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Finding Peace after Tragedy


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Finding Peace after Tragedy

Commentary by Jennifer Hicks

The killing of four students in off-campus housing in Moscow has been an unthinkable and heartbreaking tragedy. My heart goes out to the family and friends affected directly by this horrific crime.

While the story continues to unfold in the news media, I have sought my Heavenly Father in prayer. I have pled for him to provide consolation to those deeply wounded and forever changed by this senseless act, especially the families of the victims.

This story touches me personally because my son is a freshman at Brigham Young University Idaho in Rexburg. I can only imagine how devastated I would be if my son were a victim of something similar.

When man’s evil acts and inhumanity rock the world, I turn to my faith in God that he will make all things right someday. I believe that justice will happen, either in this life or the next and he will wipe away all tears.

I know that the purpose of this life is to learn and grow and this helps me put things in perspective. To me, our existence on earth is brief and a continuation of our lives that began before mortality.

Knowing that we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father and that we are here to experience a wide range of feelings such as pain, sorrow, love and joy gives me peace. I also believe that Jesus suffered for all our pains and sorrows and that we can find peace through him. We can turn to him in our most trying moments.

Because this life is not the end, the tragedy in Idaho as well as other tragedies are not the final story. I am comforted by the belief that these four students are now in a place of perfect rest and peace, away from all pain and suffering. I have faith that justice will be served, and God now has these precious students in his care and is watching over their families and loved ones.

I believe most people want to be able to live a life that is easy and happy without sorrow or pain. But that is not reality. A range of experiences from devastating to thrilling, and many in between fill our days. This is by design. We need to be tried and tested so we can learn and grow. That doesn’t mean God caused this to happen, but evil does exist in the world.

I choose to find hope amid evil. I think of how many people might be inspired to love their families and friends more deeply after being reminded they could lose them without notice. I find hope in knowing that countless people are offering prayers and condolences to the families of the victims and that law enforcement is doing everything they can to find the perpetrator.

I have found peace on my knees amid the tragedies in in this world including the recent slaying of students close to home. My faith has also helped me endure with patience my own trials and sorrows. The peace and hope I feel amid suffering come because I believe with all my heart that no experience is wasted in helping God’s children come unto him and, in the next life, all will be made right. May his peace be poured out upon all who mourn today and always.

Jennifer Hicks
Jennifer Hicks
Jennifer was born and raised in Spokane and is one of nine children. She graduated with a B.A. in music from EWU and plays the piano, violin and organ. She taught private music lessons and worked in non-profit fundraising including serving as director of development for the Spokane Symphony. She left Spokane for 14 years and lived in Hawaii, Italy, Maryland and Greece. She has been a lifelong member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and is passionate about her faith.


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