- Peace and good tidings; good tidings and peace. These are among the ultimate blessings that the gospel of Jesus Christ brings a troubled world and the troubled people who live in it, solutions to personal struggles and human sinfulness, a source of strength for days of weariness and hours of genuine despair. This entire general conference and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which convenes it declare that it is the Only Begotten Son of God Himself who gives us this help and this hope.
He speaks about all of our desire to find peace. People find peace in multiple ways. But he also shares that the dark times when peace is not felt are real as well and need to be taken seriously.
- The search for peace is one of the ultimate quests of the human soul. We all have highs and lows, but such times come and they usually always go. Kind neighbors assist. Beautiful sunshine brings encouragement. A good night’s sleep usually works wonders. But there are times in all of our lives when deep sorrow or suffering or fear or loneliness makes us cry out for the peace which only God Himself can bring. These are times of piercing spiritual hunger when even the dearest friends cannot fully come to our aid.
Elder Holland shares that God's ability to help us far exceeds our own abilities. We need to turn to Him for help.
- At least one of the purposes of general conference and the teachings of the prophets down through the ages is to declare to these very people that the Lord is equally fervent in trying to reach them, that when there is trouble His hopes and His striving and His efforts greatly exceed our own and it never ceases.
Elder Holland declares that peace is possible only through Jesus Christ who is the Prince of Peace. May things may provide temporary enjoyment but true, lasting peace, is only found through the Savior. That peace can be found when we seek the Savior's forgiveness and it can equally be found in our ability to forgive others.
- In that spirit we declare to all the world that for real and abiding peace to come, we must strive to be more like that exemplary Son of God. Many among us are trying to do that. We salute you for your obedience, your forbearance, your waiting faithfully upon the Lord for the strength you seek which will surely come. Some of us, on the other hand, need to make some changes, need to make greater effort in gospel living. And change we can. The very beauty of the word repentance is the promise of escaping old problems and old habits and old sorrows and old sins. It is among the most hopeful and encouraging—and yes, most peaceful—words in the gospel vocabulary. In seeking true peace some of us need to improve what has to be improved, confess what needs to be confessed, forgive what has to be forgiven, and forget what should be forgotten in order that serenity can come to us. If there is a commandment we are breaking, and as a result it is breaking us and hurting those who love us, let us call down the power of the Lord Jesus Christ to help us, to free us, to lead us through repentance to that peace “which passeth all understanding.”
- And when God has forgiven us, which He is so eternally anxious to do, may we have the good sense to walk away from those problems, to leave them alone, to let the past bury the past. If one of you has made a mistake, even a serious mistake, but you have done all you can according to the teachings of the Lord and the governance of the Church to confess it and feel sorrow for it and set it as right as can be, then trust in God, walk into His light, and leave those ashes behind you.
Repentance beings peace into our lives. But allowing someone else to repent also bring peace to the person seeking relief and the person giving forgiveness.
- Closely related to our own obligation to repent is the generosity of letting others do the same—we are to forgive even as we are forgiven. In this we participate in the very essence of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
He shares various short comments about the principle of peace and how we can find peace in our lives.
- Life is too short to be spent nursing animosities or keeping a box score of offenses against us—you know, no runs, no hits, all errors. We don’t want God to remember our sins, so there is something fundamentally wrong in our relentlessly trying to remember those of others.
- It is one of those ironies of godhood that in order to find peace, the offended as well as the offender must engage the principle of forgiveness.
- Those who have never had a heartache or a weakness or felt lonely or forsaken never have had to cry unto heaven for relief of such personal pain. Surely it is better to find the goodness of God and the grace of Christ, even at the price of despair, than to risk living our lives in a moral or material complacency that has never felt any need for faith or forgiveness, any need for redemption or relief.
He assures us that the gospel of Jesus Christ has the ultimate answers to all of our problems.
- So life has its oppositions and its conflicts, and the gospel of Jesus Christ has answers and assurances.
He provides a last plea to us and a promise that if we seek peace, we will find it in the Savior.
- The appeal today and tomorrow and forever to be better, to be cleaner, to be kinder, to be holier; to seek peace and always be believing.
- If we will take upon us His name and “walk in His paths” and keep our covenants with Him, we shall, ere long, have peace. Such a reward is not only possible; it is certain.
I am reminded of the song, "Where Can I Turn For Peace." There is a line in there that says, "When other sources cease to make me whole." I know that the Savior has the ability to make me whole. He has the ability to make all the wrong things in my life right again. On this Thanksgiving day, I know that the source of true peace is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know He is the ultimate source of our happiness, joy, peace, and is the perfect example of love. When I encounter people in need, when I see people struggling to make sense of life, I am going to share with them that true peace, lasting peace, ultimate peace, is only found in the arms of the Savior and in living our lives in accordance with His teachings. I would encourage you to ponder on that idea as you give thanks today for all the blessing that come to us from the Savior Jesus Christ.