Everyday I pass a sign hung from an apartment building with the words painted “PRAY FOR PEACE.” It is up there no matter the season. I think about it each time I pass and wonder what inspired that person to hang the sign.
A week ago we took a trip to St. Louis to be with my husband’s family. It was nice to be out of the city and into the quiet suburbs. I was searching for more “peace” in my life and felt this was the answer to my situation. Long hours of being with my entire little family, laughing, talking, enjoying no responsibility, I felt like I had reached true peace.
When we arrived back in Chicago I prayed earnestly to find that peace again back here at home. The answer I received came over a weeklong period and was surprising.
Part of the answer came when visiting a historic structure in Illinois. The building was a “symbol of peace” allowing visitors to sit and find peace within its walls. As I climbed the stairs to enter the edifice I don’t know what I was expecting to find. When I walked inside I saw a large room, a gorgeous ceiling with intricate architecture and empty chairs in the middle of the room.
There was a note that said the room was to be used for peace and prayer.
Walking back to the car I was confused as to why I felt emptiness instead of peace. It was a gorgeous building, a quiet place—isn’t that the definition of peace? What more peace can you have in the world? And that was just it, what they offered was all the peace that the world can offer, and though it is beautiful and nice—it is hollow.
I started to feel sad for the lack that I felt when inside a place made for the feeling of peace. It was then I realized where the true peace comes from, and can only come from, the atonement of Jesus Christ.
It is the peace that that everything is all right no matter how bad it gets because He came and overcame spiritual and physical death for us, we are not lost! He is truly our only hope and only salvation. The only true peace we can have that lasts of outside of quiet rooms and pretty buildings. Even in tragedy, war, and crisis we literally can find peace.
It is through our promises, or covenants, we make with God that connects us to the atonement in our lives. It is how we “use the atonement,” it is how He saves us.
Going to a building where covenants are made brings real peace, participating in covenant making brings real peace- making promises to God that we will follow Him and Him making promises to us that through doing so we can have peace in this life and peace in the life to come are what make temples a house of peace.
I found that there is no peace outside of covenants, because without covenants we would be saved physically after this life-but not spiritually. Without covenants we would not be with our family again, we would not be with God again. Covenants are what bind us to God and Him to us.
This week I realized that all the peace I could hope for is found in the promises I have already made.
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