Peace is an important part of relationships, taught Steven Christenson, the BYU-Idaho devotional speaker on Dec. 1. He is the Biology Department Chair at BYU-Idaho.
One phrase Christenson used throughout his address was a “heart at war.” He shared a fictional example of an arguing young married couple to identify traits of a “heart at war.”
“The casualties of a heart at war could not be more evident, or more catastrophic. It occurs in our apartments or classrooms when we disregard or ridicule the thoughts and feelings of others,” said Christenson. “It occurs in the home when spouses fail to recognize the needs and values of one another [or] when parents try to manipulate their children into certain behaviors, or when children disrespect or demean their parents. When left unchecked, a heart at war can tear homes apart.”
Christenson then talked about how couples and individuals can repair their “hearts at war” by developing attributes of the Savior.
“During his ministry, The Savior taught that this transformation is more than wise counsel or good social advice… Change your heart from one of war to one of peace. Changing your heart from war to peace involves a four-part process. First, recognize your personal battlefields. Second, humble your hearts, Third, seek understanding. And finally, act on the promptings received from increased understanding,” Christenson said.
In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio before the devotional, Christenson shared how he chose his devotional topic.
“Over the summer, I had thought about all the protests that were going on, and there just seemed to be a lack of understanding and a lot of anger and hatred between all these different groups. I thought this was a good time to bring up a topic about peace,” he said.