Tuesday, September 14

Got peace?

Last week held a culmination and roller coaster of poignant thoughts for me.

Earlier in the week Ryan and I watched Food, Inc. and Collapse. Ryan and I really enjoyed discussing the ideas put forth and how they relate to our family's position. Peak oil theory, the industrialization of our food production from seed to the dinner table, economic and energy policies, war and why it is waged, the loss of connection many of us have with the land and its bounty . . . contrasted with what modern prophets have counseled.

We've been mulling over job offers on three continents. So many factors to consider.

We coached our first soccer games of the season last Saturday, September 11. We're coaching Easton's 6-7 yr old team and McKay's 3-5 yr old team. A ceremonial moment of silence for the victims and the loved ones they left behind was held at the beginning of every game that day here.

That evening, Ryan had been asked to participate in a missionary fireside. It was beautiful and well thought out. Each speaker spoke briefly on one assigned principle of the restored gospel and was followed by a beautiful musical number by a youth choir or gifted individuals. It was simple and the message was clear. With the upheaval of events and thoughts over the week, I was so grateful to be reminded of the great gift we have to be members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Afterward, we couldn't tear ourselves away from 9-11 documentaries about the victims' last moments as told through taped phone calls, messages and their families.

I prepared my lesson and we were covering Isaiah on Sunday, September 12, 2010. Isaiah was a prophet for his day and the most quoted prophet for his prophecies of the most important events in humankind, the birth and second coming of our Savior. It was very interesting giving this lesson on September 12. As an attention activity, it asked for a newspaper's headlines to be shown and discussed with the class. The only newspapers in my possession were a copy of the Washington Post and USA Today from September 12, 2001.

My class was made up of 9-11 year old girls that day and they were fascinated by this paper. After all, they were either not yet born or just babies then! We talked of King Hezekiah, who he was and how he prepared himself and his kingdom both temporally and spiritually for the invading Assyrians. All around him, his allies were falling to the invaders. Yet he was a man of God in a time when most were not and as such, he sought out the prophet's counsel and he and his people were saved. I found this message so timely.

I loved pulling out my old Jerusalem textbooks, reading about Sennacherib's empire, his engraved triumphal mural about the seige of Lachish at his palace in Ninevah, and Hezekiah's tunnel. And yet all those fun facts were not what I was meant to share with my class. It was very clear to me.

Instead, following the Spirit, I briefly related where I was on 9-11-01 and the scene of fear and foreboding at the Pentagon that day and in the weeks that followed. I told them how I was never more anxious for General Conference that October, to hear what the prophets and apostles of our day would say to us. I remembered and related the peace and comfort of their words and testified that Christ's Second Coming which we discussed would be an exciting time if we followed the prophets, knew and studied their words and kept the commandments.

There is so much to fear these days at every turn, headlines are full of it. But as Isaiah 54 prophesied:

10 For the amountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the bcovenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.
13 And all thy achildren shall be btaught of the Lord; and great shall be the cpeace of thy children.
14 In righteousness shalt thou be established: thou shalt be far from oppression; for thou shalt not fear: and from terror; for it shall not come near thee.
17 ¶ No aweapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every btongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the cservants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.