Peace

Episode 2. February 7, 2016.  Welcome to episode 2 of my znukcast.  This time I share some thoughts and insights that I gained while studying the topic of Peace.  Here is the link:

Episode 2: Peace

Hi everyone, it’s Sunday February 7th here in the Philippines and welcome to the my second znukcast. My name is Tom Kunz and today I want to talk about Peace.   A few months back I spent a couple of mornings before going to work studying the topic of Peace. Today I thought I would briefly share with you what I learned from that study. First of all, let me just say that it was a marvelous experience. I gained some new insights and I hope that the same spirit that testified to me of their truthfulness will do the same for you. So with that, let’s get started.

Let’s start by talking about what Peace is. We learn from the scriptures that Peace is a gift from God.  In Thessalonians 3:16 we are taught that it is the Lord of peace that gives us peace always by all means.”

In John 14 we find what I believe is the best known scripture about Peace. I’m sure you will immediately recognize it.   “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” Clearly in both of these scriptures we learn that peace comes from our Savior Jesus Christ. Peace is something we are given after meeting the necessary requirements, the essence of which is Repentance. In Helaman chapter 11 we read the story about how Nephi pleaded with the Lord to replace the war with a famine so that the people would repent rather than be destroyed by the sword. After four years of devastating famine the people humbled themselves, repented and swept away the wicked Gadianton robbers from among them Nephi then goes back to the Lord and pleads with him to end the famine and send forth rain upon the earth.  In the April 2015 general conference, Elder David Bednar, a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles gives what is perhaps the best definition of peace. He said peace is simply “peace of conscience” This means we have no anxiety because we are already justified, or in alignment with God because we have repented of our sins and are now on the path of sanctification.  Truly the atonement is the centerpiece of the Gospel, the Plan, and the life of a disciple.

So how do we get this great gift? We know that repentance is the centerpiece, but is there more we can learn about how to get a greater portion of this great gift in our lives?

In my study, I learned that peace is a result of the following things – all which lead us to the atonement and repentance

  1. Faith – in Jesus Christ
  2. Hope – sufficient hope that the atonement will work in our life so that we are willing to ask for help.
  3. Knowledge –  of Jesus Christ. his characteristics, his attributes. his words.
  4. Obedience – to the commandments and the still small voice
  5. Sacrifice – doing things for others they cannot do for themselves.
  6. Works of Righteousness
  7. Trust and Confidence in the Lord
  8. Becoming meek and lowly of heart

Perhaps the most significant insight I had while studying this topic is the connection between peace and the temple endowment.  Keeping our temple covenants will indeed bring peace in our lives.  Since it teaches us how to return to the Father and receive a fullness of the priesthood by keeping these covenants, we are learning how to become sanctified. Couple that with the influence of the spirit of the Lord that we feel when we are in the Temple and the connection to peace is clear.   And here is the key insight, the degree of peace we have in our lives is mirrored by our level of sanctification.

Just as we are commanded to be perfect even as our Father in Heaven and His Son are perfect, we are also commanded to seek and pursue peace as recorded in Psalms 34:14.

So what do we do with it once we have obtained it for ourselves? Well, we then have the responsibility to share that peace with others. D&C 105 says we are to sue for peace, lift up an ensign of peace, and make a proclamation of peace unto the ends of the earth. We are even to make proposals for peace to our enemies. We do this first by being an example and then second by teaching and encouraging others to repent.  The result of large-scale peace in a community is righteousness and yes, EVEN ZION!  As the last days grow ever shorter and the time to fully establish Zion approaches, may we each take counsel from the 13th Chapter of Alma and become so righteous, kind and obedient that when people look to us, they see the Savior, and this inspires them to pursue their own sanctification. This is the path of true discipleship and I might add…. ultimate Peace

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