Jesus Christ is our exemplar and the #PRINCEofPEACE. One of the Principles of Peace he teaches us is Faith.
Faith is a principle of action and power. When we have faith in the #PRINCEofPEACE we can have the strength to do hard things. One of those hard things can be going to Church alone.
Last week the wife and kids were out of town and I went to Church on my own. I shared my experience during a Facebook Live and asked people about their experiences in going to Church alone. It was a great conversation with others sharing how they help those going to church alone and how they have felt supported.
One of the supports we draw on is the power of Faith. I invited my little sister Summer to join me and share how Faith in the Saviour Jesus Christ help her return to Church and continues to help her keep going. A year ago she did a Periscope video and shared how she returned to Church. I was amazed by her faith and testimony.
My sister, Summer, is joining me to continue the discussion from last week and share how the #PRINCEofPEACE gave her the Faith to return to Church and keep going with her kids. #Mormon #LDS #BestDay #HisDay
Posted by This Mormon Life on Sunday, March 26, 2017
My sister Summer started becoming less active a few years after she graduated high school. She married a great husband, but he was not a member of the Church. One day she decided to come back. That is where I want to pick up this story. She says about her motivation “I was feeling a sense of emptiness. I knew right away that it was the spirit that was missing from my life.”
I remember Summer calling me and asking if I would come with her to church. She was in a ward that I used to live in. It was hard for her to go, she said, “It was terrible. I was nervous and self-conscious and felt very alone. My ward was not very good at fellowshipping and no one really talked to me. Half the time I left after sacrament because it was much easier to walk out then sit alone in Sunday school or relief society”
I tried as much as I could to go with her, but much of the time she went alone. That changed when she started having kids. “By the time I had my first son we had moved back to the stake I grew up in. While we were in a different ward, there were familiar faces and an amazing effort in fellowship. Having a child gave me the comfort of purpose. If I started to feel anxiety, I would walk the halls rocking my baby or sit in the nursing lounge where there were always other moms I could connect with.
The option to escape by leaving was no longer my go to, I was able to use my baby to cope and find a personal connection. The year my first son was born there were 18 babies born as well, something that I know was not a coincidence. The lord prepared a solid group of young mothers for me to connect with and build friendships with.”
Summer’s family kept growing and in a few years, she was taking her three kids to Church on her own every week. She says she considered giving up “lots and lots of times. Pretty much every single week. As I’d wonder the halls with crazy toddlers the phrase ‘Stand ye in hold places’ was continually impressed upon me. I knew that Heavenly Father saw me and knew my struggle and that he wanted me to know that my effort was sufficient regardless of the results”
There was hope for her, though. She was able to keep moving forward. Summer says she was motivated by “not wanting to experience that darkness that I once felt. I often think of my inactivity as a blessing. Many people go through lifelong membership with a wavering testimony and always wondering if the church is true. I know that it is true because I have lived on the other side of activity. I know what life is like as an adult without the spirit and guidance that the gospel brings.”
As Summer has faith is Jesus Christ she has seen so many blessings from the #PRINCEofPEACE. “I honestly could look at every blessing in my life and attribute it to my reactivation. The biggest blessing has been having the spirit guide me in raising my children and working to keep my marriage strong. The Lord had laid out every step and misstep to guide me on this journey to get me to where we are as a family unit and to where I am as a woman.
I can look back and see that so clearly. I can see the Lord work miracles through the people in our lives, I am certain that nothing I have experienced has been by happenstance. It’s almost like looking at my life as I did in the pre-existence, it is that clear to me. I know that this would not be possible without having the spirit in my life.”
Over at Mormon.org, there are some great resources to help us better feel the blessings of the #PRINCEofPEACE. This all kicks off April 8th with a LIVE event on Facebook featuring stories of unsung heroes and great vocal performance. #PRINCEofPEACE focuses on 8 core principles that can lead to peace in your life and will help you draw closer to the Savior, Jesus Christ.
The Church getting involved in sharing Christ-centered messages during Easter is nothing new. You can see some of the past Easter videos on a past blog post. You can even see my audition for the virtual Hallelujah Chorus for last year’s initiative, #Hallelujah.
During Holy Week — from Palm Sunday, April 9, to Easter Sunday, April 16 — learn more about nine principles of peace: faith, compassion, forgiveness, repentance, gratitude, God’s word, prayer, and hope. Each day, the website and social media sites will feature one principle with a video about an individual’s experience finding peace by living that principle.
Who Are Examples in Your Life?
Who do you know who exemplifies ones of these 9 principles of peace? Comment below and tell us about them. Better yet, share their story on social media with the hashtag #PRINCEofPEACE and post a link to it in the comments!
Here are some recent posts on Instagram!