A FRIEND told me that she was sitting at the counter in a restaurant eating a sandwich, when suddenly the grill in the kitchen caught fire. The young chef in charge didn't know what to do. My friend shouted to him, ``Take the box of salt that's there and throw the salt on the flames to smother them.'' She spoke with authority because she had seen this work before. The salt extinguished the flames, and the grill wasn't damaged. My friend was so sure of the result, she never missed a bite! Conviction and authority based on solid experience can defuse potentially dangerous situations and bring them under control. In the New Testament of the Bible, Matthew's Gospel records that Christ Jesus said to his disciples, ``Ye are the salt of the earth.'' Many of them were fishermen, so they would know that salt is used as a preservative for food. It is also of course a seasoning that can add zest and life to a meal. The Master was using salt as a symbol. His disciples were to act as that which both preserves and brings out the good in society. They were to act with the authority of Christ to destroy whatever opposes God, divine Spirit. Genuine disciples of Christ will always have a distinctive piquancy or savor of their own. Jesus' instruction to his followers on this point is explained more fully in Mark's Gospel: ``Have salt in yourselves, and have peace one with another.'' It is obvious that unless we have the salt of Christ, Truth, first in ourselves, we will not be at peace with others. When we begin to identify ourselves as God's children rather than as warring mortals, we realize that we actually belong to one universal family. We learn to live in peace under the authority of our Father. A woman I know was able to be a peacekeeper in a family situation where bitter disagreements had flared up over some family possessions. This woman, who is a Christian Scientist, prayed. At first it took much patience and purification of thought to put out the fire that had kindled in her own heart, so that she could forgive and become a real peacemaker. The woman turned daily for comfort to the Bible and to Science and Health with Key to the Scriptures by Mary Baker Eddy, the Discoverer and Founder of Christian Science. She gained a clearer understanding of God's true family, which is at all times governed harmoniously by His law. One day she came across a sentence in Science and Health, where the author gives a clear description of God as the Father of a universal family. The passage states, ``This human sense of Deity yields to the divine sense, even as the material sense of personality yields to the incorporeal sense of God and man as the infinite Principle and infinite idea, -- as one Father with His universal family, held in the gospel of Love.'' Soon the woman realized that her material view of family, with its warring personalities, needed to be replaced with the scientific truth that God is the only Father of man and that His spiritual family is always at peace. As she gained a conviction of these spiritual facts, old animosities were healed. Over the years this family has become united in close companionship and support. When we begin to get a clearer view of our place in God's universal family, we find we are able to pray more constructively for world peace. Conflicts that flare up in society are often caused by unhealed animosities that have built up sometimes for years. We can begin to heal these conflagrations when we have sufficient salt in ourselves to preserve peace in our own hearts. If we know how to put out a fire, let's do it! This is a condensed version of an editorial that appeared in the January 28 issue of the Christian Science Sentinel. -PATHNAME- /usr/local/etc/httpd/plweb/DBGROUPS/paper/database/tape/91/mar/week10/mrc155.