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Former soldier advises students to 'stand still'

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah — Corby Campbell sat in rooms with translators,

interrogating prisoners in Afghanistan; he had to be resolute, but more

than that, he had to be patient.He urged students at the Westminster College LDS institute to master the

art of patience.

Campbell's presentation centered around D&C 123:17: "Therefore, dearly

beloved brethren, let us cheerfully do all things that lie in our power;

and then may we stand still, with the utmost assurance, to see the

salvation of God, and for his arm to be revealed."

"I like that message," said Campbell, who is now the principal of the

Alta High School seminary in Sandy, Utah, and a member of the Utah

National Guard. "It's good; it's simple; it's short."

He explained there is a dotted line dividing the scripture down the

middle: The Lord is asking us to do everything we can, happily, but

after we have, we need to stand still.

"Standing still? Frankly, we're not very good at it," Campbell said. "As

humans, when we have problems, we either want to solve them or at least

work on them in order to see progress. We don't like to stand still."

It's tough to strike a balance between being in motion and slowing our

pace and learning to trust the Lord, he said.

Campbell served two tours of duty — one in Afghanistan and one in Iraq

at the beginning of the Iraq War.

Being in Iraq at the start of the war, said Campbell, was like being in

the "Wild West," with very few rules, and everyone trying to figure out

how to handle a delicate situation.

He talked about the chaos in Iraq as Saddam Hussein's regime fell apart.

"There was a looting frenzy," Campbell said. "We were trying to protect

Saddam's resources so we could use them in the fight."

Campbell and two sergeants rode around in a civilian car packing AK-47s

as their only means of protection.

"Yet the only difference between the combat zone and the home front is

that the consequences of your circumstance are more severe," said

Campbell. "Other than that, there is no difference between being in

battle and being here, wondering 'why am I not married?' or 'do I have

enough money to keep going to school?'"

He said a soldier's worries and everyday worries are essentially the


"When I let worry, anxiety, and fear play dominant roles in my mood or

my thinking, I was very, very weak," said Campbell. "When I was quiet

and recognized, inside, that I was doing the best I could, I was

operating from a strong place."

How do we find the eye of the storm, the place where we can trust God

and be still? Campbell suggests it happens when we learn to trust the

spirit, or our hearts, over our turbulent thoughts.

Campbell shared that sitting in the "sniper seat," or the passenger

seat, of the car in Iraq, knowing that if anyone decided to open fire

they would aim for him, was at times terrifying.

"It was tough for me not to listen to my brain," he said.

He would recall the priesthood blessing he had had before leaving home

and find peace — a peace that comes from learning to trust our spiritual

senses more than our physical senses.

"My favorite divine attribute is this: God is long-suffering," said

Campbell. "I love that. I need that. We get frustrated when things

happen slowly, but we have to be long-suffering, as Christ was."

D&C 98: 12 reads: "For he will give unto the faithful line upon line,

precept upon precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith."

Campbell said that God teaches us slowly, bit by bit — and when we

accept this, we also accept that this gradualness is one of our earthly


"Trust. Wait. The Lord will deliver," said Campbell.