With the recent chaos of events throughout the world, I think there are many people looking for hope, solace, and a return to normal. Fear is strong and prevalent.
Yet this is an article I have written a million times. OK, maybe that is a slight exaggeration, but the point is that stuff happens when it is supposed to and for the right reason. I am wondering who needs this article today. It might be you; it might be me.
Owl City (along with Britt Nicole) and Laura Daigle sing some favorite inspirational songs. Some may discount the emotions generated by these songs because they are Christian artists. I can’t understand that. They are our brothers and sisters. They have their hopes and dreams just like we do, and they are similar to ours. They too want to celebrate Jesus Christ with the understanding they have and share it with the world. What’s wrong with that? It doesn’t bother me, never did.
I was speaking with my wife on our walk today about how the gospel of Jesus Christ impacts everything we do and engenders hope in the midst of despair. Now, in the middle of our present isolation and social distancing challenges, we are not alone. We support one another and need not fear the future. How great that we can share this message with our brothers and sisters around the world, and they can share their perspective and joy with us. We can share our euphoria with others, and together we are all edified. That sounds just like church, which I never realized I would miss so much — brothers and sisters united in the gospel of Jesus Christ. Maybe this is not making sense to you at all. Maybe this perspective sounds just like the Christian messages that are ridiculed and slighted at every opportunity—the subject of this piece. If that is what you are thinking, I have an analogy that I want to share with you, because I want you to enjoy the perspective I have of these things.
“Be Thou My Vision” lyrics
Initially, I didn’t see anything good coming from this coronavirus outbreak. “I wonder why God is allowing this?” I thought. Missionaries are coming home, temples are closed, church meetings have been suspended, and education, concerts, and interfamily gatherings are all at risk or altogether cancelled. Everything that we do to be good, active members of the Church has been taken away — or so it seemed at the time. Then President Nelson asked the world to unite in fasting and prayer. We all came together in a worldwide fast in an effort to quell the outbreak.
As part of that effort, somebody created a Facebook group. I must have heard about that a few weeks before when it first began, but it was the myriad of posts and shares that appeared on my Facebook wall that first interested me. I became engaged.
People from all walks of life came together: messages of hope, musical performances, good neighborly service, wonderful experiences, and requests for prayer and joined faith to not just fast to eradicate this virus but much, much more. What caught my attention most was how folks said they had just spent hours reading the great posts and stories on this site. So I started investigating it for myself.
In a way like I have never seen before, posts began appearing from everywhere: hundreds, then thousands, and now millions of thought-provoking requests for help, prayer, faith and fasting in one another’s behalf. A mother asks for prayers for her baby, a child requests faith for his father, and others provide uplifting and inspiring posts and performances for others to enjoy and celebrate during this time of isolation. When I started this article, we were in the middle of this pandemic. Now restrictions seem to be loosening: in this part of the country, Zion National Park just opened today, Arches is reopening in two days, and there are evidences nearly everywhere of overcoming this trial. Our Church leaders are similarly reassessing the status and making adjustments to temple and church worship.
I love the newfound unity and welcome my brothers and sisters to join in this effort and share the great message of love and hope with others. What’s not to like?
It doesn’t bother me and never did. In fact, maybe that’s the message we should all be taking from the virus after all: getting through life’s challenges is better together.
“In Christ Alone (I Stand)” lyrics
We are all brothers and sisters purchased with the blood of Christ.
Here in the power of Christ, I stand.
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.