Monday, February 18, 2013

Peace in a Troubled World

How do we find Peace in troubled world?  What has caused the world to be troubled?  What are we to learn from it all?

In Doctrine and Covenants section 84 we read
 49 And the whole world lieth in sin, and groaneth under darkness and under the bondage of sin.
 50 And by this you may know they are under the bondage of sin, because they come not unto me.
 51 For whoso cometh not unto me is under the bondage of sin.
 52 And whoso receiveth not my voice is not acquainted with my voice, and is not of me.
 53 And by this you may know the righteous from the wicked, and that the whole world groaneth under sin and darkness even now.

Jesus Christ, the Savior of the World, is the 'author' of all peace and righteousness.  If we turn to Him, we too, can have those blessings.

On the opposite end of that spectrum - is the 'father of all lies: 'the adversary', 'Lucifer', 'Satan' himself.  He is the father of all sin, darkness, wickedness etc.  That would include dishonesty, deception, miscommunication, debauchery, wickedness etc.  

The scriptures teach:  “For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another."

We may wonder why the world - or even our own families or neighborhoods are not at peace.  Why are things so difficult?  What is happening to cause darkness to reign?

A thorough study of the scriptures coupled with sincere prayer will help us understand that this 'opposition in all things' is a necessary part of our mortal experience.   

"For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so... righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility."  2 Nephi 2:11

'Agency' (the ability to choose for ourselves) is a vital part of our learning and growth.  And, we will be 'rewarded' according to our desires and choices.

Elder Robert D. Hales gave a beautiful talk about the gift of Agency and said:  "Now we are here on earth, where opportunities to use our agency abound; for here “there is an opposition in all things.” This opposition is essential to the purpose of our lives.... “To bring about his eternal purposes in the end of man, … the Lord God gave unto man that he should act for himself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should be that he was enticed by the one or the other.”

Here we are - having a mortal experience with the opportunity to choose light or dark.  Our choices will have eternal consequences - though we often don't either know or understand that.  In His goodness and mercy - the Lord wants us to have all the blessings we can enjoy.  He does all in His power to encourage and guide us along paths of peace and righteousness.  On the other hand, Satan and his minions do all they can to entice and lead us down unworthy paths.  They make bad things look good and evil things appear 'fun', enticing, and 'acceptable.'  Yet, look where they lead.  See how things such as drugs, immorality, pornography, abuse etc. at once may appear as 'fine' - yet lead to awful consequences in spiritual and emotional health as well as the disintegration of the family and marriage units - which are actually the things which can bring the greatest personal fulfillment and happiness.

We may be 'mocked on every side" yet know that “The Standard of Truth has been erected; no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, till it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done."  History of the Church 4:540

Despite intense opposition both globally and personally - we must stand firm and steadfast, true in the things we know to be of God, and holy in our callings, families, and neighborhoods.  The Lord will win - though the battle may get sore before it's all over.

I pray for you - my friends across the world - to choose good; to delight in the things of God, to bless and strengthen your homes against the fiery darts of the adversary - which may come in ways that we know not.  If our 'shields' of righteousness are up - we will have the power and the where-with-all to withstand the darts and to be steadfast and true - holding to the Spirit of God to guide us.  We are not alone - and He will help us if we so desire and truly seek.

1 comment:

  1. This was a great post. I just say Amen to it all. We must stand firm and true because things are going to be hard. I loved the last paragraph and especially this statement: "Holding to the Spirit of God to guide us. We are not alone and He will help us....
    Thanks for your timely thoughts today and blessings to you!


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