Earth is a troubled mess with all the natural disasters, wars, sickness, environmental drama, and general disregard for human life spinning out of control. These disturbances often bring a sense of fear. Yet, how do you find happiness in the face of uncertainty?
I was recently in Italy for two weeks and it may now be my favorite place in the world. The food was fresh and delicious (ask me about the pizza). Everyone was kind and friendly. The scenery was exactly as I had imagined it to be. Walking the streets of Rome and Florence with no real agenda and a cup of gelato in my hand will be in my memory for years to come. I found a sense of peace and essentially, home, while I was in Italy. Ask me all about it and I’ll share it all, but something specific still comes to mind when I think back on it.
However, it was more than just the geographical location of where I found myself that brought peace. I visited the Rome Temple of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints after attending church on a beautiful Sunday morning. After the ancient and classical beauty of a place like Rome, stepping onto the temple grounds was a sense of peace that I can’t describe. It was away from the crowds of the city, yet only a stone’s throw from a large shopping mall. Of course, I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, so the religious significance means a lot to me, but I can step outside of that and view the building as a masterful piece of architecture. More than that, the sheer artistry displayed in the visitor’s center alone was something that brought tears to my eyes.
The Christus status is ten and a half feet of Carrara marble, surrounded by his 12 apostles in life-size form. It was awe-inspiring, but as I traveled deeper into the center, I came across a huge stained glass mural of Christ’s mortal life that had me sitting down for a good 30-45 minutes while I just took it all in. It is sheer mastery of art and depicting the Savior of the world among men as a testimony of truth. Each detail and symbol has potentially multiple meanings!
I believe it goes hand in hand with finding happiness where I am right now. One, the vacation did wonders for my heart and mind. Shaking off the stress of work and home and enjoying time away from “adulting,” not to mention eating gelato at least twice a day is enough to save anyone! Two, and most importantly, it did wonders for my spirit. The peace and joy I found in the beautiful nature that God created in Italy and in His Holy House came home with me and I’m striving daily to keep it with me. The darkness of the world can bring anyone down, but if we remember the promises of our Heavenly Father and do our best to follow in the steps of Jesus Christ, we can find peace.
Single Mormon Lady