t dissolve; it just sinks to the bottom. You can stir all you like, but you won’t get these two ingredients to truly join up. And you can easily separate them.
Some examples of mixtures are mud, smog, cement, and gasoline. Even air. Think of trail mix, oil and water, or a classroom full of people.
A solution, on the other hand, is what you get when you mix ingredients that form a new product—they have changed to become a third thing. Once combined it’s extremely difficult to filter them out again.
Some common examples of solutions are salt water, sodas, vinegar, Koolaid, hand sanitizer, liquid soap, and antifreeze.
So how does knowing this help with the crazy world we live in? We are bombarded on all sides by struggles we never imagined, yet here we are.
The solution is becoming a solution. If we can take the gospel into our souls, almost into our very DNA, we can become something else—a strong warrior, a committed follower of Christ, someone who is never going to be separated from what they know is true.
That doesn’t mean we become perfect, only that we are devoted to our God and will do our best to be valiant until death—and beyond.
This means we stand with our Prophet. This means we know the Book of Mormon is another witness of Christ. This means we seek temple covenants for us and for our families. We accept the Savior’s atoning sacrifice and want to live with Him again. We have a firm testimony.
Do people like this ever fail? Of course; we are human beings and sometimes succumb to Satan’s strongest temptations. But we pick ourselves up, gather our resolve, repent, and continue on, holding to the rod. When we make that inner commitment, that vow never to fall away, we change. Just as if we have become a solution, we become someone extremely difficult to separate out again.
Christ wants us to be this dedicated. He said, “Be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine” (D&C 38:27). This oneness appears throughout His teachings. In John 17:21 He said, “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 the world may believe that thou hast sent me.”
We’ve been told to have unity not only in our homes and at church, but in our associations, in our work. There is strength in solid commitment and unwavering faith. It means we’ve practiced forgiveness, compassion, service, and sacrifice. We’ve defeated the powers of contention that would fracture us and split us apart. It means we have become “knit together in love.” (Colossians 2:2)
This doesn’t mean we have no individuality, only that we share a common goal and know the best way to reach it is to love others along the way with us.
Think of your marriage. Did you both agree to join at that level? Are you both determined to put God first, and then spouse before self? Or are you still mixing—bumping about, colliding but not actually joining?
The Lord wasted no time teaching us the importance of becoming one in a marriage. He told Adam and Eve, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh” (Genesis 2:24).
In a good marriage, you don’t feel you have been absorbed into another thing like water into a sponge. No, you have become enriched and are a better thing together. You’re your best self and so is your spouse. The two of you have formed a virtual monument to love and to spiritual devotion. Your union is a triangle with each of you in an equal corner, God forming the third point of your triangle.
When you feel at odds in any situation, take a closer look and see if you’re in a mixture that just won’t blend. What can you do to make this a solution, instead? Usually we must give up pride, summon humility, and exert genuine caring for others. We must listen and love.
As we confront life’s trials, we will be far less likely to be pulled from our core beliefs if we have oneness with God. We will be less frantic, less frightened, less anxious. We will draw strength from our faith and know that we can call upon our Heavenly Father to help us through these difficult times.
Oneness really is the solution.
Hilton is an award-winning playwright and the author of many best-selling Latter-day Saint books. Those, her humor blog, and YouTube Mom videos can be found on her website.