Some of the recent events in the world have sobered me. When I hear about things like the bombing at the Boston Marathon and the shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, my initial reaction is always shock and fear. These are scary times to be on the earth.
Then again, when has there been a truly peaceful time on Earth? I took History of Creativity this semester, and every period of history seems to have had its own problems and atrocities.
This last week, we were able to hear from our prophet and other church leaders in General Conference. It is amazing to me how they are able to understand what we are feeling and address those needs. Elder Quentin L. Cook addressed my concern about the troubles in the world in his talk, “Personal Peace: The Reward of Righteousness.”
In his talk, Elder Cook confirms that peace has been taken from the earth and there will be things that scare us. However, he also tells us we can have personal peace by living righteously. He said, “Peace is not just safety or lack of war, violence, conflict, and contention. Peace comes from knowing that the Savior knows who we are and knows that we have faith in Him, love Him, and keep His commandments, even and especially amid life’s devastating trials and tragedies.”
I love the positive spin that someone in my Foundations of Education class this semester put on this very situation. We were talking about all the problems that plague the educational system in America today. I was feeling rather down and discouraged, thinking about all I couldn’t do and how these problems were negatively affecting the children of today’s society. This classmate raised her hand and said, “Isn’t it great that we have so much to do? Yes, it’s sad that there are so many problems, but it gives us a mission, a purpose to what we do as teachers.”
After she said that, I started to view my History of Creativity class differently. Instead of seeing all the problems in history, I started to see that these problems were the inspiration of so much good creativity. Most good ideas or inventions are spawned from a problem that needs to be solved. Louis Pasteur invented the vaccination in response to a chicken cholera that was killing the poultry of France. Martin Luther started the Protestant Reformation because of the corruption he saw in the Catholic Church. Mother Teresa was only able to help the poor in India because there were poor people to be helped in India.
As teachers, we will be working to help students in a time of turmoil. As we live righteously and do our best to help those around us, we will be able to have inner peace from knowing God’s plan and knowing that we have done our best. We have work to do in this world, and we can only do our best by being our best and believing in those around us. We can still have peace, even when we see problems.
I love the way that Elder Paul V. Johnson explains the concept of personal peace. He says, “We know that the savior has the power to calm our storms, but sometimes He calms our souls instead.”
I hope we all can find personal peace in this time of turmoil, especially finals. Good luck!