“Therefore, renounce war and proclaim peace, and seek diligently to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers, and the hearts of the fathers to the children;” – Doctrine and Covenants 98:16
I came across this scripture during my scripture study-time a few days ago, and I was struck by the connection between peace and the Spirit of Elijah.
Of course, I think that peace is a good idea. In fact, I pray for peace. I pray to feel peace in my home. I pray for peace in my relationships. When I listen to the news or am confronted with information about others who suffer – especially in wars/violence, I pray that they may know the blessing of peace.
The idea of renouncing war and proclaiming peace is pretty simple, and it seems like the verse in the Doctrine and Covenants could have ended there, but it didn’t. We pursue peace and then seek to turn the hearts of the children to their fathers and fathers to their children. What does this have to do with peace?
In some ways, everything.
Maybe, when we turn our hearts to our fathers, we become more understanding. We allow our perspectives to broaden.
We also, more often than not, will run into times when our fathers were persecuted. Perhaps a memory of this persecution will help us to think twice before we exercise judgment against others.
On the other hand, if we are being persecuted, then, perhaps a memory of our fathers (and mothers!) will give us the strength to endure persecution peacefully – rather than vengefully.
Above all, I think that the connection given in this verse alludes to the temple. If we seek diligently to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers – by seeking diligently to bring the temple to them, and encouraging all to do the ordinance work for their ancestors, then what is the obvious result: Peace.
The temple is a place of peace. It fills our lives with the Spirit. We can experience such comfort even amidst trial by letting the spirit of the temple fill our entire lives. The work of the temple is what will bring all of us lasting peace.