Peace Christ gives is not of this world

Comes from Comforter

Works through heart, mind- Speaks softly, but with great power

Penetrates anything

The peace that Jesus promised is His peace - not the peace the world gives, Elder Dennis E. Simmons declared Saturday afternoon.

Speaking for the first time in general conference since being sustained to the Seventy in April 1996, Elder Simmons referred to the last few days of the Savior's mortal ministry. He explained that the Savior, in speaking to His apostles, gave a significant benediction: "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.)

"The scriptures," Elder Simmons continued, "testify that the promise was fulfilled in the lives of His servants in the meridian of time. We testify that the fulfillment continues in this dispensation of the fulness of times.

"The world cries out for freedom from war, from violence, from oppression, from injustice, from contention, from disease and distress. But in the midst of that tribulation His followers would have peace in Him. In other words, even if all the world is crumbling around us, the promised Comforter will provide His peace as a result of true discipleship.

"Ultimate total peace will come, of course, because He overcame the world. But we can have His peace with us irrespective of the troubles of the world. His peace is that peace, that serenity, that comfort spoken to our hearts and minds by the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, as we strive to follow Him and keep His commandments."

Elder Simmons emphasized "that peace comes from assurances spoken by a still small voice. The Holy Ghost is a personage of spirit, who generally communicates, not through physical senses, but by touching the heart and mind - in other words, He speaks through thoughts, impressions and feelings, and does so softly.

"Accordingly, many do not hear the voice. In fact, many do not want to hear the voice. Many men desire to be, and are determined to be self-sufficient, rejecting and scoffing at anything which would potentially call into question their own power or ability."

Elder Simmons explained that although the Spirit is gentle, it speaks with great power. "To receive the Spirit," he added, "a type of surrender is necessary" . . . a surrender "to a power unseen, but capable of penetrating any willing heart."

The fruits of the Spirit, he said, are, as Paul describes, love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness. (Gal. 5:22-23.) "In other words, the Spirit can penetrate anything. No law can be passed which will preclude the Spirit from doing His work with an obedient follower of Christ."

Elder Simmons declared: "Just as Jesus' anxious apostles were given peace by another Comforter, so today can all men and women receive the same marvelous blessing each day of their lives: the teenager challenged by peer pressure, the person torn by seemingly overwhelming passions or emotions, the person encircled by loneliness and despair, the hungry, the oppressed, the forgotten, the frightened, the abused, the abuser, the liar, the thief - all who will surrender, follow the Master and do His works are entitled to the same peace."

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