Peace amongst times of turmoil
Abraham Lincoln states:
When I do good, I feel good and when I do bad, I feel bad.
According to President Benson in his talk of “Do not
Despair” he states:
“We live in an age when as the Lord fortold, men’s hearts are failing them, not only physically, but in
spirit. Many are giving up heart for the battle of life. Suicide ranks as a major cause of the deaths to
college students. As the showdown between good and evil approaches with it’s accompanying trials and
tribulations, Satan is increasingly striving to overcome the Saints with despair, discouragement, despondency, and depression.”
This talk was given in the 70’s and still applies even more so today.
He also gives 12 ways to overcome this to create the Peace we all crave in our hearts. You do not need to do these in order and you will find that different ones come into effect when used at different times.
The first one is Repentance. I found that not only Repentance is necessary, but forgiveness of self is
very important. This took many years for me to understand this. I find that with my children, they
have no illusion of my perfection and so they call me on anything that is not right so that I can take care
of it before it becomes a real problem.
Second is Prayer. Make Heavenly Father your friend. Spend a lot of time on your knees to know what it
feels like. Then get used to the feeling that is present as you pray. Keep that feeling with you at all
times. This way, you have a constant channel into Heavenly Father and he always is there for you. This
gives a feeling of comfort when you do this.
Third is Service. This can be something as simple as listening to someone-being there at the right moment.
Fourth is Work. I love this comment because I have never thought of it to be this way: “Work is our
blessing, not our doom”. If you have something to do, it will keep you from worrying about something that you cannot do about anyway.
Fifth is Health. We should not run faster than our strength. I really believe this. When I do press
myself beyond what I should do, I am not happy. I do not feel peaceful. Instead, I feel exhausted and
cannot function. I have run faster than I have strength and it takes a lot of wasted time to recover
just to be able to do what I could have done if I was healthy.
Sixth is Reading. I find that when I read my scriptures, even just opening them and reading a few
words, gives peace to me. Other books need to be read in moderation. This is not good if you overdo it, and I did. I found that when I was in times of stress, I would escape in worlds that were not my own so that I could cope. This was not real, so the feeling was empty.
Seventh is Blessings. Blessings are great for comfort, for guidance, for inspiration. I found that I was
given a blessing that told me that I was not asking for enough blessings. That I was to use the gifts that
were present by asking more often. A blessing is a wonderful gift. To be able to hear the words of
Heavenly Father directly to you and know that he really cares is very important.
Eighth is Fasting. If you read Matthew 17:19-21, you will find that there is a bad spirit that will only go
away if you fast and pray. This really works! I have felt more at peace and a removal of what feels to me a bad spirit that had been in my home. I have prayed and fasted specifically concerning issues that
were answered immediately during the fasting period. This happens if you do it with a singleness in your
heart. Put away your fears and concerns and let Heavenly Father talk with you. This is when the good
Ninth is Friends. You need friends. They are always good for things such as when you want to talk
something out. To have as a support when you are down, they may be up at the time and they will help you find ways to pull yourself out. They are people to cherish and have close to you. I have a friend that is there just for me to call when I am having something happen to me. She cheers when the good things happen and is a shoulder to cry on when bad things happen. She loves my family and wants the best for us. I appreciate her and her friendship so much that it would hurt not to have her there when I want to talk. I also give as good as I receive, so am there when she needs me as well. This is a good relationship.
Tenth is Music. I have found that if you put music that is playing up against your heart without hearing
it, it can weaken or strengthen you depending on what it is. You do not even need to hear it to be affected by it. This was done to my child and he was more fascinated by it than he showed at the time. Try this. Play some music without the headphones on. Put the player against your heart. Then put your other arm out straight in front of you and try to keep it steady, have someone else gently, but with steady pressure, press down. If the song is a good one, the arm will stay strong, but if the song is not good, the arm will weaken and drop. Does this tell you anything? It did to me!
Eleventh is Endurance. That word always used to seem like a bad word. That it would take forever to happen. I have found that this is not the case. That it is not a bad word. That it is strength given and received. My mantra that kept me through my first divorce and gave me a better perspective in my life was “Each day is an Adventure, whether good or bad, it is still an Adventure.” This gave me hope in the worst times possible and it also let me know that I am here for good reasons, not just the bad ones.
Twelfth is Goals. When I was much younger, I did not understand goals. I did not think that I needed to
look any further than the day that I was living in. I was not taught that a goal would give me more open
doors in my life than what I had already. I made choices in my life that were not the best because of
missing this key element. I found that I did not have the education that I need now because I did not have a goal in mind when I went to college. My goal was to see what it was like to be around people of my own beliefs. I played instead of working on my future. I have suffered much because of this simple choice that I made. I do not have a degree. I have been unable to get the jobs that would pay well because of this. But instead of moaning about it, I find that I am becoming more goal oriented and things are working out better than they had been. If you look at those people who are over 100 years old, you will find that they are living longer because they have goals. They do not give up just because they are older, but are wanting to learn, to find out what they can do. These are wonderful
Ok, that is it for what President Benson believes are great steps, but I found one more that needs to be
applied to create peace:
Trust in God. You can do everything that is in this list, but if you do not have trust in God, then all is
a waste of time. Peace is earned through following the Gospel of our Savior. It is strong and can withstand turmoil if nurtured through each of these areas described. If an area becomes weak, then peace can be easily withdrawn. Look within, it will guide you. Know that you have a Heavenly Father, know that you have a Savior, know that there is a Holy Ghost and that they are always with you as
long as you let them be there.
The Gospel is really simple and active!
Learn each small precept and add upon it. You do not need to try to thoroughly understand such a concept as the Atonement if you do not start to understand a simple concept such as prayer.
Accept the truth. To know the truth, close your eyes and see the decisions before you, the one with more light bringing you closer to Heavenly Father will be the right one. Ask for confirmation and EXPECT and immediate answer. I know that this is true, I have experienced this and know that it is right. Try it out!