Increasing spirituality in uncertain times

Recently I read a blog that discussed what we can do while we are in our homes for long periods of time that would bring us closer to Our Heavenly Father, Beloved Savior and bring us peace.

“I am an overly anxious person—someone who lies awake at night replaying minor awkward encounters from each day and worrying incessantly about things that “might” happen. So you can imagine what the past few weeks of press conferences declaring states of emergency, canceled church meetings, and the thousands of panic-driven shoppers have done to my nerves. Although this is a time of uncertainty, one thing I am certain about is that this is a time for unique opportunities and revelation. Here are just a few examples:

The Opportunity to Be Still

“I am a busybody. I don’t like to sit still. I feel uncomfortable in silence. I often catch myself listening to audiobooks or scrolling through social media to fill my free time. But I’m trying to be more mindful in my life, and I’ve realized that I use distractions to protect myself from anxiety and from acknowledging uncomfortable feelings. As much as I dislike acknowledging them at the time, when I don’t allow myself to feel my feelings and be still, everything builds up inside to the point where I can hardly feel anything, including the Spirit.

While there are definitely times when I need to get up and respond to what’s happening around me, occasionally being still is essential to my emotional and, more importantly, my spiritual health. The Savior said, “… be still and know that I am God.” (Doctrine and Covenants 101: 16 ). M. Russell Ballard taught: ‘Everyone needs time to meditate and contemplate. . . . We are often so busy and the world is so loud that it is difficult to hear the heavenly words ‘be still, and know that I am God.’ Perhaps this time is a rare opportunity to practice stillness.

The Opportunity to Reconnect

“The distractions of the world can often disconnect me from what is most precious and important. Dieter F. Uchtdorf summed up some of those things that matter most, saying, ‘As we turn to our Heavenly Father and seek His wisdom regarding the things that matter most, we learn over and over again the importance of four key relationships: with our God, with our families, with our fellowman, and with ourselves.’

Even as we are asked to become more isolated physically, we are being blessed with time to check in with ourselves, to converse with God, to spend time with the people we love, and to serve and minister to others—especially through the blessing of technology.

The Opportunity to Refine Our Faith

“A few months ago I was driving up a mountain on a very foggy night. The fog was so thick that at one point I saw nothing but a wall of white in front of me. My knuckles were clenched around my steering wheel, and my stomach churned with nerves. But I trusted I would reach the top of the mountain if I just kept going. Suddenly the fog cleared, like it had never even existed. As I looked down from the top of the mountain, I could see everything clearly below. I started thinking about those “foggy” moments life can throw at us. I feel like this pandemic is one of those foggy moments. Although I can’t see what’s coming, and the uncertainty of what lies ahead and contagious panic might feel like suffocating white fog, I can trust that God can see everything I cannot. He can see what’s ahead, and He can lead all of us through. All He asks of us is to just keep moving forward with faith … and holding on to what we know is true.

“I believe that faith is choosing to move forward every day, trusting in the Lord that all will be well, even when I am afraid. This is so hard to do, but I know doing so can refine my testimony in astounding ways.

When it feels that there is nothing more I can do, I can choose to trust God. “For I do know that whosoever shall put their trust in God shall be supported in their trials, and their troubles, and their afflictions, and shall be lifted up at the last day” (Alma 36:3 in the Book of Mormon).”

The Savior’s Peace

The Savior said, “In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” (John 16: 33 in the Bible). The Savior said to His apostles, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” (John 14: 27 in the Bible). The peace the Savior refers to is the sense of well-being and serenity that comes from keeping His commandments and having the Spirit of the Holy Ghost with us.

Dallas Jones is the local leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Chakell Wardleigh contributed to the article. For further discussion call (231) 383-8359 or send an email to [email protected]