- I have heard the leaders of this Church preach that peace can only come through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I am coming to understand why.
He speaks about some simple definitions of peace.
- The peace the gospel brings is not just the absence of war. It is the opposite of war. Gospel peace is the opposite of any conflict, armed or unarmed. It is the opposite of national or ethnic hostilities, of civil or family strife.
- There are wars between some nations, armed conflicts within others, and violent controversies in most. People are killed every day in some places, and hatred is practiced in many more. Peace is a victim everywhere.
- The blessings of the gospel are universal, and so is the formula for peace: keep the commandments of God. War and conflict are the result of wickedness; peace is the product of righteousness.
He speaks about our role as citizens of our countries. He reflects on the idea that peace is only found through individuals and if the citizens are not righteous, the nation will not be either, and peace will not be present.
- Democracy does not ensure peace. When a nation is governed according to the voice of its people, its actions will mirror the righteousness or wickedness of its people. We cannot have peace among nations without achieving general righteousness among the people who comprise them.
- If citizens do not have a basic goodness to govern their actions toward one another, we can never achieve peace in the world. One nation’s greed, hatred, or desire for power over another is simply a reflection of the greeds, hatreds, and selfish desires of individuals within that nation.
- Conversely, each citizen furthers the cause of world peace when he or she keeps the commandments of God and lives at peace with family and neighbors. Such citizens are living the prayer expressed in the words of a popular song, “Let there be peace on earth, and let it begin with me.”
President Oaks gives us the formula for what we can do to promote world peace.
- What can one person do to promote world peace? The answer is simple: keep God’s commandments and serve his children.
He speaks about the churches missionary efforts. Our missionaries are ambassadors for peace in this life and in the life to come.
- Our missionaries, young men and women and older couples, are workers for world peace. So are the faithful souls who support them. Like the church that sends them forth, our missionaries have no political agenda and no specific program for disarmament or reduction of forces. They circulate no petitions, advocate no legislation, support no candidates. They are the Lord’s servants, and his program for world peace depends on righteousness, not rhetoric. His methods involve repentance and reformation, not placards and picketing.
- By preaching righteousness, our missionaries seek to treat the causes of war. They preach repentance from personal corruption, greed, and oppression because only by individual reformation can we overcome corruption and oppression by groups or nations.
- By inviting all to repent and come unto Christ, our missionaries are working for peace in this world by changing the hearts and behavior of individual men and women.
He concludes with reminding us that peace come through the Savior and if we follow Him, we have have peace on earth.
- Jesus Christ is our Savior. He has taught us the way to live. If we follow him and have goodwill toward all men, we can have peace on earth.
We all wonder what we can do to find peace in our lives. President Oaks confirms what prophets through the ages have told us, that true and lasting peace in this life is only found when following the Savior and His teachings. We can each help in this effort by making sure that we are individually following the Savior and then encouraging others to do the same.