“My Peace I Give unto You”
March 2023

“My Peace I Give unto You,” Liahona, Mar. 2023.

“My Peace I Give unto You”

The same words Jesus spoke to the Sea of Galilee that stormy night, He says to us during the storms of our lives: “Peace, be still.”

rain falling over the ocean

Photograph via Getty Images

For my family and me, the cold winter of 1944 was a time of fear and uncertainty. With my father far away on the western front, my mother struggled to keep her four children fed and warm as war threatened our home in Czechoslovakia.

Each day the danger grew closer. Finally, my mother decided to flee to her parents’ home in eastern Germany. Somehow, she managed to get all of us on one of the last refugee trains heading west. Nearby explosions, worried faces, and empty stomachs reminded everyone on the train that we were traveling through a war zone.

One night after our train had stopped for supplies, my mother hurried off to search for food. When she returned, to her horror, the train carrying us children was gone!

Fraught with worry, she turned to God in desperate prayer and then frantically began searching the dark train station. She ran from track to track and from train to train. She knew that if her train departed before she found it, she might never see us again.

Storms in Our Lives

During the Savior’s mortal ministry, His disciples learned that He could calm the storms in our lives. One evening, after a full day of teaching by the seaside, the Lord suggested that they “pass over unto the other side” of the Sea of Galilee (Mark 4:35).

After they had departed, Jesus found a spot to rest on the ship and fell asleep. Soon the skies darkened, “and there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full” (see Mark 4:37–38).

We don’t know how long the disciples struggled to keep the ship afloat, but at last they could wait no longer. Panicked, they cried out, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” (Mark 4:38).

All of us face sudden storms. In our mortal life of trials and tests, we may feel distressed, discouraged, and disappointed. Our hearts break for ourselves and those we love. We worry and fear and sometimes lose hope. During such times, we may also cry out, “Master, carest thou not that I perish?”

In my youth one of my favorite hymns was “Master, the Tempest Is Raging.”1 I could picture myself in the boat when “the billows [were] tossing high.” The crucial and most beautiful part of the hymn follows: “The winds and the waves shall obey thy will: Peace, be still.” Then comes the important message: “No waters can swallow the ship where lies the Master of ocean and earth and skies.”

If we welcome Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace, into our boat, we need not be frightened. We will know that we can find peace amidst the storms that swirl inside us and around us. After His disciples cried out for help, Jesus “arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm” (Mark 4:39).

The same words Jesus spoke to the Sea of Galilee that stormy night, He says to us during the storms of our lives: “Peace, be still.”

“Not as the World Giveth”

With the disciples, we may ask, “What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?” (Mark 4:41).

Jesus is a man like no other. As the Son of God, He was called to fulfill a mission no other could fulfill.

Through His Atonement, and in a way we cannot fully comprehend, the Savior took upon Himself “pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind” (Alma 7:11) and “the cumulative weight of all mortal sins.”2

Though He owed no debt to justice, He suffered the “whole … demands of justice” (Alma 34:16). In the words of President Boyd K. Packer (1924–2015), President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, “He had committed no wrong. Nevertheless, an accumulation of all of the guilt, the grief and sorrow, the pain and humiliation, all of the mental, emotional, and physical torments known to man—He experienced them all.”3 And He overcame them all.

Alma prophesied that the Savior “will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities” (Alma 7:12).

Through a divine endowment born of searing torment, and out of love for us, Jesus Christ paid the price to redeem us, to strengthen us, and to save us. It is only through the Atonement that we can find the peace we so badly want and need in this life. As the Savior promised, “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).

portrait of Jesus Christ

The life and teachings of Jesus Christ give us ways to feel His peace if we will turn to Him.

Christ’s Image, by Heinrich Hofmann

Ways to Peace

Jesus Christ, who controls the elements, can also lighten our burdens. He has power to heal individuals and nations. He has shown us the way to true peace, for He is “The Prince of Peace” (Isaiah 9:6). The peace the Savior offers could transform all of human existence if God’s children would allow it. His life and teachings give us ways to feel His peace if we will turn to Him.

“Learn of me,” He said, “and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me” (Doctrine and Covenants 19:23).

We learn of Him as we lift up our souls in prayer, study His life and teachings, and “stand … in holy places,” including the temple (Doctrine and Covenants 87:8; see also 45:32). Attend the house of the Lord as often as you can. The temple is a peaceful refuge from the growing storms of our day.

My dear friend President Thomas S. Monson (1927–2018) taught: “As we go to the [temple], as we remember the covenants we make therein, we will be able to bear every trial and overcome each temptation. The temple provides purpose for our lives. It brings peace to our souls—not the peace provided by men but the peace promised by the Son of God.”4

We listen to His words as we heed His teachings in the holy scriptures and from His living prophets, emulate His example, and come to His Church, where we are fellowshipped, taught, and nourished by the good word of God.

We walk in the meekness of His Spirit as we love as He loved, forgive as He forgave, repent, and make our homes places where we can feel His Spirit. We also walk in the meekness of His Spirit as we help others, joyfully serve God, and strive to become “peaceable followers of Christ” (Moroni 7:3).

These steps of faith and works lead to righteousness, bless us on our journey of discipleship, and bring us abiding peace and purpose.

“In Me Ye Might Have Peace”

On a dark night in a grim railroad station many years ago, my mother faced a choice. She could sit and bemoan the tragedy of having lost her children, or she could put her faith and hope into action. I am grateful that her faith overcame her fear and that her hope overcame her despair.

Finally, in a remote area of the station, she found our train. There, at last, we were reunited. That night, and during many stormy days and nights to come, my mother’s example of putting faith into action sustained us as we hoped and worked for a brighter future.

Today, many of God’s children find that their train, too, has been moved. Their hopes and dreams for the future have been carried away by war, pandemic, and loss of health, employment, educational opportunities, and loved ones. They are discouraged, lonely, bereft.

Brothers and sisters, dear friends, we live in perilous times. Nations are perplexed, judgment is upon the land, and peace has been taken from the earth (see Doctrine and Covenants 1:35; 88:79). But peace need not be taken from our hearts, even if we must suffer, grieve, and wait on the Lord.

Because of Jesus Christ and His Atonement, our prayers will be answered. Timing belongs to God, but I testify that our righteous desires will one day be realized and that all our losses will be made up to us, provided we use the divine gift of repentance and remain faithful.5

We will be healed—physically and spiritually.

We will stand pure and holy before the judgment bar.

We will be reunited with loved ones in a glorious resurrection.

Meanwhile, may we be comforted and encouraged as we rely on the Savior’s promise: “In me ye might have peace” (John 16:33).