Be a Peacemaker

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Franklin D. Richards

"If ever there was a time when we needed peacemakers, it is today; today seems to be a most appropriate time to discuss what we might do to assist in establishing peace, at least within our relationships. Have you ever wondered how you could be a peacemaker? I would like to mention a few possibilities. Really, our opportunities are unlimited.

Certainly in our homes, as well as elsewhere, we can all be peacemakers by exhibiting love and goodwill, thus offsetting the evil of contention, envy, and jealousy. Where misunderstandings exist between children and parents we can encourage adjustments on the part of both. We can pray together for the spirit of peace.

Homes can be seriously disrupted because of family strife. At times, husbands and wives in an atmosphere of contention destroy their own happiness as well as that of their children.

Divorces seem to be continually increasing. Many of these divorces undoubtedly could have been avoided if peacemakers had been involved during periods of strife.

An interesting example that I was closely associated with and which I have referred to previously was one in which several young adults became peacemakers in their homes.:

A very wise bishop called several young people into his office and said to them: "I would like you to help me in an experiment. I would like to prove the impact and influence of one member on the spirit of the family. For one month, I would like each of you to be the peacemaker in your home.

Don't say anything about this to your family, but be thoughtful, kind, and considerate. Be an example. Where there is quarreling or bickering among members of your family, do whatever you can to overcome these faults by creating an atmosphere of love, harmony, and helpfulness.

"When you are irritated—and irritations arise in almost every family—control yourself and help the others to control themselves. I would like to see every home in our ward be 'a bit of heaven on earth.' At the end of the month, I would like you to meet with me again and report."

It was a challenge for these young people, and they met the challenge in a wonderful way.

When they reported back to the bishop, remarks such as these were made. One young fellow said: "I had no idea I would have so much influence in my home. It's really been different this last month. I've been wondering if much of the turmoil and strife we used to have was caused by me and my attitudes."

A young lady said: "I guess we were just the normal family with our selfishness causing little daily conflicts. But as I have worked with my brothers and sisters, a lot of this has been eliminated, and there has been a much sweeter spirit in our home. I believe you really have to work at it to have the spirit of peace in your home."

Another young lady reported: "Yes, there has been a much sweeter and cooperative and unselfish spirit in our home since I began this experiment, but the biggest difference of all has been in me. I've tried hard to be a good example and a peacemaker, and I feel better about myself than I have ever felt. A wonderful feeling of peace has come over me."

Brothers and sisters, how would you like to try the bishop's experiment in your home by being a peacemaker for one month?

In the words of the bishop, "Where there is quarreling or bickering among the family members, do whatever you can to overcome these faults by creating an atmosphere of love, harmony, and helpfulness. When you are irritated, control yourself and help the others to control themselves."

I can promise you as you try this experiment and become a peacemaker in your home that the rewards will be most gratifying.

Another way we can be a peacemaker both in our home and our social and business relationships is by avoiding criticism.

Did you ever stop to think that every time you criticize, you are judging?

Jesus, in the Sermon on the Mount, said:

"Judge not, that ye be not judged.

"For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged." (Matt. 7:1-2)