Sunday, March 13, 2011

There is Hope Smiling Brightly Before Us

The recent tsunami that hit Japan causes us to despair. It is difficult to see such destruction. Nature isn't always kind. With so much death and turmoil it is easy to get discouraged and suffer a loss of hope. This event didn't just affect those who passed away in the crashing wave. It affects us all.

Other events in our lives may cause us to lose hope. Whether it be a death in the family or even as simple as failing an exam. For me it is my own individual weaknesses. I lose hope because I doubt that I have the ability to help others. I lose hope because I doubt that I can overcome a difficult event in my life. Loss of hope affects us in many ways. Without hope we lose faith. We can become selfish and our life begins to spiral downward.

Strong hope, on the other hand, propels us towards eternal life. Through it miracles are wrought. Elder Neal A. Maxwell said, "While weak hope leaves us at the mercy of our moods and events, “brightness of hope” produces illuminated individuals. Their luminosity is seen, and things are also seen by it! Such hope permits us to “press forward” even when dark clouds oppress." He goes on to say how we receive such hope. "Only the acceptance of the revelations of God can bring both direction and correction and, in turn, bring a “brightness of hope” (2 Ne. 31:20). Real hope does not automatically “spring eternal” unless it is connected with eternal things." Hope is inspired from feasting upon the words of Christ. When we live eternal principles we begin to develop hope. Our lives are enriched and we become "illuminated individuals". It is in this way that we can be a beacon when hard times confront us.

Those who do not rely on God but rather place their hope in the world recieve only temporary relief. Elder Maxwell said of this, "Hope helps us to walk by faith, not by sight. This can actually be safer. When unaided spiritually, natural sight often shrinks from the odds (see 2 Cor. 5:7). It is immobilized by improbabilities. Mauled by his moods and intimidated by his fears, the natural man overreacts to, while hope overrides, the disappointments of the day."

I know that hope is so important. Elder Maxwell finishes his talk by saying, "Those with true hope often see their personal circumstances shaken, like kaleidoscopes, again and again. Yet with the “eye of faith,” they still see divine pattern and purpose (Alma 5:15)." With hope no matter how hard we are shaken we will always be bright. This is because we know who we are and we know our purpose in life. God blesses those who walk by faith. I close with the last two verses of the hymn, "We Thank Thee Oh God For A Prophet".

When dark clouds of trouble hang o’er us
And threaten our peace to destroy,
There is hope smiling brightly before us,

And we know that deliv’rance is nigh;
We doubt not the Lord, nor His goodness,
We’ve proved Him in days that are past;
The wicked who fight against Zion,
Will surely be smitten at last.

We’ll sing of His goodness and mercy,
We’ll praise Him by day and by night,
Rejoice in His glorious Gospel,
And bask in its lifegiving light;
Thus on to eternal perfection
The honest and faithful will go,
While they who reject this glad message,
Shall never such happiness know.

1 comment:

  1. We thank thee for a prophet to guide us in these latter days. We thank thee for sending the gospel to lighten our minds with its rays. We thank thee for every blessing, bestowed by his bounteous hand, we feel it a pleasure to serve thee and love to obey thy command.