Many years ago I had a very curious dream. Rarely do I remember my dreams for more than a few minutes after I awaken. In this particular dream, all I remember are words that were spoken to me very clearly and with great emphasis. The words were: "We must weary our eyes of war."
I wrote these words down. I then searched the scriptures for references to this phrase -- and there are none. I've searched the Internet, stretching Google to its limits, looking for an old poem or speech or phrase from literature with these curious words. And, to date, there are no instances.
But the words have remained vividly within me as I ponder my own purpose. For a while I assumed I was achieving the goal through my work with Unitus (see www.unitus.com) and other worthy endeavors. Many of the poor in the world are held down by economic, political and social forces. Poverty, in developing countries, can be seen as a form of war.
But this was not the real meaning of the words.
My 2 1/2 years as a Mission President have provided much opportunity for introspection and review. The words "come unto Christ" have become more and more important, real and relevant for me. The Book of Mormon is an open invitation to all to "come unto Christ". There is a direct linkage between these words and the words from my curious dream.
Recently I re-read a 1996 speech from BYU professor, C. Terry Warner, called "Honest, Simple, Solid, True". Terry Warner is also the author of the great book, "Bonds That Make Us Free." In this 1996 speech he offered wonderful and wise counsel that helps knit together "weary our eyes of war" and "come unto Christ":
The Savior seems to say to us: "Come unto me, and I will give you such assurance and hope and strength that you cannot be taken hostage by anyone who seems to do you harm. I will liberate you into love. And then you will no longer give anyone cause to resent or fear you. Instead, they will respond to the love that I have bestowed upon you. By abiding in me, you will do much good, bear much fruit."
How then shall we come unto Christ so that everything will be different from what it could possibly be otherwise?
By sacrificing all taking of offense. By giving up criticism, impatience, and contempt, for they accuse the sisters and brothers for whom Christ died. By forswearing vulgarity and pornography, which diminish both the user and the used. By putting aside, in short, every practice that bears the image of murder, obliteration of souls, discord, and death. By giving these practices their true name, violence, and abhorring even their first appearance. By renouncing war in every form and proclaiming peace (see D&C 98:16).
We must weary our eyes of the ever-present wars that take place in our hearts on a daily basis between ourselves and those we love. We must come unto Christ, as taught so well by Terry Warner. Waging a war is easy. But winning the peace is 10 times or even 100 times harder.
We've all heard it said, "War is not the answer". We must weary our eyes of war. Let us do this from the inside out.