In a deeply troubled world, families and individuals can realize personal peace as a promised reward for righteousness. It is a gift of the Savior's mission and atoning sacrifice.
Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve focused his Saturday afternoon talk on the gift of peace. He spoke of staggering tragedies in the world, such as the recent shootings in Newtown, Conn., war in an African nation and the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. Such events have caused him to ponder the doctrine of peace. Universal peace did not exist on earth during Christ's mortal ministry. It does not now.
Still, he said, "the heavenly aspiration of good people everywhere has and always will be for peace in the world. We must never give up on achieving this goal." True peace is not just temporary tranquility — it is an abiding deep happiness and spiritual contentment, he observed.
"Peace is not just safety or lack of war, violence, conflict and contention. Peace comes from knowing that the Savior knows who we are, knows that we have faith in Him, love Him, and keep His commandments, even and especially amid life's devastating trials and tragedies. The Lord's answer to the Prophet Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail brings solace to the heart: 'My son, peace be unto they soul; thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high'" (Doctrine and Covenants 121:7-8).
Elder Cook taught: God is the author of peace. For those who reject God, there is no peace. Peace is not found in worldly ways, nor is it found by attaining great wealth, power or prominence. Peace is not found in the pursuit of pleasure, entertainment or leisure. It is the Savior who is the source and author of peace.
"Humbling ourselves before God, praying always, repenting of sins, entering the waters of baptism with a broken heart and contrite spirit, and becoming true disciples of Jesus Christ are profound examples of the righteousness that is rewarded by abiding peace," he said.
Repentance and righteous living allows for peace of conscience.
"When there has been a major transgression, confession is required to bring peace," Elder Cook said. "Perhaps there is nothing to compare with the peace that comes from a sin-wracked soul unloading his or her burdens on the Lord and claiming the blessings of the atonement."
The Church, he added, is a refuge where followers of Christ attain peace and participate in sacred ordinances and peace-giving covenants with the Lord.
"Temples are where many of these sacred ordinances occur and are also a source of peaceful refuge from the world. Those who visit temple grounds or participate in temple open houses also feel this peace."
Again, the Savior is only the source of true peace, he declared. "Even with the trials of life, because of the Savior's atonement and His grace, righteous living will be rewarded with personal peace."