As the United States commemorates the 10th anniversary of 9/11, The Washington Post has invited notable religious leaders from a diversity of faiths to pen their thoughts about that defining moment for America and the world a decade later. Thomas S. Monson, president of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is among those distinguished world faith leaders whose comments appear in the Post’s “On Faith” forum this week. President Monson’s “On Faith” piece notes the significant surge of faith that occurred following 9/11 as the United States sought to overcome tragedy.
People across the United States rediscovered the need for God and turned to Him for solace and understanding. Comfortable times were shattered. We felt the great unsteadiness of life and reached for the great steadiness of our Father in Heaven. And, as ever, we found it. Americans of all faiths came together in a remarkable way.
While the nation united in faith for a time, President Monson also points out that society has since lost its moral footing.
By nature we are vain, frail, and foolish. We sometimes neglect God. Sometimes we fail to keep the commandments that He gives us to make us happy. Sometimes we fail to commune with Him in prayer. Sometimes we forget to succor the poor and the downtrodden who are also His children. And our forgetfulness is very much to our detriment.
The key to happiness and success, President Monson says, is to always keep God in our lives — especially in times of peace and prosperity.
It is constancy that God would have from us. Tragedies are not merely opportunities to give Him a fleeting thought, or for momentary insight to His plan for our happiness. Destruction allows us to rebuild our lives in the way He teaches us, and to become something different than we were. We can make Him the center of our thoughts and His Son, Jesus Christ, the pattern for our behavior. We may not only find faith in God in our sorrow. We may also become faithful to Him in times of calm.
Read President Monson’s entire commentary at “On Faith.”