At 7 a.m. this morning, my phone began buzzing persistently. It was a Twitter notification, informing me that at least 50 people had died and hundreds more were injured after a shooting in Las Vegas. I didn't know what to feel. I was heartbroken, angry, confused, shocked, and sickened all at once as I read and reread the notification on my phone.
My heart went out to the victims and their families, as well as those injured and those who would undoubtedly suffer from trauma after witnessing this terrible tragedy, the deadliest shooting in the U.S. in modern history.
It was hard to think of or find peace after knowing something so horrific happened overnight. I needed a reminder of what I felt as I watched general conference just hours before as I listened to the leaders of the Church. Of the peace that came with their words.
And that came in an unusual place. As I was on social media, looking at others' responses to this tragedy, I came across David Archuleta's Facebook post. In his post, he shared a powerful message of peace, the Savior, and unity. It was a message that I needed, and it's a kind of message we need more of today.
Every 6 months I take a little weekend break, wherever I might be, to listen to my church's world conference. Yesterday I was able to attend in person. My heart hurts hearing about another shooting in Vegas. In a world where so much is going on, with natural disasters, shootings, hate, wars, depression and anxiety, fears, and so many other things going on we ask ourselves "Where can I turn for peace? Where is my solace?" That's what speaker Jean B Bingham talked about in the conference yesterday morning. Sometimes it's hard to trust. But there is a source of healing, and that is from Christ. Jean Bingham also mentioned there is a way to become free from the constraints of our own misunderstanding. Well, how? One way I've gained it is watching and listening to men and women of God in these conferences. I loved how a big emphasis was on trust and to "lean not unto [our] own understanding." (Proverbs 3:5-6) my love is with the victims of the recent Vegas shooting, and also with the many still recovering from the natural disasters. Let's allow sad things to bring us together, become united and do something to help others. We can be the helping hands and the light in even the darkest times of another's life. If you'd like to watch a talk from the conference, I'm putting the link in my bio today.
As I read this post, I was reminded of the promises spoken by President Eyring roughly 24 hours before.
"The best days are ahead for the kingdom of God on the earth," he said. "Opposition will strengthen our faith in Jesus Christ, as it has since the days of the Prophet Joseph Smith. Faith always defeats fear. Standing together produces unity. And your prayers for those in need are heard and answered by a loving God. He neither slumbers nor does He sleep."
Faith defeats fear. Even when things seem so awful and chaotic, we can find peace, the antithesis of fear, as we continue to live the gospel and serve those around us.
Sometimes we just have to be reminded, to be assured of these things that we know, even if it's through a Facebook post.