9/11 messages from LDS leaders offered comfort and peace

Published: Tuesday, Sept. 11 2012 10:00 a.m. MDT

Editor's note: This article was originally published last year, on the 10th anniversary of 9/11. As we again reflect on the events of that tragic day, we would like to remind our readers of these messages of comfort from leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

On Sept. 11, 2001, countless lives were forever changed when terrorists hijacked and crashed planes into the World Trade Center in New York City and the Pentagon in Arlington, Va. Thousands of lives were snuffed out in an instant — passengers and crews on four planes, people in buildings that three of those planes crashed into, rescue workers and others who rushed to their aid and bystanders at the scenes. Within hours of these tragic events, Mormon church leaders responded with a statement that read:

“In this hour of sorrow, the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints expresses profound sympathy to those whose loved ones, friends and associates were lost or injured in today’s senseless acts of violence. We offer our prayers in behalf of the innocent victims of these vicious attacks. We ask Heavenly Father to guide President Bush and his advisors as they respond to these devastating incidents. We join with others in prayers that the Savior’s peace and love will comfort and guide us all through this difficult time. The resources of the Church will be made available to any relief agencies requesting assistance.”

That statement became the first of many reassuring messages offered by LDS Church leaders. One decade later, their messages still deliver peace and comfort to the hearts of many people today. Here are some of those messages:

President Gordon B. Hinckley, from an address given on Sept. 11, 2001, in the Tabernacle on Temple Square.

“Dark as is this hour, there is shining through the heavy overcast of fear and anger the solemn and wonderful image of the Son of God, the Savior of the World, the Prince of Peace, the exemplar of universal love, and it is to him that we look in these circumstances. It was he who gave his life that all might enjoy eternal life. ... May the peace of Christ rest upon us and give us comfort and reassurance and, particularly, we plead that he will comfort the hearts of all who mourn.”

President Hinckley, October 2001 general conference address:

“Members of the church in this and other nations are now involved with many others in a great international undertaking. … Unitedly, as a church, we must get on our knees and invoke the powers of the Almighty in behalf of those who will carry the burdens of this campaign.

“We have been counseled again and again concerning self-reliance, concerning debt, concerning thrift. … As we have been counseled for more than 60 years, let us have some food set aside that would sustain us for a time of need. But let us not panic or go to extremes. Let us be prudent in every respect. And, above all, my brothers and sisters, let us move forward with faith in the Living God and his Beloved Son.

“Peace may be denied for a season. … But God our Eternal Father will watch over this nation and all of the civilized world who look to him. … Our safety lies in repentance. Our strength comes from obedience to the commandments of God.

“Let us be prayerful. Let us pray for righteousness. Let us pray for the forces of good. Let us reach out to help men and women of goodwill, whatever their religious persuasion and wherever they live. Let us stand firm against evil, both at home and abroad. Let us live worthy of the blessings of heaven, reforming our lives where necessary and looking to him, the Father of us all. He has said, 'Be still, and know that I am God' (Psalms 46:10).

“Are these perilous times? They are. But there is no need to fear. We can have peace in our hearts and peace in our homes. We can be an influence for good in this world, every one of us.”

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