Monday, November 1, 2021

President John Taylor on finding peace in the world

President John Taylor (November 1, 1808 – July 25, 1887) was born in England and immigrated to Canada where he and his wife were converted after hearing Parley P. Pratt preach.  He was ordained an apostle in 1838, and became the third president of the Church in 1880, serving until his death in 1887 at age 78.
"Peace is the gift of God. Do you want peace? Go to God. Do you want peace in your families? Go to God. Do you want peace to brood over your families? If you do, live your religion, and the very peace of God will dwell and abide with you, for that is where peace comes from, and it don't dwell anywhere else.... Peace is good, and I say seek for it, cherish it in your bosoms, in your neighborhoods, and wherever you go among your friends and associates, for they are good principles and dwell in the bosom of God, and if we only get that peace that dwells in the bosom of God all will be right....
"Some in speaking of war and troubles, will say are you not afraid? No, I am a servant of God, and this is enough, for Father is at the helm. It is for me to be as clay in the hands of the potter, to be pliable and walk in the light of the countenance of the Spirit of the Lord, and then no matter what comes. Let the lightnings flash and the earthquakes bellow, God is at the helm, and I feel like saying but little, for the Lord God Omnipotent reigneth and will continue his work until he has put all enemies under his feet, and his kingdom extends from the rivers to the ends of the earth."
- John Taylor, discourse delivered in the Tabernacle, Great Salt Lake City, May 18, 1862; see JD 10:56-58
Click here to read the full talk

President Taylor reminds us of the ultimate source of peace. It isn't something we discover, or something we create. It comes, ultimately, only as a gift from the peacegiver (see John 14:27). But like all divine gifts, it's up to us to claim the offering from God:

I love the perspective of calm faith and confidence.  There is no need to be afraid of the "wars and troubles" of the world, as long as we are living as servants of God, faithfully doing His work to the best of our ability. Like many others, President Taylor loved the imagery of being clay in the hands of the Divine Potter:

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
November 1, 2015

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