Peace Comes to All Who Earnestly Seek Jesus, Elder Nelson says
Contributed By By Marianne Holman, Church News staff writer
“Peace can come to all who earnestly seek the Prince of Peace,” Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said during the Christmas Devotional held in the Conference Center on Dec. 8.
“Focusing on the Lord and everlasting life can help us not only at Christmas, but through all the challenges of mortality.”
As personal challenges come and often bring worry—a father losing his job, a young mother learning of a grave illness, a son or daughter who has gone astray—individuals yearn for inner peace.
“My message tonight pertains to the only source of true and lasting peace, Jesus the Christ—our Prince of Peace,” he said. “This title He bore in addition to others for which He was foreordained.
“He was anointed by His Father to be the Savior of the world. These two titles—the Messiah, and the Christ — designated His responsibility as the anointed one. ...
“Because of His Atonement, immortality became a reality for all, and eternal life became a possibility for those who choose to follow Him. These objectives are the work and glory of Almighty God.”
As the great Exemplar, Jesus taught how to live, to love, and to learn. He taught how to pray, forgive, and endure to the end.
“He taught us how to care about others more than we care about ourselves. He taught us about mercy and kindness—making real changes in our lives through His power. He taught us how to find peace of heart and mind. One day, we will stand before Him as our just Judge and merciful Master.”
It is these sacred responsibilities of the Lord that cause individuals to adore Him as their personal Savior and perennial Prince of Peace, Elder Nelson said.
Christmastime is an opportunity for parents, grandparents, and teachers of children to help each other turn to the Savior for peace. Elder Nelson shared specific ways the Prince of Peace can and has helped as individuals have experienced difficulty in many aspects of life.
It is the Prince of Peace who can bring peace to the lives of those who have been ravaged by war. “Wars of our present era are more sophisticated, but are still as wrenching to families,” he said. “Those who so suffer can turn to the Lord. His is the consoling message of peace on earth and good will among men.”
Peace can come to those who are not feeling well, Elder Nelson declared. “Some bodies are wounded. Others ache spiritually because of missing loved ones or other emotional trauma. Brothers and sisters, peace can come to you and your soul as you build faith in the Prince of Peace.”
The Prince of Peace also comes to those who suffer in sorrow. “Whether sorrow stems from a mistake or a sin, all the Lord requires is real repentance,” he said. “Scripture pleads with us to ‘flee [from] youthful lusts; … [and] call on the Lord out of a pure heart.’ Then His soothing ‘balm in Gilead’ can heal even a sin-sick soul.”
Peace can come to those who mourn and whose labors are heavy, he said. Peace comes to all who earnestly seek the Prince of Peace.
“His is the sweet and saving message our missionaries take throughout the world,” Elder Nelson said. “They preach the gospel of Jesus Christ as restored by Him through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Missionaries teach these life-changing words of the Lord: ‘If ye love me, keep my commandments.’ ”
Peace can come to all who follow the Savior’s invitation to “come, follow me,” as they choose to walk in the ways of the Master.
“As we follow Jesus Christ, He will lead us to live with Him and our Heavenly Father [and] with our families. Through our many challenges of mortality, if we remain faithful to covenants made, if we endure to the end, we will qualify for that greatest of all the gifts of God, eternal life. In His holy presence, our families can be together forever.”