So many things can go wrong with our bodies, our finances, our future, our families, our country…there are a million ways to discover fear, none of which bring peace or happiness. The lack of peace is perhaps the most underestimated cause of anger, resentment, and lack of purpose in life. This past election season has been a parable of fear vs. peace, with an entire nation stressed and fearful of what November would bring. What if you could live your life without fear, and be at peace today and all your tomorrows?
No matter who is in the White House or is Mayor of the next town over, no matter what war is threatening on the horizon, or who is in control of the world’s money supply, we can have peace now and look forward to the future with joy and optimism.
Peace does not just ‘happen’
Peace is something that must be worked for, both national peace and personal peace. It comes from putting down those dark glasses of fear and contention as a people and as an individual, and deciding that we want to be part of the solution, part of the light. It’s a no-brainer that once you turn on a light, the darkness recedes- and one person can shine and give off light that ripples outward way beyond what they ever realize. It takes only one person to start a movement towards light.
Where do I begin…
When we come to the conclusion that being negative, fearful and pessimistic about life isn’t working for us, how do we change? How do we make that incredible leap from fear to peace? We need to find a guide to help us find the light. We need a mentor; someone who knows us well, cares about our personal happiness and peace, and someone who has seen both the dark, and the light of peace. The best mentor to teach, explain and model peace is Jesus Christ, the prince of peace. Following the master mentor may mean getting out of your comfort zone and opening your mind and heart to new possibilities. Accepting the gift of the atonement brings the gift of peace right along with it. The kind of peace that sticks with you no matter what is going on around you, and the kind of peace that changes your view of life. It’s that peace that gives us the realization that this life matters, that what we say and do, and the relationships we form affect us much more than we ever thought- and that it is all good.
Does this life really matter?
My husband’s father passed away after suffering with cancer for some time. At one point, he was in the hospital with his two sons by his side. He had had an experience the previous evening that was very sacred to him, and he described it in detail to his sons. From that time on, he had no fear of death- he knew what it was like, and knew who would be meeting him on the other side of the veil. His death came peacefully not too many months after that experience, and not only did that tender mercy of the Lord, the gift of peace, bless him, it blessed his sons and others with the testimony of the reality of the atonement and resurrection. What happens in this life matters because this is not the end of our existence. Life goes on.
Being assured of resurrection makes life better now.
The resurrection- life after death- is a ‘free’ gift for every person who has ever lived on this earth. Because of the atonement, you don’t die and then just cease to exist. You lived before this earth life, and you will continue to live after this short period of mortality ends. Knowing that makes what we do here and now important. Knowing that makes the difference between fear and peace.
Elder Dallin H. Oaks has taught that “the assurance of resurrection and immortality affects how we look on the physical challenges of mortality, how we live our mortal lives, and how we relate to those around us… the assurance of resurrection gives us the strength and perspective to endure the mortal challenges faced by each of us and by those we love…” (“Resurrection” Ensign, May 2000).
Those challenges can erode our peace and bring fear and uncertainty without an understanding of what happens after we leave this earth.
If I had one wish for every person on earth, it would be to feel at peace, today and your every tomorrow. My wish for you is that you feel that
God knows you as an individual child of His. Not only does He know you, He loves you and wants you to have peace and joy now, while you are on this earth, while you prepare to live the rest of your eternity.