Sunday, September 29, 2013

Hope


A few weeks ago, I was asked to give a talk on hope. When I first received my topic, I thought to myself “This is great! Hope is a basic gospel principle. This shouldn't be hard to talk about.” But then I got home. I sat for a while. Pondered for a longer while. And then realized that I was completely clueless. [Like seriously, as clueless as a polar waking up from a coma only to find himself in the Hawaiian islands. That's how much I didn't know.]

What is hope anyway? We've heard about it all of our lives, but what does it really mean?

I thought the gospel topics page on lds.org explained it really well.

Basically, it said that in our modern language, we use the word hope with a hint of uncertainty. For example, unfortunately the event of me cooking is very a very uncertain situation. I have to really, really hope I don’t burn everything or catch the house on fire. I hope I don't fail my Chemistry test [this too is an uncertain event], I hope the weather cools down soon, and hopefully BYU will win every single game this season.

But, even though from a worldly standpoint hope is uncertain, when used in a gospel sense it is sure and unwavering.

Quoting from lds.org again, in the gospel, hope is “The confident expectation of and longing for the promised blessings of righteousness. The scriptures often speak of hope as anticipation of eternal life through faith in Jesus Christ.”

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So, wrapped into a nutshell, hope is the belief and assurance that because of the atonement of Jesus Christ, as it says in Alma 34:41, we can have “a firm hope that [we] shall one day rest from all [our] afflictions.”

But how do we get this hope? In a conference talk by M. Russell Ballard in November of 1992 he says,
“Quite simply, our one hope for spiritual safety during these turbulent times is to turn our minds and our hearts to Jesus Christ. The prophet Mormon taught: “Ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.

Please turn to Him if you are discouraged and struggling for direction in your life. Armed with the shield of faith, we can overcome many of our daily challenges and overpower our greatest weaknesses and fears, knowing that if we do our best to keep the commandments of God, come what may, we will be all right.”
However, even when we have hope our trials don’t always end quickly. Sometimes life doesn't go the way that we want it to. Sometimes the ice cream cone falls on the concrete. Sometimes you fall down the stairs at school. In front of lots of people. Someday you might even get attacked by millions of squirrels with rabies. The list of possibilities goes on forever.

But seriously, sometimes really bad things [way worse than viscous rabid squirrels] happen. And sometimes our will isn't aligned with Heavenly Father’s will.  However, we can take comfort in the fact that God’s will is much better and rewarding than ours could ever be. Armed with hope in Christ, we can get through anything.

This quote from Elder Holland means so much to me. 


The world can be a dark and dreary place, but through the gospel of Jesus Christ, we can have peace and happiness. Whatever you're going through, it is my prayer that you will be able to find joy in life and as Elder Holland says, "believe in good things to come".

Happy Sabbath day, everyone!

With love,

Sarah

4 comments:

  1. I loved this post! Great message. Sometimes we forget that our ways are not God's ways and that God's was are much much better. This was a good reminder.
    -WhitneySue

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    1. Thank you for reading! I'm glad it helped. :)

      Hugs!

      Sarah

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  2. I love, love, love this post. Oh...and did I say that I love it? No? Well, I do.

    Seriously, Sarah... This very topic has been on my mind so much lately. It's right on topic with my life.

    Ice cream on the cement...rapid squirrels. Love the imagery! You're awesome.

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    1. Thank you so much! I'm so glad that you enjoyed it. I definitely enjoyed writing it. ;)

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