Turn toward the positive and Jesus to find peace
The headlines of today's news stories seem to be dominated with a bleak outlook on life. They present to us all the problems of today's world but seem to offer few solutions. A few I've seen recently: Natural Disaster Strikes. Thousands Killed, Missing. Global Food Crisis - Hunger Degrades Everything. Rising Gas Prices, No End in Sight. Foreclosures on the Rise, Are You Safe? Disease Outbreak, Vaccines Not Available?
This is not to mention the other problems that exist in our society - gangs, discrimination, petty crime and violence, to name a few.
When I feel myself sinking into that seemingly forlorn abyss of "all hope is gone," I think of the title of one of my favorite hymns, "Where Can I Turn for Peace?" So, where do I turn for peace? I find that peace in the gospel of Jesus Christ and in the knowledge that he has a plan of happiness for us.
A few weeks ago, I found myself feeling a little down. The stresses of work coupled with other obligations left me feeling like added weight had been placed on my shoulders. As I was driving home from work, I flipped on the radio hoping to find a good tune to cheer me up. Instead, I caught the tail end of a grim news report.
I decided staying in my poignant state was not what I wanted to bring home to my family; I needed to shake those feelings and move on. While growing up, my parents and church leaders had taught me to count my blessings. So, for the next 15 minutes, instead of focusing on the negative, I looked for the good. It wasn't long before I realized that I have been given so much for which to be grateful: my car with a working radio, the smooth flow of traffic, the beautiful island on which we live, a job, a healthy body, good friends, the list went on. I also realized what is truly most important to me: my family and the gospel.
It is in these two things that I find real happiness and peace. When I arrived home that evening, my two kids ran up to me and gave me a big hug as they exclaimed, "Daddy, you're home!" What would my life be without them?
The gospel of Jesus Christ, the plan of happiness, offers me a sanctuary from worldly troubles and sorrow. Its invitation: "Come unto me, all ye that labor and are heavily laden, and I will give you rest."
I can not imagine my life without my family and without the peace, comfort and "rest" the gospel proffers. Next time you feel depressed because of what you see around you, I invite you to count your blessings, "come unto him" and find that peace for yourself.
Brad Clove is a high counselor with the Makakilo Stake, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.