“The Comforting Power of Christ,” Liahona, February 2017
Several years ago my friend Joseph was planning to drive from Utah to Washington, D.C., USA. He invited me to go with him for the road trip. Along the way we visited various Church history sites, and when we got to the East Coast, we drove to New York City.
We were there just two weeks after the tragic events of September 11, 2001. We felt strongly that we should visit the site where the Twin Towers had been destroyed.
We saw a soldier waving people through a crowded street as they viewed the wreckage. He handed out tissues to dry people’s tears.
Joseph and I could feel how deeply these events had hurt everyone, and we wanted to do something about it. We decided the best thing we could do was talk to people, listen to their stories, and perhaps share a message on the hope of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ with them.
On our way back to our hotel, we were traveling in the subway. Sitting across from me was a lady who was reading a book. I wondered what was going on in her life. I introduced myself and told her that we were visiting New York. I said we were curious about her experiences with the recent events of September 11.
Her name was Maria, and she had lived in New York City for decades. She worked in a building a few blocks away from the towers. She told us that a few weeks before September 11, she had received a strong feeling that she should pray and ask if God was there. She said that up until that point in her life, she hadn’t prayed much and hadn’t really felt like she needed to. She didn’t feel an answer to her prayer until terrorists struck the towers on that fateful morning. Chaos and confusion ensued all around her, yet she suddenly felt calm. Maria told us that she felt this incredible peace and that, in spite of all the inexplicable destruction of the moment, she felt that God was there looking out for her.
After Maria shared this with us, Joseph and I told her that she had felt the Spirit of her Heavenly Father in the form of that special peace and comfort. We told her that she could always feel that peace, as she seeks Him in prayer and by searching the Book of Mormon. We gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon and told her that the book would bring her a continuation of the peace she had been seeking. She was very happy to receive it and thanked us.
I don’t know what came next in Maria’s story because Joseph and I had to get off at our stop, but I know that Heavenly Father loves each of His sons and daughters. I know He is in the details of our lives, especially when things seem to be going wrong all around us. He can provide unspeakable peace that comes from His Spirit, through the power of His Son, Jesus Christ. Christ’s light can shine brightly through the thickness of any trial or tragedy because He has overcome it all.