As we walked in the yard this morning and felt the peace and beauty of our surroundings I had to come in and write some of my feelings.

There is sunshine in my soul today and the dove of peace sings in my heart. The sun is shining brightly and the daffodils turn their delicate beautiful faces to it's rays and the Mourning Doves are beginning to sing in the Crepe Myrtle tree in our yard. Peace and love reign in our home making it a refuge in this world of war, strife and greed. It is so wonderful to live in peace and harmony with my darling wife and know that our love is secure and that we love and are loved.

The Dove has been chosen as the symbol of peace down through the ages. Why? I suppose because of it's life style. Its food is composed of the grain and seeds of the earth. It does not prey on any other birds, animals or insects. It does not steal the eggs or young of its neighbors. It's nest is a simple collection of twigs and roots placed on any inconspicuous branch.

Even in their mating the doves sit together and kiss and make love peacefully and silently. They have no need to carry on and make a big show and fuss in a show of selfishness. Even their plumage is not made for show.

There in it's simple but adequate nest it lays two white undisguised eggs. When the eggs are hatched the chicks are the most helpless of creatures. When an enemy approaches she does not attack or dive bomb or try drive the enemy away. She simply falls to the ground in front of the enemy. She presents a pitifully wounded dove fluttering and limping as though trying to escape the death that awaits her. Always just out of reach of deadly jaws and talons. Effectively leading the danger away from her helpless chicks. Thus she preserves the peace and safety of her home. She actually endangers her own life to preserve the life of her little helpless family. I don't know how often she might misjudge the speed and agility of her enemy but I do know that the doves are very successful and prolific. At certain times of the year they come by the thousands and fill the air with the whistle of their wings in their swift flight.

It seems that the non violent birds are far more numerous than the birds of prey even though they are a very good meat for man and have been used by the Lord to feed his children on certain occasions of dire need. Quail were used to feed the Children of Israel and the Pioneers.

We can learn to live in peace from the example of the dove. We might say well that is different but actually is it? The Lord has taught us that we must turn the other cheek. To me that has many meanings such as forgive and forget every offense and not retaliate or pay back or hold feelings. If we do not get offended we have nothing to forgive and our feelings are not harrowed up or hurt. If you want to be miserable think only of yourself and how others treat you. If you carry a big chip precariously balanced on your shoulder sometimes it even falls off by itself without real provocation or intended offense. If we really love a person we live in peace and love and we are not offended even when we have cause to be. We love them and forgiveness is in our hearts for any offense.

If we would live in peace we must live the first two great commandments on which hang the law and the prophets. To love the Lord with all our hearts and our neighbors as ourselves. We must learn to give service instead of offense. Love and service are an ever increasing circle. If we love we have a desire to serve and give of ourselves. That service or gift in turn creates more love which in turn gives us a desire to serve and give more. The circle seems to widen and grow from family to friends to ward and stake and spreads to all whom we can serve. If we live in this way we don't have to worry about defending our rights or trying to get even or suing someone for some fault of theirs.

BLESSED ARE THE PEACEMAKERS FOR THEY SHALL BE CALLED THE CHILDREN OF GOD. The savior is the prince of peace and he wants to give us his peace. MY PEACE I GIVE UNTO YOU, NOT AS THE WORLD GIVETH GIVE I UNTO YOU. He can only give us peace if we live his teachings and learn to love as he loves us.

May peace be in your hearts and in your homes.