First Presidency Message

Peace, Be Still


Thomas S. Monson

Peace, Be Still

One day a few years ago, after taking care of matters at the office, I felt a strong impression to visit an aged widow who was a patient at a senior care center in Salt Lake City. I drove there directly.

When I went to her room, I found it empty. I asked an attendant concerning her whereabouts and was directed to a lounge area. There I found this sweet widow visiting with her sister and another friend. We had a pleasant conversation together.

As we were talking, a man came to the door of the room to obtain a can of soda from the vending machine. He glanced at me and said, “Why, you are Tom Monson.”

“Yes,” I replied. “And you look like a Hemingway.”

He acknowledged that he was Stephen Hemingway, the son of Alfred Eugene Hemingway, who had served as my counselor when I was a bishop many years ago and whom I called Gene. Stephen told me that his father was there in the same facility and was near death. Gene had been calling my name, and the family had wanted to contact me but had been unable to find a telephone number for me.

I excused myself immediately and went with Stephen up to the room of my former counselor, where others of his children were also gathered, his wife having passed away some years previous. The family members regarded my meeting Stephen in the lounge area as a response by our Heavenly Father to their great desire that I would see their father before he died and answer his call. I also felt that this was the case, for if Stephen had not entered the room in which I was visiting at precisely the time he did, I would not have known that Gene was even in that facility.

We gave a blessing to him. A spirit of peace prevailed. We had a lovely visit, after which I left.

The following morning a phone call revealed that Gene Hemingway had passed away—just 20 minutes after he had received the blessing from his son and me.

I expressed a silent prayer of thanks to Heavenly Father for His guiding influence, which had prompted my visit to the care center and led me to my dear friend Alfred Eugene Hemingway.

I like to think that Gene Hemingway’s thoughts that evening—as we basked in the Spirit’s glow, participated in humble prayer, and pronounced a priesthood blessing—echoed the words mentioned in the hymn “Master, the Tempest Is Raging”:

Linger, O blessed Redeemer!
Leave me alone no more,
And with joy I shall make the blest harbor
And rest on the blissful shore.

I still love that hymn and testify as to the comfort it offers:

Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea
Or demons or men or whatever it be,
No waters can swallow the ship where lies
The Master of ocean and earth and skies.
They all shall sweetly obey thy will:
Peace, be still.1

Through tears and trials, through fears and sorrows, through the heartache and loneliness of losing loved ones, there is assurance that life is everlasting. Our Lord and Savior is the living witness that such is so.2 His words in holy writ are sufficient: “Be still, and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10). I testify to this truth.

Teaching from This Message

This message can comfort those who have lost a loved one to death or those who are struggling with a trial. In addition to President Monson’s message, consider sharing one of the following scriptures, based on the needs of those you teach: Job 19:25–26; 1 Corinthians 15:19–22; Mosiah 24:13–15; Doctrine and Covenants 122:7–9. If prompted, you could testify of the peace the Savior has given you in your trials.

Youth

Please Heal My Heart

Kelsey LeDoux lives in Minnesota, USA.

On the anniversary of my brother’s death, I reflected on my time since he died. I remembered not only the extreme pain I felt but also the blessings God gave to me.

I never understood how people could say that the death of a loved one could bring blessings. I couldn’t understand how I could possibly have joy and gratitude for something that hurt me so deeply. There was one night, however, that changed my perspective entirely.

I woke up in the middle of the night with the heaviest heart I’d ever had. The pain was suffocating me. I fell to my knees and sobbed a prayer to my Heavenly Father. All my life I had been taught about the Atonement and Jesus Christ’s miraculous healing power. Now my faith was being tested. Did I really believe? I asked my Father in Heaven to please heal my heart. The pain was too much for me to deal with alone.

Then a feeling of peace, comfort, and love swept over my entire body. I felt as though God had wrapped His arms around me and was protecting me from the intense pain I had felt. I still missed my brother, but I was able to see with different eyes. There was so much for me to learn from this experience.

I know the Lord’s love and peace are available. We need only to partake.

Children

Choose to Be Still

President Monson says that when we are still and reverent, we can feel peace and gain a stronger testimony of our Heavenly Father. And the Holy Ghost can better prompt us of ways we can help others.

Which of the children below are being still?

children in various activities

Illustrations by Bryan Beach

Write down or discuss with your parents one way you can be still. Then take time this week to try it. After you do, you could write in your journal about the feelings and promptings you had.

Show References

    Notes

  1.   1.

    “Master, the Tempest Is Raging,” Hymns, no. 105.

  2.   2.

    See Richard L. Evans, “So Let Us Live to Live Forever,” New Era, July 1971, 18.