Would He Calm My Storms?

Nick Gentile, Utah, USA

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    As a fifth-grade teacher at a private school in Massachusetts, USA, I had been meeting with administrators to discuss the school’s diversity curriculum, which opposed the principles in “The Family: A Proclamation to the World.” My efforts to stand for truths about marriage and family and to promote objectivity, respect, and understanding, however, resulted in a storm of misunderstanding, ridicule, and persecution.

    At times I felt like the Apostles crossing the tempest-tossed Sea of Galilee while Jesus slept. I felt that my faith, like theirs, had begun to falter, and I too wondered, “Carest thou not that [I] perish?” (Mark 4:38). I believed that Jesus had indeed rebuked the raging wind and waves long ago, but as my trials intensified, it became hard for me to trust that He would calm my storms.

    One day a school administrator asked me to explain my concerns to the entire faculty and staff at a diversity-training meeting. As I prepared for this presentation, my personal prayers, scripture study, and temple attendance became increasingly sincere, and I felt the Spirit guiding me to know what to say.

    When the time came to address my colleagues, I took courage from the words of the Prophet Joseph Smith: “Let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power; and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed” (D&C 123:17).

    As I spoke, I felt the Spirit fill me with peace and power. I bore witness of God’s great love for His children and of their divine nature, amazing potential, and eternal worth. I taught that God’s commandments demonstrate His love because they provide the path to the greatest happiness. And I declared that Jesus Christ can heal wounds of both nature and nurture.

    Before I knew it, my 30 minutes of allotted time had passed. I backed slowly away from the podium, gathered my papers, and looked up. A sacred stillness filled the room. Some people were smiling and others were crying. Teachers who held opposing views thanked me for my courage and conviction. One colleague confessed that she had been touched by a “special spirit” as I spoke. Others told me they had never heard such a sensitive and respectful articulation of such beliefs and that my words had helped them see that the school’s curriculum needed to change.

    The Master, who had calmed the raging tempest by commanding, “Peace, be still” (Mark 4:39) had done it again—this time for me!

    Through this experience, I learned that we are never alone when we stand for truth. The Lord’s help is ever near. As He promised, “I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up” (D&C 84:88).

    With my whole soul, I testify that He is a God of deliverance. I know this truth because He rescued me. He calmed my storms.