Elder Marvin J. Ashton related a story in which he learned something about peace. He recounted:
A beautiful little blind girl was sitting on the lap of her father in a crowded compartment in a train. A friend seated nearby said to the father, “Let me give you a little rest,” and he reached over and took the little girl on his lap.
A few moments later the father said to her, “Do you know who is holding you?”
“No,” she replied, “but you do.” 1
The year 2020 has brought on a number of unanticipated trials and difficulties for people throughout the world. Social distancing alone has caused many people to feel depressed and disconnected from others. With political divisions and highly emotional events taking place in the nation, we can feel overwhelmed and lose our holds on the stabilizing principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Through it all, I am exceedingly thankful for the Prophet, President Russell M. Nelson. He seems to be a beacon in the darkness, shining light for all who reach out for it. His encouragement and comforting words bring me peace. He and the other leaders of the Lord’s Church are well aware of the issues and struggles of our day, yet he continues to proclaim peace. He shared a message via Twitter on August 5th, 2020 saying, “Dear friends, the road ahead may be bumpy, but our destination is serene and secure. So, fasten your seatbelt, hang on through the bumps, and do what's right. Your reward will be eternal.”
I take great comfort in his words, not because I can see what lies ahead but I have a testimony that President Nelson is the Prophet of the Lord, called of God to speak on His behalf. I know who is guiding and counseling us. I know who is “holding” us. Our dear prophet whose purpose it is to lead those who love Christ through the latter days, is directed by our loving Heavenly Father and Savior.
In the words of Nephi, I too desire to say, “… I know in whom I have trusted. My God hath been my support; he hath led me through mine afflictions in the wilderness; and he hath preserved me upon the waters of the great deep. He hath filled me with his love, even unto the consuming of my flesh…” (2 Nephi 4:19-21)
We are like the little blind girl in the story. “She knew she was safe because she knew her father knew who was holding her. Affection, respect, and care over the years had placed in this little girl’s heart a peace that surpasseth all understanding. She was at peace because she knew and trusted her father.”1
Just as we have developed a relationship of love and trust with Heavenly Father for years, we know that we can trust whom He sends in His place to hold us and keep us safe. How grateful I am to know that God is in charge and that he acts through ordained and authorized servants. Because of this, we will find peace through the bumpy roads and chaos that lies between us now and our “serene and secure destination”.
- “Peace- A Triumph of Principles”, Elder Marvin J. Ashton, General Conference, October 1985