Peacemaking


(Adapted from an April 1991 conference address. See Ensign, May 1991, page 85.)
Do good; seek peace (Ps. 34:14).

In the Sermon on the Mount, Christ gave us the beautiful beatitude about peace and peacemakers.

I like to think of when the sermon was first taught. In my mind’s eye, I see a peaceful afternoon in early April. The sky is softening toward dusk, with not even a breeze. White, wispy clouds stand almost motionless in the blue sky. Below, on the coast of the Sea of Galilee, soft waves lap against moored fishing boats. Eager listeners sit on the grass or stand amidst the rocks and early spring flowers. All are hushed and thoughtful, and every face is lifted toward the Lord as He tells them what they need to do in order to have peace in their lives. Tenderly Christ speaks: “Blessed are the peacemakers” (Matt. 5:9).

To follow Christ and bring forth the blessings of heaven, we must actively make peace in the world, in our neighborhood, and, above all, in our homes.

The following prayer by St. Francis of Assisi suggests that we can be instruments in the hands of the Savior for bringing personal peace to others. To be a peacemaker, it helps to understand what brings peace.

Lord, make me an instrument of your peace,
Where there is hatred let me sow love,
Where there is injury, pardon.
Where there is doubt, faith.
Where there is despair, hope.
Where there is darkness, light.
And where there is sadness, joy.

No matter what the reason for the lack of peace—sin, not living God’s commandments, selfishness, pride, lack of love, even just being an innocent victim—the way to achieve peace is always the same: Turn to Christ; follow His example; repent of all wrongdoings; study and think about Jesus Christ every day; love Him and thank Him for His teachings and His example and His sacrifice for us.

May peace be with you—this day and always—is my prayer in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

[illustration] Painting by Harry Anderson