The lyrics “Sleep in heavenly peace” from the Christmas hymn “Silent Night” have seemingly always reached deep into my soul. As a child I wanted to have the ability to feel heavenly peace, even when very hard physical challenges were part of my life. I found it, early on, in the Lord. Looking back, I realize how amazingly blessed I was to have physical issues that caused a whispering in my soul that there is ‘more to this journey’ and ‘more peace to be found’ even when others may not feel it.
We each have a plethora of things to rob us of peace. The world at large is boiling over with crime, war, threats, and natural disasters.
The personal issues are, however, ones that may constantly pull at us – reaching to grab our peace and steal it away.
Pain, addiction, debt, illness, contention, fear, and worries over sin – our own or our concern over somebody else’s – may suck the peace out of us like a powerful vacuum cleaner. Thankfully, blessedly, we can obtain peace despite the problems.
Heavenly peace is real.
It comes from the source of righteousness. The Prince of Peace brought it when he was born into this mortal world. As we remember Him, and reach for Him and our Father in heaven, we move closer to that spot of peace and calm inside.
Here are a few ways to help bring more peace to our souls:
Elder Rex D. Pinegar once said, “Our Father in Heaven has promised us peace in times of trial and has provided a way for us to come to Him in our need. He has given us the privilege and power of prayer. He has told us to ‘pray always’ and has promised He will pour out his Spirit upon us.” There have been times when I thought I may choke – may die- of hurt, pain, or worry. When I have gone to my Father and asked for help, it has always come. Not the way I expected it, perhaps. Not in the timeframe I would most like, maybe. But it has always come. Peace has filled the void.
2. Talking with like-minded friends and family members
To share some of our grief and concern with one who really cares, and will keep confidence, is a huge blessing. Two heads are better than one, in this instance. I’ve had deep conversations with my oldest daughter over tough things. Sometimes they are her issues, and sometimes they’re mine. Talking them through allows a flow of thought and the exchange of feelings and ideas lead to better ideas, and higher thoughts than we have had on our own. It can be hard to do this. But it’s so worth it.
3. Go to the Scriptures
The older I get, the more I realize the importance of the basics that we’re taught. We learn cyclically, I believe. There are layers and layers of learning in a single verse of scripture. Prayerfully seeking for answers in the holy writ does offer answers and does bring a good measure of peace! We may come back to the same scripture over and over again, and – because we have changed, learned more, and are more spiritually attuned – find there is so much more to understand.
4. Go and Do for Other Folks
Now is a perfect time to do things for other people. Any time, actually, is the perfect time to be of service to someone else. This is a promise: Whenever we reach out in love to someone else, our hearts become softer and we feel better. Gentle peace snuggles in, and pushes away the hardening ways of the world.
I have harped on this for years. I suppose I’ll continue to do so as long as I speak and write. The story of the Good Samaritan is a universal one. We know it. Do we put it into practice? It would mean that we would reach further than our neighborhoods, beyond the people who look like us or act like us. It would mean that we would do good, simply for goodness’ sake. In any way we can, to anyone we can. In Luke 10:37 Jesus said, regarding the one who had shown mercy and kindness, “Go and do likewise.”
If we all did that, even in the tiniest of ways, wouldn’t there be a lot more peace within us, and around us?
Diligence and righteousness is, of course, what we are wanting. For some, it comes more easily while for others it’s just so doggoned hard. Each of us is at our own level in our mortal course. Wherever we are, as long as we’re on the path, diligence and righteousness will protect and guard us. It will hedge us up against so much that tries to tear us down.
Does it mean we’ll have no bad experience? Will we fly through life with no problems and no pain? Of course not. Mortal life is full of the very problem solving that makes us better. If you’ve ever thought, “I think I get this lesson. May I please have a reprieve?” you’re not alone. Yet onward we go, working at being better. It drives us – if we’re willing – to our Father, who is the supreme Solver of Problems. He is able to fill our cups as we feel His love. So – despite the heartaches or overwhelming tough stuff – we find a measure of sweet peace.
For any of you who are dealing with circumstances that will not change in this earth life, who have disabilities that make this course seem harder, or for those who have family members with disabilities… and it is SO HARD for you to find peace, just keep at it. It’s easier for some than for others, for we all have different spiritual gifts. Just remember these sweet words from Boyd K. Packer, and they may bring a beautiful measure of peace:
“If healing does not come in mortal life, it will come hereafter. Just as the gorgeous monarch butterfly emerges from a chrysalis, so will spirits emerge.” (Pres. Boyd K. Packer)
While life may hand us hardships, can we hold on to our faith and know that all things will eventually be made right? If we can utilize the tools given us, and keep looking toward the Prince of Peace, we’ll find a measure of heavenly peace even as we traverse this darkening mortal world.