Mary Ann Baker lost both her parents to tuberculosis, while living with her sister and brother in Chicago. When her brother contracted the same terrible disease, she arranged for him to travel to a warmer climate in the southern part of the United States. Sadly, within weeks, his health worsened and he died. Mary Ann and her sister were heartbroken. They could not afford to claim their brother’s body or to finance its return to Chicago for burial. Mary Ann experienced what was for her one of the darkest and most challenging times in her life. She wrote: “I said in my heart that God did not care for me or mine.” For her, it was more than she could bear.
All of us have experienced storms in our lives. Times of mourning, loss, fear, illness, financial pressures, uncertainty, and turbulence in all its forms. These storms are challenging and can test us to the very core. Like the disciples on the Sea of Galilee, there can be moments when we feel as if we are about to capsize or sink and we cry out “Master, carest thou not that we perish?”
On that stormy night on the Sea of Galilee, “[The Saviour]:” arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.” For Mary Ann Baker, during her darkest hour of mourning and loss, the Saviour stilled the tempest in her heart and “brought it to a calm of a deeper faith and a more perfect trust.” With this new restored peace and stillness, she penned the words to the treasured hymn, “Master the Tempest Is Raging”.
Whether the wrath of the storm-tossed sea
Or demons or men or whatever it be,
They all shall sweetly obey my will.
Peace, be still! Peace, be still!
We have a loving Father in Heaven, who understands that during the storms of our lives, we need a refuge or safe harbour we can go to - - a place where we are protected, safe, and secure.
The temple can serve as an important safe harbour in our lives. Everyday life brings with it challenges, uncertainty, conflicting voices, and turbulence. In the House of the Lord, we find answers, strength, and the peace the Lord promised. We are reminded that we are not alone. We are reminded that God loves us, guides us still, and provides a way in which we can return and have peace.
Heavenly Father knows you. He loves you. He understands your needs and challenges. By attending the temple and participating in sacred ordinances, we find the clarity we need to navigate through uncertainty and the various storms we face in life.
Elder Boyd K. Packer instructed, “There is something cleansing and clarifying about the spiritual atmosphere of the temple. Sometimes our minds are so beset with problems, and there are so many things clamouring for attention at once, that we just cannot think clearly and see clearly. At the temple the dust of distraction seems to settle out, the fog and the haze seem to lift, and we can “see” things that we were not able to see before and find a way through our troubles that we had not previously known.”
From the hymn, How Firm a Foundation:
“Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand.'
Whatever the storms. Whatever the demons, or men, or whatever it may be that troubles you. There is no need to fear. Our loving Father in Heaven has provided us with a safe harbour. In the temple, He will bless you. In the temple, He will strengthen and protect you. In the temple, you will more fully understand the words “Peace, be still.