Fasten Your Seatbelt (No. 19)
From his talk, Peacemakers Needed
Part of the President Nelson Series
All blue quotes by President Russell M. Nelson (unless otherwise noted).
What is a peacemaker?
Who among us can qualify as peacemakers?
President Nelson lists five dynamic peacemaker characteristics, and they’re doable. Which is great news. I believe most of us could acquire this attribute. But first, let’s tackle the hard part.
The Savior made this clear in His sermons to followers in both hemispheres. “Blessed are the peacemakers,” He said. “Whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” And then, of course, He gave the admonition that challenges each of us: “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you.”
- the ability to turn the cheek
- love your enemies
- bless those that curse you
- do good to those who hate you
- pray for them that despitefully use you
- and persecute you
Does this resonate with our challenges in 2023? Have you noticed spite, begrudging, hate, persecution, inconsiderateness, entitlement, etc. around us?
I could be better at turning the other cheek. I’m not super reactionary or one to hit back with my own foul play. But I do things like ignore difficult people, or poke that little “ah-hah, caught you being wrong” stuff in there. Plus, I am good at the “you’re kidding” look.
Turning the cheek is a piece of self-mastery few of us have. I’m striving for it!
As far as enemies go, the Savior doesn’t mean we must love or excuse what they do. But we do want to be gracious with them in the moment when we can. We can hang on to kindness and civility while crossing paths with them. It means we don’t have to pick up on their enmity and throw it back to them.
We own ourselves when we don’t participate in the enmity dropped at our feet.
Love Is Always the Final Word
Before His death, the Savior commanded His Twelve Apostles to love one another as He had loved them. And then He added, “By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.”
There it is. We’re measured by the amount of love we put out. Love is the power of the Universe ~ it’s what blessings and divine providence float around on. Years ago, a stake president said, “We all need to spend more time loving people and less time judging them.”
The List of Five
The Savior’s message is clear: His true disciples build, lift, encourage, persuade, and inspire—no matter how difficult the situation. True disciples of Jesus Christ are peacemakers.
This is the best description of a peacemaker I have ever heard. When I intentionally include more of these efforts in my daily routine, I notice that the hard part of being a peacemaker gets more doable (like turning the other cheek to someone’s unscrupulous and inferior moment). I also noticed people closer to me are more at peace.
Next time you feel the tension building in the room or have a conversation that didn’t go well, test out one of President Nelson’s five peacemaker go-tos. Especially the first three, building, lifting, and encouraging. They naturally bring about persuasion and inspire others to be in a better place.