"While we yearn for peace, we live in a world burdened with hunger, pain, anguish, loneliness, sickness, and sorrow. We see divorce with all of its attendant conflict and heartache, especially among the innocent children caught in the middle. Wayward, disobedient children cause their parents grief and anxiety. Financial problems cause distress and loss of self-respect. Some loved ones slip into sin and wickedness, forsake their covenants, and walk in their 'own way, and after the image of [their] own god.' (D&C 1:16.)
"The value of peace within our hearts cannot be measured. When we are at peace, we can be free of worry and fear, knowing that with the Lord's help, we can do all that is expected or required of us. We can approach every day, every task, and every challenge with assurance and confidence in the outcome. We have freedom of thought and action, freedom to be happy.... Few, if any, blessings from God are more valuable to our spiritual health than the reward of peace within. In modern-day revelation the Savior said, 'But learn that he who doeth the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come.' (D&C 59:23.)
"Despite dismal conditions in the world and the personal challenges that come into every life, peace within can be a reality. We can be calm and serene regardless of the swirling turmoil all about us. Attaining harmony within ourselves depends upon our relationship with our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ, and our willingness to emulate him by living the principles he has given us. He has extended to us an invitation: 'Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.' (Matt. 11:28-30.)"
- Joseph B. Wirthlin, "Peace Within," Ensign, May 1991, pp. 36-38
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Church leaders frequently acknowledge the challenges of our times; they are aware of the difficulties we face. While we sometimes assume they "have it all together" and are beyond such problems in areas of "hunger, pain, anguish, loneliness, sickness, and sorrow," I am certain they either face or have faced many of them, and they see challenges faced by their acquaintances and own loved ones. Add to these the situations of divorce, wayward children, financial struggles, those who choose to forsake covenants, and we have a pretty good picture of the difficulties of living in our time.
But there is hope! With the Lord's help, we can find peace in the world, in spite of these challenges. To be "calm and serene regardless of the swirling turmoil all about us" is the invitation Elder Wirthlin presents. That "peace within" comes from "doing the works of righteousness."
So much depends on our relationship with the Lord, our understanding of His plan, and our level of commitment to His path. We don't choose the trials and adversity we face; but we choose whether to have peace in our life.