Peace to Him, Joy to Us

The principles of living greatly include:

the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness,

and trial with humility.

These are words I have clung to in these recent difficult years, and words that gave me courage as our family faced one challenge after another. They are words that helped me not to drown, and words that gave me comfort that some greater purpose was shaping me through such trials of fire.

Choose your love. Love your choice.

These are words that taught me to use my agency in dating, to be wise in who I pursued, to keep an eternal perspective as I settled into my grown-up converted life. These words brought me Nathan.

Work will win when wishy washy wishing won’t.

These were words we all laughed at the way we laughed when he wiggled his ears, but they were also words that helped me put my shoulder to the wheel when circumstances seemed impossible and our situation tempted despair. These words gave me direction, and function, and hope.

I’m a great believer that the Lord provides us specific experiences to prepare us to deal with some of the challenges that we’re going to encounter in our own period of service.

These words gave me perspective when I sat in awe of the good things that came our way, and as I sat on my knees through the hard things came our way. Everything is preparatory. That means I was prepared for this moment, right now, no matter what that moment is, and prepared before I arrived in this moment. It means this moment right now is preparing me for the next. These words gave me means to put one foot in front of the other when otherwise my burdens would have been too heavy to carry.

We should strive for steadiness, and for a commitment to God that does not ebb and flow with the years or the crises of our lives.

These words taught me that circumstances are irrelevant. My faith is real, and the truths that I cling to are still true no matter what I am enduring and just as true when life brings fresh air on easier days. My joy is in who my Father is, who my God is, and who that means I am. My peace is in a Savior who kept His promise, in the Holy Spirit who corrects and guides and comforts me, and in the priesthood that guides me and cares for me on this earth – and of which I am very much a part.

Find someone who is having a hard time, or is ill, or lonely, and do something for him or her.

These are words that taught me to be a chaplain. These are words that taught me to serve others as so many had served me in so many ways. These are words that softened me back into being human again when I had nearly grown cold. These words warmed my heart.

Never delay a prompting. When you honor a prompting and then stand back a pace, you realize that the Lord gave you the prompting. It makes me feel good that the Lord even knows who I am and knows me well enough to know that if He has an errand to be run, and He prompts me to run the errand, the errand will get done.

These are the words that taught me to act out my faith, to live what I studied, to breathe the gospel by keeping my covenants and doing what is asked of me. These words taught me to take responsibility for myself, to repent, to act in faith, and to act quickly. These words taught me to be more responsive to my God, to be more aware of those around me, and to trust that He knows me and them enough to assign us such tasks together.

Though we may not necessarily forfeit our lives in service to our God, we can certainly demonstrate our love for Him by how well we serve Him.

Like the other quotes, these words were spoken by our beloved prophet, Thomas S. Monson, who was the President of our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In my faith tradition, we believe God uses prophets for leading His people, just as He has always used prophets.

Like Moses, like Abraham, He still uses prophets today, since the restoration of the fullness of the gospel through the prophet Joseph Smith.

As a convert, President Monson was the first prophet for me to get to know, to learn, and to love. He taught me to be faithful. He taught me to be true. And he taught me to smile.

He has passed away, and like the other members of our church, my family mourns the loss of him.

But we also know where he is, and the work He is doing as he reports on his work on the other side of the veil.

There will be some grand conference of some sort when it is time, and my parents will be there, and they will hear him speak and feel the truths of what he has to say.

And my spirit soars at the thought of it.

I cried last night and this morning, and settled the children at the table to break the news to them as the sun rose.

They cried, too.

We loved him.

We still do.

But we know what he has asked us to do: read the Book of Mormon, serve others, and go to the temple.

We will remember him as we do these things.

And we will raise our hands, when it is time, to sustain President Russel M. Nelson as the next President of the church.

We have witnessed the transition, felt his love, and our testimony continues.

Because we know it is the church of Jesus Christ, in these latter-days, and we move forward in faith – even with heavy hearts.

A true prophet testifies of Christ, and offers that love to all. President Monson did with all his being:

Kindness is how a Christlike person treats others. Kindness should permeate all of our words and actions at work, at school, at church, and especially in our homes.

“Jesus, our Savior, was the epitome of kindness and compassion.”… let us examine our lives and determine to follow the Savior’s example by being kind, loving, and charitable.

And as we do so, we will be in a better position to call down the powers of heaven for ourselves, for our families, and for our fellow travelers in this sometimes difficult journey back to our heavenly home. I so pray in the name of Jesus Christ the Lord, amen.”

Until we meet again.

Posted in Faith, LDS, Life permalink

About Emily

I am a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints since 2009. I serve as a Chaplain, and work as a counselor. I got bilateral cochlear implants in 2010, but will always love sign language. I choose books over television, and organics over processed. Nothing is as close to flying as ballroom dancing - except maybe running, when in the solo mood. I would rather be outside than anywhere else, especially at the river riding my bike or kayaking. PhD in Marriage and Family Therapy, and currently doing a post-doc in Jewish Studies and an MDiv in Pastoral Counseling. The best thing about Emily World is that it's always an adventure, even if (not so) grammatically precise. The only thing better than writing is being married to a writer. Nathan Christensen and I were married in the Oklahoma City temple on 13 October 2012, and have since fostered more than eighty-five children. We have adopted the six who stayed, and are totally and completely and helplessly in love with our family. Nathan writes musical theater, including "Broadcast" (a musical history of the radio) and an adaption of Lois Lowry's "The Giver". He served his mission in South Korea, has taught song-writing in New York City public schools, and worked as a theater critic for a Tucson newspaper. This is not an official Web site of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

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