On a trip to Mexico, Sister Reyna I. Aburto and her husband visited a butterfly sanctuary where millions of monarch butterflies spend the winter. “It was fascinating to see such an impressive sight and for us to reflect on the example of unity and obedience to divine laws that God’s creations demonstrate,” she said.
Though delicate and fragile, these butterflies are master navigators that find their way from Canada to fir forests in Mexico every year. Each butterfly that forms the group, or kaleidoscope, is unique and has been designed to survive, travel, multiply and spread life, she said. “And, although each butterfly is different, they work together to make the world a more beautiful and fruitful place.
“Like the monarch butterflies, we are on a journey back to our heavenly home where we will reunite with our Heavenly Parents.
Sister Aburto, second counselor in the Relief Society general presidency, spoke during the Sunday morning session of general conference on April 1 on the importance of unity. “In order to reach our sublime destiny, we need each other, and we need to be unified,” she said. “The Lord has commanded us, ‘Be one; and if ye are not one ye are not mine'” (Doctrine and Covenants 38:27).
Christ is the ultimate example of unity with His Father, she said. “They are one in purpose, in love and in works, with ‘the will of the Son being swallowed up in the will of the Father'” (Mosiah 15:7).
“How can we follow the Lord’s perfect example of unity with His Father and be more unified with Them and with each other?” Sister Aburto asked.
In Acts 1:14, an inspiring pattern is found: “[The men] all continued with one accord in prayer and supplication with the women.”
Sister Aburto said, “I think it is significant that the phrase ‘with one accord’ appears several times in the book of Acts, where we read about what Jesus Christ’s followers did immediately after He ascended to heaven as a resurrected being, as well as the blessings they received because of their efforts. It is also signficant that we find a similar pattern among the faithful on the American continent at the time the Lord visited and ministered to them.
These saints testified of Jesus Christ, studied the word of God together and ministered to each other with love, she said. They were blessed with being filled with the Holy Ghost, miracles, seeing the Church grow, and an absence of contention among the people.
“We can suppose that the reason why they were so united is because they knew the Lord personally,” Sister Aburto said. As one draws closer to Christ and seeks to receive a personal witness of His divine mission, he or she will have a better understanding of one’s purpose.
“Miracles happen when the children of God work together guided by the Spirit to reach out to others in need,” Sister Aburto said.
Among these miracles are members working together to rescue families in flood-affected neighborhoods in Houston, Texas, last year; members in Santiago, Chile, offering Spanish classes to refugees to help them integrate into their new home; and members traveling for hours to help survivors of two major earthquakes in Mexico last year.
“As we work in unity, our purpose should be to look for and do the Lord’s will; our incentive should be the love we feel for God and for our neighbor; and our greatest desire should be to ‘labor diligently’ so we can prepare the way for the glorious return of our Savior. The only way we will be able to do so is ‘with one accord,'” Sister Aburto said.