This post is written in partnership with Mormon.org as part of the Easter 2017 #PrinceofPeace campaign.
Do you know the hymn, "Master, the Tempest Is Raging"? The hymn is based on Mark 4:36-41 (also found in Matthew 8) where the apostles and Jesus Christ are crossing the waters and a great storm has come. Christ sleeps as the waves crash upon the ship and finally they wake Him saying, "Master, carest thou not that we perish?" Jesus Christ first stills the storm commanding the sea "Peace, be still" then turns to his disciples and asks, "Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith?" Is Christ asking us the same question right now?
Faith leads to peace as we learn to trust in the Lord to guide, direct, and keep us safe. My grandpa, George Sterling Nixon, was an excellent example of faith. One of his stories from his time in the United States Air Force demonstrates his faith, and the power it can have in our lives.
In a swamp in Vietnam, a short runway had been constructed by cutting down trees and laying the trunks side by side to form a semi-solid base then attaching steel planking on top. Parts of the runway ended up sinking into the swamp so it ended up being quite wavy. This obviously made it extremely difficult to land on and take-off from.
One night, the outpost came under heavy attack and one soldier in particular needed immediate assistance. My grandpa flew to the outpost to take him to a hospital. Shortly after they put the soldier in his plane, the runway came under heavy attack again. Another wounded man decided to jump on top of the severely injured man in the plane and would not budge (there were only 2 seats- 1 for my Grandpa and one for the injured soldier). Mortars and rockets were constantly fired at them. My Grandpa had two choices- 1) Attempt an overweight take-off (which would not be recommended even from a long smooth runway), or 2) Get out of his airplane and run to the nearest bunker, knowing his plane would be destroyed and all hope of rescuing the severely wounded soldier would be over.
He decided to risk the rescue and pushed the throttle full forward. As he rolled down the runway enemy soldiers came out of the elephant grass at the opposite end of the runway and started shooting at him. Because of the wavy runway and the heavy load, he couldn't gain enough airspeed to get airborne. He thought he was going to run off the end of the runway. At the last instant, he eased back on the stick and just barely staggered into the air.
He was now right in the midst of the enemy. They stood up all around in the elephant grass and continued shooting at him. It seemed like the longest, slowest climb he had ever made. He just couldn't gain altitude fast because of his heavy load. Slowly, however, he finally got out of their range and flew his two passengers back to the hospital.
Upon inspection of his airplane at the hospital, he realized there was not one bullet hole in his airplane. He said, "I think it was because there were four of us there instead of only three- two injured soldiers, myself, and the Lord."
Faith gives us the peace and assurance we need no matter what is going around us. Faith gives us peace because our faith is in Jesus Christ, the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:6). This Easter, refocus on faith and these 7 other principles with Mormon.org to bring more peace into your and your family's life.
- Compassion- Share a sincere compliment with someone- print these 12 compliment cards then expound upon them with your own personal note. Or study some examples of when Jesus showed compassion in my 2 week Easter scripture study.
- Forgiveness- Study more about forgiveness in Day 10 of my Easter study. Is there a burden that you can release through forgiving another?
- Repentance- Help your children understand the steps of repentance with these free lesson handouts.
- Gratitude- Write thankful notes on these Popcorn from Your Apricot Tree bags and deliver them to your friends.
- Scripture- Spend time in the scriptures today or learn from another's insights using the Scripture Helps section on the blog.
- Prayer- Focus on making your prayers more meaningful with these 5 ideas.
- Hope- Study the scripture verses about the Resurrection of the Savior or use one of these other ways to share the Easter story with others.
Share Your Story
As you find more peace in your life, share it with others! Join Mormon.org's Easter campaign and share your stories using #PrinceofPeace throughout social media (please note, Mormon.org will not have the info up until March 31st). What has brought you peace? What people in your life have shown these principles? Who or what can you share about? How have you come closer to Christ?
Above is a photo of my grandpa. Share photos of those that have inspired you and helped you come unto Christ. You can download 9 borders with #PrinceofPeace and the 8 principles and one blank one. Add the borders to your photo by heading over to a photo editing site like PicMonkey. Please note, the frames are compressed into a zip file. You will need to unzip it before opening or you will get an error message. If you don't know how to do this, read this unzipping tutorial.
Share with Your Family
Study each of these principles that lead to peace with my free Chicken and Eggs printable. Each egg has one of the 8 principles on it. The back of the egg includes a scripture, question, and a challenge for the day. Read the egg in the morning then discuss how you accomplished the challenge that night around the dinner table. Share your testimonies and the peace you have discovered with each other. There are two versions- colored or black and white for your coloring fun. There are two sides to each piece- chicken, nest, etc. Attach the nest together leaving the top open to create a pocket to place the chicken and eggs inside.
Share with a Friend
Continue to share the message of peace with your friends and neighbors. Print off the Easter eggs from the Chicken printable above in a larger size and go "egg" your neighbors. Glue the two sides of the eggs together with a skewer in between and you can poke them in the grass. This set also includes one egg that says "Happy Easter!" on one side and the scripture in Isaiah 9:6 on the other. The Happy Easter egg also invites others to go to Mormon.org to discover more (whether they are your visiting teacher or a friend that goes to a different church). There are no challenges on these larger eggs, instead use the extra room to write a sweet note to your friends of how you've seen them exemplify that trait or share your testmiony. Leave a bag of jelly beans or another treat on their doorstep for an extra sweet surprise.