Path to peace found in Savior's teachings

Search inward

Reach outward- Look heavenward

Citing the ageless salutation, "Peace be unto you," President Thomas S. Monson, second counselor in the First Presidency, spoke Sunday morning of the devastating consequences of conflict and the prerequisites to enter the path to peace.

"In a world where peace is such a universal quest, we sometimes wonder why violence walks our streets, accounts of murder and senseless killings fill the columns of our newspapers and family quarrels and disputes mar the sanctity of the home and smother the tranquility of so many lives," said President Monson.

"Perhaps we stray from the path which leads to peace and find it necessary to pause, to ponder and to reflect on the teachings of the Prince of Peace and determine to incorporate them in our thoughts and actions and to live a higher law, walk a more elevated road and be a better disciple of Christ."

Referring to the conflict and turmoil throughout the world, he said the peace that people seek will not come without effort and determination.

"Anger, hatred and contention are foes not easily subdued," he exclaimed. "These enemies inevitably leave in their destructive wake tears of sorrow, the pain of conflict and the shattered hopes of what could have been. Their sphere of influence is not restricted to the battlefields of war but can be observed altogether too frequently in the home, around the hearth, and within the heart."

Speaking of failed efforts of world leaders to avert war, he noted that this June marks the 50th anniversary of the landings of Allied forces on the beaches of Normandy in World War II.

"World peace, though a lofty goal, is but an outgrowth of the personal peace each individual seeks to attain," President Monson said. "I speak not of the peace promoted by man, but peace as promised by God. I speak of peace in our homes, peace in our hearts, even peace in our lives. Peace after the way of man is perishable. Peace after the manner of God will prevail.

"We are reminded, `Anger doesn't solve anything. It builds nothing, but it can destroy everything.' The consequences of conflict are so devastating that we yearn for guidance - even a way to ensure our success as we seek the path to peace."

President Monson suggested three ways to find peace: Search inward, reach outward and look heavenward.

Search inward. "Self-evaluation is always a difficult procedure," he continued. "We are so frequently tempted to gloss over areas which demand correction and dwell endlessly on our individual strengths. President Ezra Taft Benson counsels us: `The price of peace is righteousness. . . . Peace cannot be imposed. It must come from the lives and hearts of men. There is no other way.' "

President Monson explained the place of parents in the home and family is of vital importance. He said a distinguished group met to examine the increase of violence in the lives of individuals, particularly the young. The group hit upon a solution in this statement: "A return to old-fashioned family values will work wonders."

President Monson added, "So frequently we mistakenly believe that our children need more things, when in reality their silent pleadings are simply for more of our time."

Reach outward. "Membership in the Church calls forth a determination to serve," he said. "A position of responsibility may not be of recognized importance, nor may the reward be broadly known. Service, to be acceptable to the Savior, must come from willing minds, ready hands and pledged hearts.

"Occasionally discouragement may darken our pathway; frustration may be a constant companion. In our ears there may sound the sophistry of Satan as he whispers, `You cannot save the world; your small efforts are meaningless. You haven't time to be concerned for others.' Trusting in the Lord, let us turn our heads from such falsehoods and make certain our feet are firmly planted in the path of service and our hearts and souls dedicated to follow the example of the Lord."

Look heavenward. "We find it comforting and satisfying to communicate with our Heavenly Father through prayer, that path to spiritual power - even a passport to peace. We are reminded of His beloved Son, the Prince of Peace, that pioneer who literally showed the way for others to follow. His divine plan can save us from the Babylons of sin, complacency and error. His example points the way. When faced with temptation, He shunned it. When offered the world, He declined it. When asked for His life, He gave it."

Speaking of the comforting balm that comes through the Savior's redeeming love, President Monson read a touching letter written by an American Civil War soldier to his wife one week before he was killed in battle. In the letter, the soldier testified of his faith that he would see his beloved wife again, even if he were killed.

"The darkness of death can ever be dispelled by the light of revealed truth," President Monson said. " I am the resurrection and the life,' spoke the Master.He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live: And whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.' (John 11:25-26.) Added to His own words are those of the angel: `He is not here, but is risen.'

"Such is the message of Eastern morn. He lives! And because He lives all shall indeed live again."

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