In Chapter 2 of Teachings of the President of the Church: Howard W. Hunter, President Hunter reminds us that “peace is a state of existence that comes to man only upon the terms and conditions set by God, and in no other way.”
One great example of this is found in Matthew 14 when the disciples are out at sea and a great storm arises. The Savior goes out to be with them. Sensing their anxiousness, He tells them to “be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid.” Peter leaves the boat to join Jesus. While his sight is firmly fixed on the Savior, he finds peace amid the storm. With his firmly fixed focus, he finds his way toward the safety of the Savior. However with the winds and waves beating upon him, Peter’s focus turns from the Savior to the difficulties all around him. He begins to sink. His desperate plea to be saved is immediately answered by the loving, waiting, oustretched arm of the Savior.
How often are we like Peter? We know that we must look to the Savior. But fear and doubt, even if only momentary, cause us to look down. How often does the Savior ask the same question of us, “Why do you doubt?”
Joseph B. Wirthlin, in his April 2000 LDS General Conference talk taught:
“You can find peace amidst the storms that threaten you. Your Heavenly Father—who knows when even a sparrow falls—knows of your heartache and suffering. He loves you and wants the best for you. Never doubt this. While He allows all of us to make choices that may not always be for our own or even others’ well-being, and while He does not always intervene in the course of events, He has promised the faithful peace even in their trials and tribulations.
“Draw close to the Lord Jesus Christ. He bears a special love for those who suffer.
“Be of good cheer. The Man of Galilee, the Creator, the Son of the Living God will not forget nor forsake those whose hearts are drawn to Him. I testify that the Man who suffered for mankind, who committed His life to healing the sick and comforting the disconsolate, is mindful of your sufferings, doubts, and heartaches.
“Even when we are called to sail through troubled waters, we need to know the place of adversity in shaping our divine potential.
“If only we would have the faith and trust in our Heavenly Father to see how, after a little season, then we can emerge from our trials more refined and glorious.
“At times we may be tempted to think the Savior is oblivious to our trials. In fact, the reverse is true; it is we who need to be awakened in our hearts to His teachings.
“Do all you can do and then leave the rest to the Lord.
“Living the gospel does not mean the storms of life will pass us by, but we will be better prepared to face them with serenity and peace.
“Draw close to the Lord Jesus Christ. Be of good cheer. Keep the faith. Doubt not. The storms will one day be stilled.
“In our own storms in life the Savior is our solace and our sanctuary. If we seek peace, we must come unto Him. He Himself spoke this eternal truth when He said, ‘My yoke is easy, and my burden is light.’ When our souls are anchored in the safe harbor of the Savior, we can proclaim as did Paul: ‘We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed.'”
I love this quote from James E. Faust! “The Savior doesn’t heal souls by simply restoring us to our former state of wellness. When He heals, He graciously overdoes it. He makes us healthier than we ever were before the onset of the affliction. His objective is our happiness and peace.”
In his April 2013 LDS General Conference talk, Quentin L. Cook said:
“Peace is not just safety or lack of war, violence, conflict, and contention. Peace comes from knowing that the Savior knows who we are and knows that we have faith in Him, love Him, and keep His commandments, even and especially amid life’s devastating trials and tragedies.
The Savior is the source of true peace. Even with the trials of life, because of the Savior’s Atonement and His grace, righteous living will be rewarded with personal peace. In the intimate setting of the Passover chamber, the Savior promised His Apostles that they would be blessed with the ‘Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost’ and then uttered these important words: ‘Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.’ Then just before His Intercessory Prayer: ‘These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.'”
We learn a very important lesson about peace from that scripture, which is found in John 16:33. The Savior tells us “in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” Peace is only attainable because of the Savior. This scripture also teaches us a couple of very interesting things. There are two absolute statements and two variable ones. The two absolutes are that “in the world ye shall have tribulation” and “I have overcome the world.” Life will be hard! We will experience pain, heartache, sin and sorrow . . . in this world! But the Savior has overcome the world! And because He has, He has the power to help us through the two variable parts of this scripture. Though the phrase, “ye might have peace” is conditional, we are the only conditional part. We must choose to come to Him. When we do, that promised peace is assured. The admonition to “be of good cheer” is also our choice. And as we follow that admonition, we will find our walk along the path that leads to promised peace.
President Hunter taught, “Peace can come to an individual only by an unconditional surrender—surrender to him who is the Prince of peace, who has the power to confer peace.” He also reminds us to “seek for the peace that comes from living the simple principles of the gospel of Christ.”
In October 2004 LDS General Conference, Richard G. Scott taught that peace of conscience is “a condition of immense worth, yet there are few on earth that enjoy it. Peace of conscience relates to your inner self and is controlled by what you personally do. Peace of conscience can come only from God through a righteous, obedient life. It cannot exist otherwise.” Again speaking on peace, in his April 2013 LDS General Conference talk he taught that our homes are the ideal place to establish peace. He said:
“Deep inside each of us is a need to have a place of refuge where peace and serenity prevail, a place where we can reset, regroup, and reenergize to prepare for future pressures.
“The ideal place for that peace is within the walls of our own homes, where we have done all we can to make the Lord Jesus Christ the centerpiece.
“Center your home and your life on the Lord Jesus Christ, for He is the source of true peace in this life.”
Elder Scott then taught us how we can best accomplish this. He said:
“Daily personal and family prayer, daily personal and family scripture study, and weekly family home evening are the essential, weight-bearing beams in the construction of a Christ-centered home. Without these regular practices it will be difficult to find the desired and much-needed peace and refuge from the world.
“Simple, consistent, good habits lead to a life full of bountiful blessings.
“Remember that there are some things that must be left to the Lord. He invites us to set our burdens down at His feet.
“Living an obedient life, firmly rooted in the gospel of Jesus Christ, provides the greatest assurance for peace and refuge in our homes. There will still be plenty of challenges or heartaches, but even in the midst of turmoil, we can enjoy inner peace and profound happiness.”
President Hunter reminds us, “There is but one guiding hand in the universe, only one truly infallible light, one unfailing beacon to the world. That light is Jesus Christ.”
May we each look to the light of our Savior, Jesus Christ as we navigate our way through the stormy seas of life.