What will we do?

¿Que haremos?
Stilling the Storm, by Ted Henninger

It was the month of March and the news of the pandemic that had started in China had reached the gates of our region and in the blink of an eye a quarantine was declared whose motto and program was 'Stay Home.'

The question that arose in my mind, more in a temporal than spiritual sense, was 'What will we do?'

Almost without notice, the city became silent.

The park in front of the apartment where we live was empty, you could no longer hear the noise of the children playing and you could not see people doing their routine exercises. Then as if by magic, I began to discover other sounds that had been hidden due to the noise of the traffic that surrounds the park. I began to hear the birds that fly from the park to the Temple gardens during the morning hours and again in the afternoon as they returned to the park.

Today I again heard the children, whose laughter and presence warms our soul, and I felt an ineffable joy. And the most interesting thing is that despite the other noise, I can still distinguish the song of the birds.

We are now living in what has been called the 'new normal'. I wonder “What lessons did I learn? What challenges did I have to overcome because my family and I were not prepared in some area of our lives? How did I change? What am I going to change from here on?”

And then the initial question returned to my mind, but now with a spiritual perspective, as it was expressed by the crowd before Peter's preaching in Jerusalem:

'What shall we do?' 1

The terrible calamities that have befallen these years, and which are becoming more frequent every day, are described in the scriptures.

Referring to the age in which we live, this the dispensation of the fullness of times, the Lord Jesus Christ said:

'Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamities that should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jr., and spake unto him from heaven and gave him commandments.' 2


What are the purposes of these calamities?

Calamities are a form of adversity and are an essential part of Heavenly Father's plan for the happiness of His children. But how can calamity and adversity be linked to blessings or happiness?

Every time the waves of calamity hit us, or we face adversity that may even overwhelm our understanding, we ask ourselves again, 'What shall we do?'

As we endure adversity and rise above challenges, we learn to overcome our carnal nature and the Light of Christ that we all possess enlightens us. Then He who is the Creator of the universe will calm the winds and waves. 3

In the scriptures, the Lord clarifies what He expects of us when these difficulties come upon us. He says: “… gird up your loins and be prepared. Behold, the kingdom is yours, and the enemy will not overcome.”4

Strength and endurance come from living a righteous life. He who is holy on Sunday and lazy the rest of the week will not have the strength to support himself or his family in times of adversity. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the way to righteousness. Tragedy never triumphs where personal righteousness prevails.

The Prophet Joseph Smith said: “Happiness is the object and design of our existence; and will be the end thereof, if we pursue the path that leads to it; and this path is virtue, uprightness, faithfulness, holiness, and keeping all the commandments of God.” 5

Having hearts pricked, the crowd pled with Peter, “What shall we do?” His answer was immediate. It was clear, direct and an invitation to a new 'normal' in the lives of the people:

'Repent.' 6

President Russell M. Nelson taught that: “Repentance is not an event; it is a process. It is the key to happiness and peace of mind. When accompanied by faith, repentance opens our access to the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ… When we choose to repent, we choose to change! … We choose to become more like Jesus Christ!” 7

It does not mean that all adversity we face is related to disobedience or failure to fulfill any commandment. Many adversities arise simply as a consequence of living in a fallen world.

Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can go through those moments of adversity with the serenity of one who knows that he is walking the path as the Lord wishes.

As I contemplate the months that have passed and a return to “normal” from a gospel perspective, I wonder not 'what to do' but rather “how do I move forward”?

President Nelson indicated that moving forward is related to a new way of walking in the present and working in the future:

“If you really want to embrace a new normal, I invite you to turn your heart, mind, and soul increasingly to Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ. Let that be your new normal.

Embrace your new normal by repenting daily. Seek to be increasingly pure in thought, word, and deed. Minister to others. Keep an eternal perspective. Magnify your callings. And whatever your challenges, my dear brothers and sisters, live each day so that you are more prepared to meet your Maker. ' 8

Repentance is not an event; it is a process. It is the key to happiness and peace of mind. When accompanied by faith, repentance opens our access to the power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ… When we choose to repent, we choose to change!

Russel M. Nelson

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1. Acts 2:37

2. D&C 1:17

3. Luke 8:24-25

4. D&C 38:9; see also Ephesians 6:13-18

5. Joseph Smith, in Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 312.

6. Acts 2:38

7. General Conference April 2019 - We Can Do Better and Be Better-President Russell M. Nelson

8. General Conference October 2020 - A New Normal-President Russell M. Nelson