At the end of a full day of teaching and instruction, the Lord suggested to His disciples that they cross to the other side of the Sea of Galilee.
While they were sailing that night, “there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full.
“And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish?
“And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:37–39).
Can you imagine what the Apostles must have been thinking as they watched the very elements—the wind, the rain, and the sea—obey their Master’s calm command? Although they had only recently been called to the holy apostleship, they knew Him and they loved Him and believed in Him. They had left their work and their families to follow Him. In a relatively short period of time, they had heard Him teach incredible things, and they had seen Him perform mighty miracles. But this was beyond their comprehension, and the looks on their faces must have shown it.
“And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?
“And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:40–41).
In turbulent and sometimes frightening times, the Savior’s promise of infinite and eternal peace resonates with special power to us, just as His ability to calm the crashing waves must have profoundly affected those who were with Him on the Sea of Galilee that stormy night so long ago.
Like those who were alive at the time of His mortal ministry, there are some among us who look for physical peace and prosperity as signs of the Savior’s wondrous power. We sometimes fail to understand that the everlasting peace Jesus promises is an inner peace, born in faith, anchored by testimony, nurtured with love, and expressed through continual obedience and repentance. It is a peace of spirit that echoes through the heart and the soul. If one truly knows and experiences this inner peace, there is no fear from worldly disharmony or discord. One knows deep down inside that all is well as far as the things that really matter are concerned.
There is no peace in sin. There may be ease, popularity, fame, and even prosperity, but there is no peace. “Wickedness never was happiness” (Alma 41:10). One cannot be at peace if one is living a life out of harmony with revealed truth. There is no peace in being mean-spirited or contentious. There is no peace in vulgarity, promiscuity, or permissiveness. There is no peace in addiction to drugs, alcohol, or pornography. There is no peace in being abusive to others in any way, whether it be emotionally, physically, or sexually, for those who are abusive will remain in mental and spiritual turmoil until they come to Christ in all humility and seek forgiveness through complete repentance.
At one time or another, I believe everyone yearns for the “peace of God, which passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7). That peace for our troubled hearts only comes to us as we follow the Light of Christ, which is “given to every man, that he may know good from evil” (Moroni 7:16), as it leads us to repent of sins and seek forgiveness.
Just hours before He was to begin that glorious yet awful process of the Atonement, the Lord Jesus Christ made this significant promise to His Apostles: “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you” (John 14:27).
Was He promising His beloved associates the kind of peace the world recognizes—safety, security, with the absence of contention or tribulation? Certainly the historical record would suggest otherwise. Those original Apostles knew much of trial and persecution throughout the remainder of their lives, which is probably why the Lord added this insight to His promise: “Not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (John 14:27).
“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace,” He continued. “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33; emphasis added).
Peace—real peace, whole-souled to the very core of your being—comes only in and through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. When that precious truth is discovered and gospel principles are understood and applied, great peace can distill in the hearts and souls of our Heavenly Father’s children. Said the Savior through Joseph Smith, “Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me” (D&C 19:23).
I am grateful that I can witness to you that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God. By following Him, in faith and trust, all may find the sweet inner peace the gospel offers to us.