Sunday, September 4, 2016

Howard W. Hunter on finding peace amid adversity

President Howard W. Hunter (1907-1995) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1959.  He served as Church President for only nine months, from June 5, 1994 to his death on March 3, 1995.
"We will all have some adversity in our lives. I think we can be reasonably sure of that. Some of it will have the potential to be violent and damaging and destructive. Some of it may even strain our faith in a loving God who has the power to administer relief in our behalf.
"To those anxieties I think the Father of us all would say, 'Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?' And of course that has to be faith for the whole journey, the entire experience, the fulness of our life, not simply around the bits and pieces and tempestuous moments. At the end of the journey, an end none of us can see now, we will say, 'Master, the terror is over.... Linger, Oh, blessed Redeemer! Leave me alone no more.'
"Jesus said, 'In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.' (John 16:33.) On the same occasion, he said, 'Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you.' (John 14:27.) Throughout his life and ministry he spoke of peace, and when he came forth from the tomb and appeared unto his disciples, his first greeting was, 'Peace be unto you.' (John 20:19.)
"But Jesus was not spared grief and pain and anguish and buffeting. No tongue can speak the unutterable burden he carried, nor have we the wisdom to understand the prophet Isaiah's description of him as 'a man of sorrows.' (Isa. 53:3.) His ship was tossed most of his life, and, at least to mortal eyes, it crashed fatally on the rocky coast of Calvary. We are asked not to look on life with mortal eyes; with spiritual vision we know something quite different was happening upon the cross.
"Peace was on the lips and in the heart of the Savior no matter how fiercely the tempest was raging. May it so be with us—in our own hearts, in our own homes, in our nations of the world."
- Howard W. Hunter, "Master, The Tempest is Raging," Ensign, November 1984, pp. 33-35
Click here to read the full talk

President Hunter teaches a mature perspective on adversity. Though it will come, and though it may be "violent and damaging and destructive" at times, one who has faith in God ultimately need not fear.

The Savior is the source of peace. He promised help and comfort to all his disciples. His own mortal life was often lacking peace, in the external sense; but in spite of raging tempests around Him, there was peace "on the lips and in the heart of the Savior." President Hunter encourages and invites us to have that same promise.

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