The Peace of Wild Things

We were at Disneyland when we heard about the Paris bombings–talk about a juxtaposition. The Happiest Place on earth vs. The Horrific.  After serving an LDS mission in France, I have tender feelings for that wonderful country and one of my dearest friends still lives there.

I was particularly touched by Antoine Leiris’ powerful tribute to his wife, who died in the Bataclan. “I won’t give you the gift of hating you.”

It’s tough not to get swept away in the world of ISIS and I’ve been glued to NPR, Frontline and the news. I’m tired of all the fighting, all the divisive opinions about the Syrian refuges. I’ve had to step back because it’s discouraging to see the way the world is spiraling out of control with no easy solution in sight.

I absolutely love love love this poem:

The Peace of Wild Things
By Wendell Berry
When despair for the world grows in me
and I wake in the night at the least sound
in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,
I go and lie down where the wood drake
rests in his beauty on the water, and the great heron feeds.
I come into the peace of wild things
who do not tax their lives with forethought
of grief. I come into the presence of still water.
And I feel above me the day-blind stars
waiting with their light. For a time
I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

I’m also giving a call out to my women-folk. As I was preparing a Visiting Teaching message yesterday, I was particularly struck by a General Conference talk “A Plea to My Sisters” by President Russell M. Nelson. In a world where so many women are fighting for their lives and their rights, in the Western World, it seems we’re putting the superficial Kardashian Housewives on a pedestal of how women should be and act.

Thirty-six years ago, in 1979, President Spencer W. Kimball made a profound prophecy about the impact that covenant-keeping women would have on the future of the Lord’s Church. He prophesied: “Much of the major growth that is coming to the Church in the last days will come because many of the good women of the world … will be drawn to the Church in large numbers. This will happen to the degree that the women of the Church reflect righteousness and articulateness in their lives and to the degree that the women of the Church are seen as distinct and different—in happy ways—from the women of the world.

“We need women who are organized and women who can organize. We need women with executive ability who can plan and direct and administer; women who can teach, women who can speak out. …

“We need women with the gift of discernment who can view the trends in the world and detect those that, however popular, are shallow or dangerous.”

Today, let me add that we need women who know how to make important things happen by their faith and who are courageous defenders of morality and families in a sin-sick world; women who know how to call upon the powers of heaven to protect and strengthen children and families; women who teach fearlessly.

We are women of great power, influence and light. And it’s about time we remember that.


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