Finding peace amid adversity, Part 2

Published: Sunday, Dec. 19 2010 6:00 a.m. MST

Last week I shared the insights of two friends in search of peace amid their trials: death of a child and poverty. This article continues with insight from others who have traveled the same road but for different reasons.

My friend who is in her 40s and has yet to marry said this: “My path taken has been a long and winding road to peace. I would say it’s been a combination of things: experience building upon experience, tender mercies given me along the way, inspirational real life examples, as well as my own journey to understanding my unique purpose and mission in life. It’s like they say, you can only gain salvational knowledge as fast as you exercise faith built on obedience. I think peace is like that too.”

She mentioned a few things that determined whether she was feeling peace or not. One is her “absolute trust in the Lord. ...  My own willingness to let the Lord lead me on his path for me versus me jumping in a Hummer and driving off-road to forge my own path on my own terms, thinking mine is a higher quality GPS (Greater Peace Source).

“I am so awe inspired by the example of the women of the Old Testament and their individual stories of trust in the Lord. Every single woman, from Eve to Sariah to Rachel to Abigail, was a pioneer and was not cut of the same cloth of the women and circumstances of her culture. Yet they trusted, even waited on the Lord, even when circumstances and sacrifices seemed insurmountable and especially when nothing made logical sense. They always let their trust in the Lord override the logic and let the climb take precedence over the easy path. After reading their stories, it gave me even more faith in the fact that mine is a unique mission, which, when sought after through exercising faith in the Lord, will lift me to my potential because this is the unique path given me to best grow and become and eventually arrive there.”

She also mentioned her increased understanding of the Atonement. She said, “One of the recent revolutionary concepts that I’ve now learned in my 44th year of life is that the Atonement covers not just sins, weaknesses and burdens, but it covers our mistakes and misjudgments we’ve made along the way out of best intent.”

In sharing her advice to those who are looking for peace, she said, “I would say to find the purpose in the present circumstances and make the most of it, whether that is to grow patient, to learn how to be a better spouse the next time around, to not judge others now that one has been the recipient of unfair judgment, or to simply trust in the Lord and His purposes. Whatever the learning may be, it’s there for the taking.”

My sister-in-law, who was not able to bear children, said, “There were many miracles and so many sweet, spiritual experiences that confirmed so clearly to me that all of this was a part of God’s plan.

“I remember one day really well. I was thinking about infertility, and I realized I was OK with it. It hit me: I did not have that aching sadness that had been there for so long or a heavy heart. Instead, I was at peace, and, even more than that, my heart felt a tenderness and gratitude for the many sweet experiences the Lord has allowed me to be a part of. To literally see his hand, his tender mercies, and his love for each and every person involved in the whole adoption circle. It was truly sacred. He had healed my heart.”

Her advice to others is, “I only know of one way to find true peace. The peace spoken of in the scriptures that ‘surpassesth all understanding,’ that kind of peace can only come from turning to the Lord. Getting to know him, loving him, trusting him, talking to him, crying to him and then listening. ... He will answer you. Do whatever it takes to gain a testimony that he loves you and knows you completely. If you don’t believe he loves you, you can hardly trust him, and the peace you seek is solely based on trusting the Lord. Without trusting the Lord completely, I personally do not believe it is possible to feel total peace.”

My friend who lost her husband to cancer at a young age said, “Through the answers to my prayers, I find peace. Through tender mercies I find peace, knowing that I am not alone. I know the Lord is very much aware of my struggles and blesses me with these tender mercies. I am so glad that I can recognize them. I think you have to totally trust in the Lord to find peace. He is in charge. If we do our part, he will do his.”

Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin said, “You can find peace amidst the storms that threaten you. Your Heavenly Father – who knows when even a sparrow falls – knows of your heartache and suffering. He loves you and wants the best for you. Never doubt this. While he allows all of us to make choices that may not always be for our own or even others’ well-being, and while he does not always intervene in the course of events, he has promised the faithful peace even in their trials and tribulations.” (Ensign, May 2000)

Those who face the unexpected and find themselves in “Holland” (and not the intended destination of Italy) have a need to find peace in their life, and we do find peace regardless of what brought us here or how long we have been here as we trust in the Lord and recognize his hand in our lives, which, in turn, leads us to peace.

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