“Finding Peace in a Troubled World,” New Era, Sept. 2013, 26–29
Sometimes when we listen to the news or deal with the day-to-day challenges of life, we may wonder where to turn for comfort and hope. Fortunately, we are blessed with prophets and apostles who give wise counsel on how we can find hope through the Savior. And as the following experiences show, we can, indeed, find peace in our lives as promised in conference and in the scriptures.
When the phone call came, I could hear my mother in another room, talking quietly with her doctor—the tone of her voice steady but concerned. I instantly felt worried. I needed to find out what was happening, and something inside me told me the news wouldn’t be good.
“The cancer is back, and this time it’s in my liver,” my mom told me when she got off the phone. “The doctor wants me to come in for more tests to see how far it’s spread.”
Although I was just a sophomore in high school, this wasn’t the first time our family had received news that our mom’s health was in jeopardy. When I was just four years old, my dad sat me down during our evening storytelling time to explain that my mother had breast cancer.
Since then, she’d undergone rounds of surgery, chemotherapy, and radiation. The treatments had always seemed to work, but with each new discovery of cancer in her body, her chances of survival grew dimmer.
Over the next few weeks after this most recent phone call, I started to feel hopeless as I watched my mother struggling to cope with her illness. Despite doing all the things I knew I should be doing, like going to seminary, reading my scriptures, praying, and fasting, I still felt a looming cloud of despair hang over me.
Peace seemed to elude me, until one morning when I was getting ready for school. I was eating cereal at our kitchen table in my usual hurried fashion and was running late to try to catch the school bus. Suddenly I looked up and saw a painting of the Savior’s face with the words “You Are Never Alone” printed in bold letters above it. It was a Mormonad poster that my mom and I had taped to the side of the fridge a few months earlier. I took a closer look and read the scripture at the bottom of the poster: “I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you” (John 14:18).
I instantly felt a comforting feeling wash over me. The scripture on the Mormonad was a simple statement, but it seemed to pierce my heart. The Savior’s promise that He would always be by my side lifted my spirits and increased my faith. From then on, I knew that no matter what happened, I would be watched over through my trials. My prayers to find comfort during a troubling time had been answered. My testimony that I am a daughter of God and that He knows me personally was strengthened that day. Since that morning I have known that I will truly never be alone because the Savior is always with me.
Jonelle M., Utah, USA
I am in seventh grade. Where I live, there aren’t a lot of members of the Church, and some of the people cuss and wear immodest clothing. As the environment around me started to become worse, I realized that if I didn’t strengthen my testimony and my relationship with God, then the worldly things would swallow me up. I noticed that I needed to become closer to God and that I needed to do it now.
I decided that I would choose to be around people who would respect my standards and that I would work harder in school and on my talents. On top of that, I helped prepare family home evening lessons so our family could be closer, and we started reading the scriptures together every night. I also decided to read my scriptures every day and keep a journal about what I’m reading. I pray every morning and night and when I need help. Every Sunday I listen in church so that I can learn as much as possible and do my best to absorb the teachings of prophets and apostles that are shared there.
My life is much happier now, and I can feel the Spirit every day. I don’t know why I was so driven to become closer to Heavenly Father, but it may be because of the feeling I got from doing good things or the blessings that were promised. I’m so glad I took the extra leap to become closer to my Heavenly Father. I know He loves me so much and blesses me so greatly.
Daniel N., Virginia, USA
One year at youth conference, my ward spent a day doing service. I volunteered to help at the town’s high school (even though I didn’t have the best memories there), because a janitor needed help moving lockers. As my friend and I helped move the lockers, I thought about the school where we were serving. I remembered a sporting event there where I felt the referees had not called a fair game. For my team, that game was still a sore spot, and I realized that I had let anger and bitterness stay in my heart.
I began to feel sorrow as I thought about the grudge I held, and I prayed for forgiveness. As I prayed and kept serving, I felt the anger and bitterness melting away and began to see the high school as it was: a great school facing some tough times. I began to feel gratitude for God guiding me to where I needed to serve and work through my problems. Through my service, the Lord was able to open my eyes to the grudge I’d harbored and help me let it go. I learned that service will scrape away the blackness of anger and bitterness, help us gain a love for those we once disliked, and help us draw closer to our Heavenly Father.
Robert S., Idaho, USA
As we have trust in the Lord, turn to prayer for comfort and guidance, keep the commandments, and serve others, we will know for ourselves what the Savior meant when He said, “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).