Finding Peace in Troubled Times09609_000_007
In downtown Gothenburg, Sweden, there is a broad boulevard with beautiful trees on each side. One day I saw a hole in the trunk of one of the huge trees, so I curiously looked inside and saw that the tree was completely hollow.
I was surprised that the tree could still stand. So I looked up and saw a wide steel belt mounted around the upper part of the trunk. Attached to the belt were several steel wires, and they in turn were fastened and anchored to nearby buildings. From a distance it looked like the other trees; it was only when looking inside that one could detect that it was hollow instead of having a solid, strong trunk. In time, the tree could not be saved and had to be taken down.
Just as a young tree grows bit by bit into a sturdy tree, so we can grow step by step in our capacity to be solid and filled from the inside out, in contrast to the hollow tree. It is through the healing Atonement of Jesus Christ that we may have the strength to stand tall and strong and to have our souls be filled—with light, understanding, joy, and love.
Faith in Jesus Christ and following His teachings give us a firm hope, and this hope becomes a solid anchor to our souls. We can become steadfast and immovable. We can have lasting inner peace; we can enter into the rest of the Lord. Only if we turn away from light and truth will a hollow feeling of emptiness, like the tree’s, occupy the innermost chambers of our souls.
Let us focus on those things that will sustain a lasting peace of mind and heart. Then our confidence will “wax strong in the presence of God” (D&C 121:45). The promise to enter into the rest of the Lord, to receive the gift of peace, is far from a temporary, worldly satisfaction. It is indeed a heavenly gift: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27). He has the power to heal and strengthen the soul. He is Jesus Christ.
In a World of Tribulation
“The Savior [spoke] to His disciples as He faced His Crucifixion and as they faced fear, disarray, and persecution. In His last collective counsel to them in mortality, He said: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world’ (John 16:33).
“So, in a world of tribulation, let’s remember our faith. … And let’s live life more fully, with more boldness and courage than at any other time.
“Christ has overcome the world and made a path for us.”
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “This, the Greatest of All Dispensations,” Liahona, July 2007, 20; Ensign, July 2007, 54.
How can we find peace and hope in troubled times?
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles helps answer this question in “This, the Greatest of All Dispensations” (Liahona, July 2007, 18; Ensign, July 2007, 53).
“Live as faithfully as we possibly can. … We must not be paralyzed just because [of events] ahead of us somewhere.”
“Never let fear and the father of fear (Satan himself) divert us from our faith and faithful living.”
“Be faithful. God is in charge. He knows your name and He knows your need.”
Consider searching the scriptures for verses on hope, peace, and faith in Jesus Christ.
For more information on this topic, see Mosiah 24:15; D&C 6:34, 36; 59:23; 78:17–18; Joseph B. Wirthlin, “Peace Within,” Ensign, May 1991, 36; and Neal A. Maxwell, “Encircled in the Arms of His Love,” Liahona and Ensign, Nov. 2002, 16.
Sight Restored, by J. Kirk Richards