We can create a path to inner peace if we follow three steps: 1) ask God to change our hearts and remove our destructive habits; 2) invite Him to take our heavy burdens and heal our pierced hearts; and 3) ask Him to help us fight the evil that surrounds us. Today I would like to continue my remarks on this important topic to not only the sisters, but to our tremendous brethren as well.
A beautiful talk by Elder Jeffrey R. Holland summarizes perfectly how the Savior can bring us peace: “Brothers and sisters, my…message today is intended for everyone, but it is directed in a special way to those who are alone or feel alone or, worse yet, feel abandoned. These might include those longing to be married, those who have lost a spouse, and those who have lost—or have never been blessed with—children. Our empathy embraces wives forsaken by their husbands… or [parents] out of work, afraid the fear in [their] eyes will be visible to [their children]… To all such, I speak of the loneliest journey ever made and the unending blessings it brought to all. I speak of the Savior’s solitary task of shouldering alone the burden of our salvation.
“Now I speak very carefully… I speak of those final moments for which Jesus must have been prepared intellectually and physically but which He may not have fully anticipated emotionally and spiritually—that concluding descent into the paralyzing despair of divine withdrawal when He cries in ultimate loneliness, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’
“With all the conviction of my soul I testify that He did please His Father perfectly and that a perfect Father did not forsake His Son in that hour. Indeed, it is my personal belief that in all of Christ’s mortal ministry the Father may never have been closer to His Son than in these agonizing final moments of suffering.
“Nevertheless, that the supreme sacrifice of His Son might be as complete as it was voluntary and solitary, the Father briefly withdrew from Jesus the comfort of His Spirit, the support of His personal presence. It was required, indeed it was central to the significance of the Atonement, that this perfect Son who had never spoken ill nor done wrong nor touched an unclean thing had to know how the rest of us, all of us, would feel [during our mortal lives].
“One of the great consolations of this Easter season is that because Jesus walked such a long, lonely path utterly alone, we do not have to do so… Trumpeted from the summit of Calvary is the truth that we will never be left alone nor unaided, even if sometimes we may feel that we are. Truly the Redeemer of us all said: ‘I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you [and abide with you].’”1
As I’ve considered this wonderful talk on the Savior, the words from the hymn Where Can I Turn for Peace? come to my mind. The lyrics are beautiful and convey exactly the point I am trying to make:
1.Where can I turn for peace? Where is my solace?
When other sources cease to make me whole?
When with a wounded heart, anger or malice?
I draw myself apart, searching my soul.
2. Where, when my aching grows, where, when I languish,
Where, in my need to know, where can I run?
Where is the quiet hand to calm my anguish?
Who, who can understand? He, only One.
3.He answers privately, reaches my reaching
In my Gethsemane, Savior and friend.
Gentle the peace He finds for my beseeching
Constant He is and kind, love without end.2
Our Savior is there for us, my brothers and sisters. He is always ready to give us the peace and strength we need, even through the worst of personal storms.
Elder Faust likened our earthly lives to the tending of a personal garden. I would like to make one more point regarding our gardens: that oftentimes, these beautiful rows of flowers are bombarded by dangerous elements such as pollutants, harmful chemicals, or even dangerous toxins within the soil that destroy life. As humans, we too face powerful destructive elements that kill the soul. I speak of Lucifer and his desire to destroy all of God’s children. In fact, he is our greatest enemy. His satanic goal is to convince us to break God’s commandments and thereby disqualify ourselves from the presence of God. After centuries of hard work, he knows his business well and has a time-tested strategy to bring us down step by step. He has crafted numerous enticements that appeal to our mortal minds and heart. His wickedness is often subtle with half-truths followed by counterfeits of goodness.
As children of a loving God who wants us to return safely to His presence, we need to fight Lucifer will all our power and might. We cannot ignore him, stand idly by or believe he is not real. He is the ultimate terrorist and must be stopped.
Nearly 12 years ago when I was still very involved in the corporate world, I oversaw company offices in Oxford, England and Paris, France. Wishing to visit my employees there and enjoy a brief vacation, I flew to Europe with Jeanne and my daughter Megan. Our first stop was England – a meeting at the office and a tour of London. A few days later on what seemed like any ordinary day, September 11, 2001, we traveled to Paris by train via the “Chunnel.” We arrived safely at the Paris train station and then took a cab to our hotel located near the Louvre Museum.
As we unpacked our bags, we watched CNN for the latest news. We stopped everything as we learned that a plane had crashed into one of the World Trade Center buildings in New York City. At first, it appeared to be a small plane that had inadvertently veered off course. Then a few minutes later, we watched in horror as another plane crashed into an adjoining tower.
Our hearts skipped a beat. “What’s going on?” we questioned. “Something terrible is happening in the United States. Are we under attack? Has the land of the free become a war zone?” The hotel staff immediately informed all guests that we were not to leave the building for any reason.