by Kari Diane Pike
My husband Doug is a news and politics junkie. He devours information. Then he studies different sides of the issues and tries his best to make wise decisions. I, on the other hand, have to watch and listen from a distance so that I don't put my foot through the television screen or throw the computer across the room. My emotions get the best of me more often than I care to admit. In the past, Doug only had to talk me off the ledge during election years, but conditions in our country today were making my panic attacks a daily thing. Keeping me away from news on the television and newspaper isn't enough anymore, because Facebook and other social media provide fertile ground for spreading even more negative, often false, and particularly inflammatory information.
Okay, let's be honest. I live in a bubble. I have been sheltered from most of the evils of the world most of my life. That's not to say I haven't experienced challenges and heartaches. No one gets through life unscathed. However, I have been shielded from the worst horrors. I was lucky enough to be "born of goodly parents" and benefit from many of their choices in life. They taught me how to be responsible and self sufficient so that I can make choices that will benefit generations to come.
While I happen to like the bubble in which I live, I also recognize that I have a responsibility to reach out and help others. I can't do that in ignorance. But how can I find joy while the world around me broils in turmoil, contention, and hate? How can I settle the anxiety and heartache I feel when I see so many people suffering? What can I do to make a difference?
I found some answers for myself during scripture study these past few weeks. The war chapters in Alma and the early chapters in Helaman in the Book of Mormon have provided me with a great deal of comfort and food for thought. Helaman 3:20 shows me how, despite "great contentions, and disturbances, and wars, and dissensions among the people of Nephi" (verse 17), it is still possible for me to fulfill my roles as wife, mother, grandmother, daughter, and friend. Helaman filled the judgment seat with justice and equity despite the turmoil around him. He kept the commandments and "he did prosper in the land." By keeping the commandments and doing "that which [is] right in the sight of God continually," I too, can carry on with my responsibilities and "prosper."
I can be informed, but I don't have to be afraid. I can stay calm. I can pray. I can be positive.The world may have a lot of ugly stuff going on, but there are breathtaking views all around me. Best of all, I can choose to share those inspiring views with others through my writing.
I know that Jesus Christ lives. He atoned for the sins of this world. Through His grace, I know that no matter what happens, everything is going to work out. The Savior said, "Fear not." I like to think that He meant that to be more than a suggestion. His love is perfect and perfect love castes away fear. Life is magnificent.