Staying Positive When it Feels Impossible

 

The world is chaotic. Everyday we wake up to another tragedy. We can’t go on Facebook for 30 seconds without scrolling past a heartbreaking picture or an angry status. We want to help, fix the problems, and end the violence. But, we also want to be happy and preserve our sanity. These things often feel at odds with each other.

Is it possible to face these atrocities and disasters, help alleviate suffering, and still remain positive? This past General Conference the General Authorities addressed this and gave us some wise and heaven-sent council to “Focus on the Savior”.

Taking Personal Inventory

I’d like to think I already focus on the savior.. However, I’ve asked myself – and encourage you to ask yourself – questions to gauge where I am currently.

“What is receiving most of my energy?”

“What or who takes up the most space in my mind?”

“How am I using my time?”

Upon evaluation I realized that the Savior was not at the top of the list for any of these questions. I try to be good, helpful, kind, and Christlike by helping others. But, am I relying on His strength to do so? Are you?

President Uchtdorf offered this reminder of why the Savior should be the focus of our lives: “First, your life will be better. Second, God will use you to make the lives of others better”.

Helping others is the work of Christ. We need Him. If we are to be effective and hopeful, we need to work in His power, and through His help.

Plugging In

So what can we do? How can we better access His peace and His power? First, don’t be afraid to disconnect from media for a while and recenter yourself. Elder Bednar taught us that “one of the great challenges each of us faces every day is to not allow the concerns of this world to so dominate our time and energy that we neglect the eternal things that matter most”.

When He is first we will have the energy to then face the trials of life, and help others more effectively, while deepening our own faith and feelings of hope. Everyday when we do plug in, before we turn on our phones and our tablets, before we face whatever tragedy we may learn of, plug into Christ’s power.

Plug in by…

  1. Praying. Pray for comfort, peace, charity, hope and the Spirit’s guidance. Express gratitude for the beauty and goodness in the world.
  2. Reading. Read the words of living prophets and those of old. Read the words of our Savior. Look to His life for inspiration. Elder Pingree spoke of this during Conference, “as we follow Christ’s example and yield ourselves to God…that He will also use us to further His work and to bless others”.

President Nelson implored us to increase our study of the Book of Mormon because the truths found there can provide, “…the power to heal, comfort, restore, succor, strengthen, console, and cheer our souls”.

Finding Peace

I have a testimony that as we do these things, we can have peace.

The storms of the adversary will keep raging. Calm found in the Savior’s light is always available. Sister Jean B. Bingham testified of how the Savior is the one that brings this joy. “Lasting joy is found in focusing on our Savior, Jesus Christ, and living the gospel as demonstrated and taught by Him. The more we learn about, have faith in, and emulate Jesus Christ, the more we come to understand that He is the source of all healing, peace, and eternal progress”.

Focus on Christ. As you do so, you can be a positive pillar of light for those in darkness, even during the darkest of times.

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