We live in a troubled world. That statement should surprise no one. All we have to do is read the headlines in the newspaper or listen to the newcasts on radio or TV to know that all is not well in the world today.
So many great strides have been made in so many areas, in science, in medicine, in space, but, as a society, we've been unable to achieve what we all seek - peace.Even though there are no global conflicts today, there are many smaller ones. There hasn't been peace on this earth for a long, long time. In November 1831, the Lord, through Joseph Smith promised that peace would be taken from the earth:
". . . all men shall know that the day speedily cometh; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand, when peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion." (D&C 1:35.)
Earlier that year, the Prophet Joseph received another revelation in August 1831, wherein the Lord stated:
"I, the Lord, am angry with the wicked; I am holding my Spirit from the inhabitants of the earth.
"I have sworn in my wrath and decreed wars upon the face of the earth, and the wicked shall slay the wicked, and fear shall come upon every man." (D&C 63:32-33.)
That certainly describes our day!
But, yet, in spite of no global peace, we can still have peace within our hearts. The Lord prescribed the formula for that inner peace:
"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.)
There it is! Four simple lines in the scriptures that give the answer to obtaining peace in this troubled world. It is the peace that comes of the Spirit.
Learn of me. How do we learn of the Savior? Through diligent study of the scriptures, prayer and personal revelation that we're all entitled to if we live worthily.
"Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." (John 5:39.) "And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." (John 17:3.) To learn of the Savior, we must study the scriptures.
"We must study the life of Christ, learn His commandments and do them," President Ezra Taft Benson said in the October 1972 general conference. "God has promised that to follow this course will lead a man to an abundant life and a fullness of joy and the peace and rest which those who are heavy-burdened long for. To learn of Christ necessitates the study of the scriptures and the testimonies of those who know Him. We come to know Him through prayer and the inspiration that God has promised to those who keep His commandments."
Listen to my words. The prophet Alma taught that "every man receiveth wages of him whom he listeth to obey." (Alma 3:27.) If we want to receive the wages of peace in this life, we must obey the Prince of Peace. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid." (John 14:27.)
We listen to the words of the Savior through His authorized servants, the living prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley, and the other General Authorities. ". . . whether my mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same." (D&C 1:38.)
Next weekend, we have the choice opportunity once again to learn the mind and will of God by listening to His words through the voice of the Brethren as they speak in general conference. Let us have "ears to hear" and then obey, and as we do we will feel that promised peace.
Walk in the meekness of my Spirit. As we learn of the Savior, we should earnestly strive to be more like Him. As we do so, we are able to enjoy the fruits of the Spirit, which include not only peace, but also love, joy, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. (See Gal. 5:22-23.)
As we enjoy the fruits of the Spirit and walk in obedience to the Savior and keep His commandments, we then are able to walk in the meekness of His Spirit. Who among us would not want that?
While there is much doom and despair all about us in the world today, there is also a brightness of hope that in this troubled world, we can find the "peace of God, which passeth all understanding." (See Philip. 4:7.)
Seek, listen and obey! It is up to us to live in such a way that we may find the peace of God that will enable us not to be troubled in a troubled world.