Friday, May 27, 2016

David O. McKay on finding the peace of Christ in the world

President David O. McKay (1873-1970) was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1906.  He served as a counselor in the First Presidency to Heber J. Grant and George Albert Smith beginning in 1945, then then as the president of the Church from 1951 to his death in 1970 at age 96.
"The peace of Christ does not come by seeking the superficial things of life, neither does it come except as it springs from the individual's heart. Jesus said to His disciples: 'Peace I leave with you. My peace I give unto you; not as the world giveth, give I unto you.' [John 14:27] Thus the Son of Man as the executor of his own will and testament gave to his disciples and to mankind the 'first of all human blessings.' It was a bequest conditioned upon obedience to the principles of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It is thus bequeathed to each individual. No man is at peace with himself or his God who is untrue to his better self, who transgresses the law of right either in dealing with himself by indulging in passion, in appetite, yielding to temptations against his accusing conscience, or in dealing with his fellowmen, being untrue to their trust. Peace does not come to the transgressor of law; peace comes by obedience to law, and it is that message which Jesus would have us proclaim among men.
"If we would have peace as individuals, we must supplant enmity with forbearance, which means to refrain or abstain from finding fault or from condemning others. 'It is a noble thing to be charitable with the failings and weaknesses of a friend; to bury his weaknesses in silence, but to proclaim his virtues from the house tops.' We shall have power to do this if we really cherish in our hearts the ideals of Christ, who said:
"'If thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee; Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.' [Matt. 5:23]
"Note the Savior did not say if you have ought against him, but if you find that another has ought against you. How many of us are ready to come up to that standard? If we are, we shall find peace. Many of us, however, instead of following this admonition, nurse our ill-will until it grows to hatred, then this hatred expresses itself in fault-finding and even slander, 'whose whisper over the world's diameter as level as a cannon to its mouth, transports its poison shot.' Back-biting, fault-finding, are weeds of society that should be constantly eradicated."
- David O. McKay, Conference Report October 1938
Click here to read the full article

"The peace of Christ" is a beautiful concept. Those words alone distinguish President McKay's concept from what we sometimes consider in searching for peace. His encouragement is that peace will come only through Christ, and only through faith and obedience to Christ's teachings. If we lack peace, we should consider where we might need to repent or increase faithfulness.

President McKay teaches the concept of "forbearance"—avoiding criticism or fault-finding of others. And then he discusses the interesting challenge of the Savior from Matthew 5:23, in which we are reminded that it's not just our feelings about others, but their feelings about us that we must consider in this search for peace. True disciples of Christ must rise to a high standard to merit His greatest blessings!

Interestingly, a little later in this article, President McKay makes this application of his principles, one which we might consider in this election year:
"During the approaching political campaign let us refrain from making personal attacks and from hurling slanderous abuse, and thus avoid injuring one another’s feelings, and after election have fewer regrets and heartaches."

No comments:

Post a Comment

// Customization to close archive widget on first view - DK 3/15