I have been listening to past and current General Conference addresses of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints almost every day for over a year now. The words of the Prophet and Apostles echo in my ears as I work around the house, and I am stunned that messages given decades ago are just as relevant today.
|photo credit: The Atlantic|
This afternoon, I listened to the address President Gordon B. Hinckley gave in the conference that occurred less than a month after the attacks of September 11th, 2001. He closed his remarks with a prayer on our behalf. It's not every day that we get to hear what a Prophet of the Lord says when he's talking to God. I noted that his petition did not ask for everything to be made perfect, or for the bad guys to be smitten and blasted by fires from heaven. Instead, President Hinckley asked for something uniquely personal to each of us, and relevant no matter which conflict we face:
Please, dear Father, bless us with faith. Bless us with love. Bless us with charity in our hearts. Bless us with a spirit of perseverance to root out the terrible evils that are in this world ... Spare us and help us to walk with faith ever in Thee and ever in Thy Beloved Son, on whose mercy we count and to whom we look as our Savior and our Lord. Bless the cause of peace and bring it quickly to us again, we humbly plead with Thee, asking that Thou wilt forgive our arrogance, pass by our sins, be kind and gracious to us, and cause our hearts to turn with love toward Thee.
I find it significant that he was concerned for what's happening inside our hearts and minds more than what is happening outside and around us. Of course our circumstances matter and he prayed about those, too, but it's what we carry inside that goes with us into Eternity. I find hope in that prayer because it is not pinned to a specific outcome beyond our control, but rather to our relationship with the Lord and His redeeming grace.
Conflicts and the threat of conflicts continue to parade through the headlines and social media feeds, but we can pray with a prophet of God for faith, love, and charity to fill our hearts. In the end, that is the only thing that will take the contention away.