Liahona
    Finding Hope in the Epicenter
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    Digital Only: Young Adults

    Finding Hope in the Epicenter

    When Italy was struck hard by COVID-19, I found a reason to hold onto hope.

    Looking Outside

    The author lives in Catanzaro, Italy.

    I love the comforting words that Jesus shared with His disciples after His Resurrection: “Peace be unto you” (John 20:19). Isn’t it amazing that our Savior has always promised His followers peace? A special experience I had recently reminded me of this truth.

    Anxious and Quarantined

    One night while watching TV, newscasters were talking about COVID-19 and its impact in Italy, where I live. They talked about the high number of people who had died from the virus and the growing number of confirmed cases. Although it was alarming, I wasn’t too worried about it then. But about two weeks later, things got so much worse, and so did my anxiety.

    I felt a sense of sadness and panic in the midst of it all. I was so worried about getting sick. And for the first time in my life, I was scared to go to work. I had to wear gloves and a mask anytime I went outside. A week later, my entire country went into lockdown and everyone was put under strict quarantine.

    During this time we are not allowed to leave our homes except to buy groceries once a week. Being stuck inside has been difficult. All Church meetings have been temporarily suspended, and while that made me sad, what devastated me more was when the temples closed because I had been planning on attending the sealing of a family I taught on my mission. I felt heartbroken and hopeless because of the circumstances in the world.

    Touched by Music

    One morning while I was reading the scriptures and listening to a song called “Peace in Christ,” I prayed and asked Heavenly Father, “How can I hold on with hope during this hard time?”

    And that’s when I started paying attention to the lyrics of the song:

    He gives us hope

    When hope is gone.

    He give us strength

    When we can’t go on.

    He give us shelter

    In the storms of life.

    When there’s no peace on earth,

    There is peace in Christ.1

    I felt the Spirit testify to me that these words were true. I glanced at my old missionary name tag and heard these words in my mind: “Romina, I want you to have the same peace that you gave others on your mission by sharing my message of hope. Everything will be OK. I won’t leave you alone.”

    So now, I want to share that message of hope! Although I have felt so much fear and anxiety during this time of difficulty in the world, I truly know that with Jesus Christ, there is hope! Turn to Him. Hear Him. Follow Him. We can find peace in Him. There is power in believing in Him, and when you do, He will give you the strength to hold on to hope (see Ether 12:4).

    Clinging to Hope

    Speaking about hope, Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles taught, “Hope in God, His goodness, and His power refreshes us with courage during difficult challenges.”2 As scary as this time may be, we can choose courage and trust in the Lord’s promises. When life is challenging, we don’t need to ask Heavenly Father to change our circumstances, rather, we can ask Him to change our attitudes. We can learn and grow in any situation.

    I know that God is with us and that He loves His children—even those of us who are in the epicenter of a pandemic. I know that through Him, everything will be OK. And I know that I can always cling to the peace that comes from believing in Jesus Christ. Because of His infinite Atonement, I don’t have to face difficulties alone.