Peace is not achieved by controlling the actions of others but by controlling our own choices.
Conflict and contention run rampant in these latter days. Many people accuse unjustly, misunderstand intentionally, and judge prematurely—and can do so even more efficiently through technology. Arguments are only as far away as the comments section of a controversial post; finger-pointing saturates public forums and social media feeds. Constant exposure to such hostility can lead to discouragement and hopelessness, making the Savior’s invitation to be peacemakers against hostility seem impossible.
President Russell M. Nelson gives a profoundly simple way to counteract conflict in his talk “The Power of Spiritual Momentum”—change must begin with us. Though we may want to quell the feuding tides of opinions by adding our voices to the conflict, President Nelson urges us to instead diminish the conflicts in our personal lives. He lists several ways to do this:
- Bury any and all inclinations to hurt others.
- Turn the other cheek.
- Love our enemies.
- Pray for those who despitefully use us.
- Forgive everyone.
President Nelson acknowledges that these methods are easier said than done. He emphasizes the importance of personal accountability: “How can we expect peace to exist in the world when we are not individually seeking peace and harmony?” We cannot fight contention with more contention. We cannot control the actions of others, but we can control our own choices. With Christ as our ultimate example, we, too, must set an example to the world—not by chiding others to do better, but by burying the conflicts in our own hearts.
To get an in-depth look at how to use these methods in your own life, as well as to discover four more ways to move forward on the covenant path, read President Russell M. Nelson’s full talk “The Power of Spiritual Momentum.”
Source: General Conference
—Ashlin Holbrook, Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY HELIO DILOLWA
Find more insights
Read more about becoming an instrument for peace in the Latter-day Saint Insights article “Peace I Leave with You,” written by Emma Valentine.
Discover how the sons of Mosiah found peace in their weaknesses in “Making Peace Our Strength,” written by Rachel Peterson on Latter-day Saint Insights.