Looking back at 2018 there were countless moments of stress, anxiety, physical pain, emotional breakdowns and many more unpleasant things, making it a hard year. Despite all of that, I have been able to recognize the purifying power of peace in my life.
The youth theme for this year is found in Doctrine and Covenants 19:23:
“Learn of me and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.”
The church also releases an album of music that correlates with the theme each year. Most of the time I find the songs to be cheesy, but, I listened to and loved the song called “Peace in Christ.” I found the lyrics to be very powerful. The words in the chorus are as follows:
“He gives us hope when hope is gone, He gives us strength when we can’t go on, He gives us shelter in the storms of life, when there’s no peace on earth, there is peace in Christ.”
I can think of three specific times in the past few months when I needed the peace that the Savior brings.
Earlier this month I panicked when I realized that I had nine college essays to write on top of my heavy homework load, school and sports. After breaking down in tears, I asked my dad for a priesthood blessing. This wasn’t the first time I had asked him for a blessing this year, and I knew it could help me feel peace.
In November I submitted a college application to a university that I knew would be a reach for me, but I still had hope that I would get in. Last week I got a letter back rejecting my application. I was devastated. I wondered; if this school didn’t want me, then why would any school want to accept me? I felt prompted to listen to a conference talk . I chose “Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time” by Elder Quentin L. Cook from October 2008. My take away was that all the trials we have to overcome are for our own development. I still felt sad, but was okay, and accepted the fact that my path in life is headed in another direction. The words of the prophets and apostles bring me peace.
At the beginning of this school year, instead of dreading early morning seminary, I made a personal goal to be a meaningful participant in seminary, and study my scriptures with more purpose. In order to accomplish this, I set my alarm 40 minutes earlier so that I could read my scriptures and listen to a general conference talk before starting my day. Not only did I find more meaning in seminary, but I found that the rest of my day was much more peaceful. Like the lyrics of the song say, it’s hard to find peace on earth. We have to look to Christ and find peace in Him. I found peace by studying my scriptures and learning of Christ.
I have a testimony that we can find peace. I don’t think peace eliminates any difficulty or trial we have, but it can give us greater perspective no matter what we are going through. I know that we can find peace in our scriptures, through the words of our church leaders and through the priesthood. I know that there is peace in Christ.