My Testimony of “The Prince of Peace”

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by Ray DeGraw

“For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6)

As I said in a previous post, it fascinates me that the title “The Prince of Peace” comes at the end of a list that appears to be written in ascending order of importance. Why is this?

“Peace” equals a lack of conflict, contention, struggle, strife, etc. Spiritual peace, therefore, is a condition – a calmness and stillness that can be shared with others and change their very existence. Being totally peaceful means acting always in harmony with how one should act – never being in conflict with the standards of what one should be. With this definition, one can be spiritually peaceful even while engaged in a battle – or clearing a temple with a whip – etc. It’s a fine line – and it is dependent entirely on being in touch with the Holy Ghost. Being “at peace” is analogous to being “right with God” – of having all impediments to perfection removed and being able to access God’s full grace with nothing standing in the way.

“The Prince of Peace” is a perfect description of the one who brings people into a unity with God that is known as “The Atonement” – the making of two otherwise incompatible entities one perfectly united whole. It is not “The mighty God” or even “The everlasting Father” who makes this incomprehensible result a reality; rather, it is “The Prince of Peace”.

The Bible and Book of Mormon give the way to know the truth of all things – through the gift of the Comforter (the Holy Ghost – the 3rd member of the Godhead – He who was given to us in the Savior’s absence to be our link to Him and His Father). He will reveal the truth of all things to us and give us comfort and peace in this life until we are able to return to the presence of the Lord, fall at His feet and praise Him for His tender mercy that allows us to come nigh unto the throne of God. I rely on Him as I read and ponder and pray, since that is what my Lord and Savior graciously commanded me to do – and since that is the way that He has promised me peace.

I have been asked why I believe what I believe. It is because I have studied just about every religious teaching available and what I have come to accept is what I believe the Holy Ghost has confirmed to my heart as the source of ultimate joy, peace, love and unity with God, my Father, and His Son, Jesus, the Christ. It’s what I feel to the depths of my soul, and it has brought insight and understanding and assurance and miraculous inspiration and joy and peace that I cannot begin to describe adequately here.

I literally have seen the physical elements abated; I have participated in healing the sick and binding up the broken heart; I have seen the wonderful fruit of sweet repentance; I have felt to sing the song of redeeming love; I have experienced a mighty change of heart and a desire to praise my God for His loving grace; I have seen lives change and souls shine forth out of previous darkness – all because of the atoning sacrifice of a God who condescended to give His life for those who accept Him.

Intellectual discussions are important to me, but it is far more important to me to continue the actual ministerial work that I do each day – strengthening the feeble knee and raising the failing spirit and visiting the sick and lonely and widowed in their affliction. I love God and try my hardest to love Him and my neighbor as He has asked me to do. My intellectual understanding of Him is important to me, but my spiritual relationship with Him is much, much more important – and my faith has brought that relationship. What’s in my head has changed, is changing and will change as I strive to study and learn; the peace that is in my heart never will.

May we strive to emulate the Prince of Peace and be princes and princesses of peace in our own lives and spheres, to the greatest extent possible.

About Ray DeGraw

I am the husband of my high school sweetheart and father of six children. I basically have no life outside of family, work and church - except blogging, which I have been doing actively, to put it mildly, for the past 5 years. I have lived in almost every section of the United States and currently reside in Carson City, NV. I have written at Things of My Soul, Mormon Matters, Times & Seasons and StayLDS.com - and commented more than occasionally at various sites in the Bloggernacle.

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