At the October 2022 General Conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, President Russell M. Nelson through his three addresses provided a formula for us to receive peace and rest. This formula includes three tenets, finding the truth, overcoming the world, and access to temples.
A Strong Statement
Before I dive into the formula for peace and rest, I want to acknowledge the strong statement President Nelson made on abuse. “Abuse constitutes the influence of the adversary. It is a grievous sin. As President of the Church, I affirm the teachings of the Lord Jesus Christ on this issue. Let me be perfectly clear: any kind of abuse of women, children, or anyone is an abomination to the Lord. He grieves and I grieve whenever anyone is harmed. He mourns and we all mourn for each person who has fallen victim to abuse of any kind. Those who perpetrate these hideous acts are not only accountable to the laws of man but will also face the wrath of Almighty God.”
I believe that almost all of us have been affected by abuse at one point in our lives. We may not have been the recipient of the abuse, but we may know someone who has. When President Nelson says he grieves, I believe him. I have had the opportunity to spend personal time with him earlier in my life. He is as genuine a man as you will meet. He is also honest and sincere in his work and as the prophet when he says those who perpetuate abuse will face the wrath of Almighty God, they will. That doesn’t mean they can’t repent, but I believe that repentance will be sore and not easy.
Finding The Truth
Over the course of at least the past three years, President Nelson has mentioned finding the truth in at least one of his conference addresses. In his first address to the conference in October 2022, he states, “The adversary has other disturbing tactics. Among them are his efforts to blur the line between what is true and what is not true. The flood of information available at our fingertips, ironically, makes it increasingly difficult to determine what is true.” So where do we go to find the truth and how can this lead to peace and rest?
First, we have to realize that there is only one source of truth, God. His Son Jesus Christ reveals that truth to us, through Him being the Light of the world. The Holy Ghost also reveals the truth to us as part of His mission. The sources we have on this earth to find the truth are numerous. However, the best ones are the scriptures that are, as Elder Bednar stated “the prerecorded voice of the Lord.” Reading the scriptures alone will not reveal the truth as they can be interpreted in many different ways. There has to be a compliment to the scriptures to help us find the truth. That compliment is the Holy Ghost. Moroni’s famous declaration about the Holy Ghost revealing the truth of things to those who ask in sincerity provides the answer. Again, God is the one source of truth and the Holy Ghost is His witness. Once we have received that witness, we have found the truth.
Overcoming the World
In his second address, the prophet gave us another piece of the formula for obtaining peace and rest. That piece is overcoming the world. The world today is a marvelous and dangerous place. There are so many things that testify to the glory of God. Yet, there are so many things that can lead us astray. In order to not go down dark roads, we must overcome the world and live our lives as disciples of Jesus Christ.
In my own life, I have been down some dark roads. I have mentioned before about my addiction and how I fought to overcome it. There is an ease about the world that makes it alluring. That ease also makes it appear that following the covenant path is too restrictive, too hard, and not worth it. It’s a trap that leads one down the dark roads further. I know, I was there. But the dark roads of the world can be overcome. I learned that through the Light of the world, Jesus Christ, the dark roads can be broken up. I learned that the “ease” of the world is more burdensome than the “yoke of Christ“. True peace of mind and rest from worry can be found in the truth and in overcoming the world by taking upon ourselves the yoke of Him who is always here to help us.
“In coming days, we will see the greatest manifestations of the Savior’s power that the world has ever seen.” This powerful statement gives hope to everyone that the world can be overcome.
“Making and keeping covenants actually makes life easier.” It’s a curious statement at face value. How could being bound to covenants and rules actually make life easier? It is because through our covenants we have access to the power of Jesus Christ. He joins us in our lives and His power eases the burdens we carry. Notice I said eases the burdens. Our burdens are not taken away from us. We still experience trials and tribulations. However, our ability to face trials and tribulations is strengthened. Our view of them is not pessimistic, but rather as an obstacle that can and will be overcome. Does anyone doubt the ability to overcome life’s difficulties when Christ is our willing partner? He who overcame sin and death does and will help us triumph over our battles.
For anyone out there struggling, believe. Believe that Christ has all power to help you. Believe that if you take upon yourself His yoke, your burdens will become light. Believe that He is there and is not only cheering you on but aiding you on this journey.
Access To Temples
It has become a tradition for the prophet to announce new temples at the end of the last session of the General Conference. President Nelson did just that announcing 18 new temples around the world. Before announcing this set of temples, President Nelson stated, “Let us never lose sight of what the Lord is doing for us now. He is making His temples more accessible. He is accelerating the pace at which we are building temples. He is increasing our ability to help gather Israel. He is also making it easier for each of us to become spiritually refined. I promise that increased time in the temple will bless your life in ways nothing else can.” In the temples of the Lord, we make covenants that bind us to God. This is how we take upon us the Savior’s yoke as mentioned above. More people with more access to the temples results in more good being done in the world. It results in more of Heavenly Father’s children shining light in the darkness that is so prevalent.
The temple also provides us with the ability to rest. In the temples, we leave the world behind. There is a peace and quiet in the temple unlike anywhere else. If we go into the temple with a clear mind and focus on the covenants being made, we will find ourselves spiritually renewed.
After my mission, I had a hard time at college. I wasn’t sure about my life. I felt “less than” those around me. That first semester I would skip classes and attend the temple. It was the only place where I could find rest from the things happening to me outside of it. I found a sense of peace there and it gave me hope. That hope then helped me during the next days and weeks to overcome those things that wanted to take me down dark roads.
I have found peace and rest through the formula President Nelson gave in his October 2022 addresses. Through finding the truth, taking on the Savior’s yoke, and accessing the power of the temple, I have peace and rest. I also know that in those times of darkness I have a formula for dispelling it via the Light of Christ.
Tips For Teaching
Here are my suggestions for teaching this formula:
- Pick one or two of the scriptures referenced in the talks and discuss what they mean.
- For instance, Matthew 11:28-30. You could have the class look up what a yoke is and how it is beneficial to oxen in pulling a cart. Then you could discuss how Christ sharing the yoke with us makes our burdens easier.
- Examine Moroni 10:3-5 and discuss ways in which the Holy Ghost reveals the truth.
- Have the class search for the definition of, and words similar to “overcome”. Discuss how those synonyms help the class understand what it means to overcome.
- Share a time in your life when the temple brought you peace and rest. Ask other class members to share similar experiences. If your class isn’t old enough to attend the temple, have them share experiences where others have described what it’s like to be in the temple.