Evil In The Air (When Hearts Grow Faint!)


I sat there in disbelief. The phone rang and it was my brother asking if I had heard the news regarding the towers. We talked for a few minutes then ended our conversation so we could listen to updated reports.  Feelings of panic began to set in and I wondered about the safety of my kids who were at local schools. Were they safe? What was happening!” I closed my office and drove home to find my wife in front of the television watching the horror unfold before her eyes.  She was also worried about the kids. Living in Maryland at the time, and being close to Washington D.C. increased our anxiety. She insisted I call the school and didn’t care if they would let them go home or not, she said we needed to go and get them. Fortunately the school was already closing and we paced until our children were safely home. Looking back of course, and knowing the limited scope of the attack, it seems foolish for us to have been so upset about the safety of our kids. But with uncertainty comes fear of the unknown.  But what I most remember about 9/11/2001 was the feeling I felt in the air. It was palpable! It was a true feeling of darkness and fear mixed with anxiety. I can imagine it was something like what Joseph Smith described when he went into the grove to pray that spring day of 1820. He said he felt “thick darkness” gathering around him. (JS History 1: 15) I think I can relate. It is the evil one who drives men to do murderous acts such as those done on September 11, 2001. My clients must have felt the same fear that I felt that day because even though I closed my office by 11am that day,  not a single message had been left on my recorder when I checked it the next day.   When hearts grow faint, everything else becomes very “unimportant.”

Gordon B. Hinckley said:

“Where wast thou when I laid the foundations of the earth?…when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:4-7).  Why were we happy? I think part of the reason we rejoiced was because good had triumphed over evil and we were on Lord’s side. We turned our backs on the adversary and aligned ourselves with the forces of God, and those forces were victorious…I cannot understand why so many have betrayed in life the decision they once made when the great war occurred in heaven. But it is evident that the contest between good and evil, which began with that war, has never ended. It has gone on, and on, and on to the present. I think our Father must weep because so many of His children through the ages have exercised the agency He gave them and have chosen to walk the road of evil rather than good.”

Hinckley continued: “Perilous times? Yes. These are perilous times. But the human race has lived in peril from the time before the earth was created. Somehow, through all of the darkness, there has been a faint but beautiful light. And now with added luster it shines upon the world. it carries with it God’s plan of happiness for His children. It carries with it the great and unfathomable wonders of the Atonement of the Redeemer…We of this generation are the end harvest of all that has gone before…A solemn obligation rests upon us…We must live as true followers of the Christ, with charity toward all, returning good for evil, teaching by example the ways of he Lord, and accomplishing the vast service He has outlined for us. (“The Dawning of a Brighter Day, GC, April 2004).

It has now been over a almost twenty years since that fateful day. But I think all of us who experienced it, know the truthfulness of  the words of the Savior when he said, “…an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things”. (Matt. 12:35)

We do live in perilous times, both physical and spiritual! We must be on guard as a country so that we can be physically safe. And we must be on guard against the evil influences of Satan so we can be spiritually safe as individuals and as families.  Sometimes our physical safety is out of our control. But our eternal spiritual safety is found in having faith in the Savior and his teachings.

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