1 Nephi 18:21
Calming The Tempests
4/2001 Thomas S. Monson
To the Rescue
While reading this letter, I returned in my thoughts to a visit to one of the great art galleries of the world—even the famed Victoria and Albert Museum in London, England. There, exquisitely framed, was a masterpiece painted in 1831 by Joseph Mallord William Turner. The painting features heavy-laden black clouds and the fury of a turbulent sea portending danger and death. A light from a stranded vessel gleams far off. In the foreground, tossed high by incoming waves of foaming water, is a large lifeboat. The men pull mightily on the oars as the lifeboat plunges into the tempest. On the shore there stand a wife and two children, wet with rain and whipped by wind. They gaze anxiously seaward. In my mind I abbreviated the name of the painting. To me, it became To the Rescue.
Amidst the storms of life, danger lurks; and men, like boats, find themselves stranded and facing destruction. Who will man the lifeboats, leaving behind the comforts of home and family, and go to the rescue?
President John Taylor cautioned us, “If you do not magnify your callings, God will hold you responsible for those whom you might have saved had you done your duty.”2
Brethren, our task is not insurmountable. We are on the Lord’s errand, and therefore we are entitled to the Lord’s help. But we must try. From the stage play Shenandoah comes the spoken line which inspires: “If we don’t try, then we don’t do; and if we don’t do, then why are we here?”
...In a day of danger or a time of trial, such knowledge, such hope, such understanding bring comfort to a troubled soul and a grieving heart. Shadows of despair are dispelled by rays of hope; sorrow yields to joy; and the feeling of being lost in the crowd of life vanishes with the certain knowledge that our Heavenly Father is mindful of each of us.
In closing, I return to the painting by Turner. In a very real sense, those persons stranded on the vessel which had run aground in the storm-tossed sea are like many young men—and older men as well—who await rescue by those of us who have the priesthood responsibility to man the lifeboats. Their hearts yearn for help. Mothers and fathers pray for their sons. Wives and children plead to heaven that Daddy and others may be reached.
Tonight I pray that all of us who hold the priesthood may sense our responsibilities and, as one, follow our Leader—even the Lord Jesus Christ, and His prophet, President Gordon B. Hinckley—to the rescue.
How can I rescue? How can I calm the storm-tossed sea in my life and in the lives of others? First, we must calm the storms in our own lives. Bring peace to our own souls by turning to Christ and following His example then we can reach out to others.
Continue to have faith like Nephi, Do not complain but be patient and trust in the Lord and His power.
105 Master the Tempest Is Raging
177-Teach Me to Walk In The Light
57- Tell Me The Stories of Jesus