With so much tragedy and violence happening in our world, it is easy to have an abundance of fear. However, through Christ, we can discover peace, love, and clarity as we study and apply His teachings. Here are some reasons, ideas, and facts to help see more good in the world when all we seem to see is evil.
Over the weekend in the United States, our televisions, phones, and social media accounts were filled with depictions of death and violence. It seems our world is getting darker, violent, and more evil. It’s in these moments we can feel fear enter our every day lives. We can feel like our efforts to do good ultimately don’t matter because the world is just too broken.
This is what the adversary wants us to believe. We read in the scriptures that this life is meant to be a joyful one. Life is full of difficulties and tragedies, but the Lord created this life for us so we could have happiness. The adversary wants us to believe this life is something we should fear and live each day in that fear. He wants us to scroll through endless news stories that dampen our world view, and make us think there is no hope.
If he can get us to spend the day feeling hopeless, fearful, and pessimistic, in that sense he has won. He wants us to see this life as one full of difficult experiences to get through, not a joyful experience and precious gift.
But thankfully, we have an example of peace to look to. Jesus Christ is the ultimate source of happiness in our lives, and we can take heart in knowing all will be made right through His Atonement. No matter the tragedy, the pain, and the sadness, the Savior’s Atonement reaches each and every individual in a personal way.
The Savior’s Atonement is not only for when we fall short in the sight of God but for when we feel like we are falling into despair. He reminds us that He has “overcome the world” and that we are to “be of good cheer” within His love. The Atonement of Christ can mend hearts, and that which is “sown in weakness will ultimately be raised in power” as Elder Holland states in his talk “Like a Broken Vessel.”
But oftentimes it is incredibly difficult to see the good in the world when our news only features the bad. Additionally, we read in the scriptures that the world will become eviler, and this can fill us with fear. In these times, it is our perspective that is most important. If we can focus on the love of Christ, and additionally seeing the good being accomplished in the world, we can find peace to live each day as a precious gift, and one filled with joy.
Last year, Canadian psychologist Steven Pinker gave a talk providing eye-opening statistics illustrating how truly blessed we are to be alive at this time. Due to the news we hear, we often only see the bad, fear-inducing events. But as we broaden our vision, we can see that there is so much improvement that our world has experienced in just the past thirty years.
Dr. Pinker provides facts and statistics showing our quality of life has in fact improved, we are living longer, and we have taken steps forward in creating a better world. He emphasizes that though we are seeing so much negativity in our world today, we are in fact becoming a better people. He also reminds us, however, that progress is not something that just happens but is predicated on our commitment to making the world a better place.
Sheri Dew once said that “our spirits crave to progress” and as we progress we find a greater sense of happiness.
If the adversary can make us feel the world is broken and something we should fear, how can we make it a better place for those around us? Dr. Pinker gives a variety of great lessons and admonitions for ways in which we can continually make the world better in his talk.
Statistics can provide us with logical proof that this life is wonderful, and the love of our Savior Jesus Christ can fill our souls with joy. As our perspective begins to shift and we see the good happening around us, we can feel empowered in our own abilities to make the world a better place.
We can reach out to those around us in need, we can send a friendly message, or post a video that was inspiring to us. We can mourn with those that are mourning currently due to the horrific events of this past weekend.
Our loving Father in Heaven witnesses and remembers each of our efforts to do good and will send His Spirit to strengthen us when we feel so fearful of the events happening around us. James E. Faust taught us that there is so much hope found in this world when he said in his talk “Hope, an Achor of the Soul”
“In my opinion, there has never been in the history of this Church a reason for so much hope for the future of the Church and its members worldwide. I believe and testify that we are moving to a higher level of faith and activity than there ever has been. I pray that each of us will be found holding up our end of the line in this great army of righteousness.”