The Righteous Will Have Peace
"And the work of the righteous shall be peace and the effect of righteousness quietness and assurance for ever"
Isaiah prophesied of one of the most heralded and anticipated events in history when he said that the "Prince of peace" would come. The fulfillment of that prophesy was proclaimed by "A multitude of heavenly hosts praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace. Goodwill toward men". The disciples of Jesus knew the prophecies which said that Christ's ministry would be one of peace. The troubled condition of the world during the time of his earthly ministry must have been both disappointing and puzzling to them.
The apparent contradiction between the Lord's promises of peace and outward conditions can also be seen when the prophet Joseph Smith and his companions were imprisoned in
gaol. Joseph called to the Lord saying "O God, where art thou? And where
is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?" The Lord's response was
"My son, peace be unto thy soul, thine adversity and thine afflictions
shall be but a small moment". However persecution did not cease and the
Prophet Joseph was killed five years later. Liberty
Isaiah spoke truly when he said the Saviour would be the Prince of peace, and peace really did come to Joseph Smith. But the peace the Saviour promises is inner, not necessarily circumstantial, peace. Christ said "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you, not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid"
This promise of peace gives no assurance against hardship, tribulation, adversity, death, or war, as evidenced by Christ's statement to his disciples "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation".
The word peace has many meanings. A state of tranquility or quiet, freedom from oppressive or disquieting thoughts or emotions, harmony in personal revelation. The peace the Saviour proclaimed has many of these elements, but the focus of his promise is on the individual, the feelings of comfort, assurance, and harmony within oneself. That feeling can only come from the Lord as the result of individual obedience to the commandments. There is no other path to the peace he promises.
The peace the Saviour promises is conditional. To receive it, we must have faith, repent, receive the Holy Spirit, and strengthen our testimonies through righteous living. Although we must always strive to individually work for peace amongst our fellow men, we know that worldwide peace will ever be granted until the Saviour comes and Satan and his followers are contained. Nevertheless, in spite of adverse conditions in the world, the righteous can have peace in their hearts. Those who follow the ways of the Lord will always have peace with them.
We know that in the world today many have the feeling of uneasiness because of world conditions and events, and the lengthening shadow of evil and darkness, but the Lord has said "If ye are prepared ye shall not fear" He said that "peace I leave with you, let not your hearts be troubled, neither let it be afraid"
As the Prophet of the Restored Branch of Jesus Christ I know that you come to church seeking guidance and comfort. It is my duty to give that guidance and that comfort to you. As you come here week after week and your testimonies grow and your faith in the Lord and in me grows you will feel the inspiration and the comfort of the Lord. Don't forget my brothers and sisters that the Gospel gives purpose to our lives and through its principles and its teachings we can find happiness and comfort.
Let us remember that if we are prepared we need not fear the future, for we have the Lord's promise that he will sustain us, no matter what our circumstances. Some people, however, find it hard to accept the Lord's assurances and rid themselves of fear so they can feel peace. I proclaim to you today that our position is one of strength because it is founded on eternal truth. We need not fear the fiery darts of the adversary, nor be troubled by world conditions and events, as long as we walk in that light which a gracious father has so abundantly shed forth upon us in this final gospel dispensation we shall have peace within our hearts and peace upon our minds.
My brothers and sisters I say unto you, let us be righteous, let us bind ourselves to Christ in all things so that we may have peace within our hearts and let us wait with eager anticipation for the great and glories day of his return.
In the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.