Archive for the ‘hope’ Tag

Hope

Reading: “The Rock of Our Redeemer,” Elder Wilford A. Anderson of the Seventy, April 2010 General Conference, Saturday Morning Session

As the Saints were forced out of Nauvoo and started their trek to Utah they had hope that the future would be better than the present.  Likewise, Saints who survived the recent earthquake in Haiti also have hope even in the midst of great tragedy. In his talk Elder Wilford encourages us to have hope like these courageous Saints. He says,

These early Saints were indeed homeless, but they were not hopeless. Their hearts were broken, but their spirits were strong. They had learned a profound and important lesson. They had learned that hope, with its attendant blessings of peace and joy, does not depend upon circumstance. They had discovered that the true source of hope is faith—faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and in His infinite Atonement, the one sure foundation upon which to build our lives.

I remember during a time of discouragement feeling even more discouraged because I thought that having hope means never feeling discouraged.  The instruction to have hope felt like a condemnation in the midst of an already trying time. However, despite my discouragement I still continued to pray, ready my scriptures, and look to the Savior as a source of help and solace. As I stepped back and looked at my actions I realized if I truly did not have hope in the Savior I would not be doing these things. I learned that having hope is much more than just a feeling – it is a result of believing in the Savior – and it is what allows us to continue to soldier on in the midst of difficulty.

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Hard Times

Reading: “‘Hope Ya Know, We Had a Hard Time,'” Elder Quentin L. Cook of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, October 2008 General Conference, Sunday Afternoon Session

Today I was listening to one of my favorite political commentary podcasts and he was going on and on about what is wrong with politics today.  It was getting very depressing, as there are many problems we face that seem insurmountable.  Then, I read Elder Cook’s talk and realized that we all face difficulties because they are part of life, and that while it may seem (or maybe even really be) that our problems are bigger than ever, every society and every generation has faced troubles.

Elder Cook says,

One of the essential doctrines illuminated by the Restoration is that there must be opposition in all things for righteousness to be brought to pass. This life is not always easy, nor was it meant to be; it is a time of testing and proving. As we read in Abraham, “And we will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them.” Elder Harold B. Lee taught, “Sometimes the things that are best for us and the things that bring eternal rewards seem at the moment to be the most bitter, and the things forbidden are ofttimes the things which seem to be the more desirable.”

We have been very blessed lately in that in a time of economic distress, my husband has gotten a really great job and for the forseeable future our financial situation will be pretty good.

So, when we went to Colorado this past weekend to look for a new home I was unpleasantly surprised when many things seemed to go wrong.  We had trouble getting to where we needed to be, we had to run around to one appointment after another and try to find time to also take care of the baby, and we had to make many hard choices about what was important to us in finding a home.  All in all, I felt really stressed out, and started to also worry that the move would be even more stressful and also worried about all the things that could go wrong.  I got kind of depressed about the whole thing.

Yesterday, and while reading this talk, I realized that there are always going to be hard things to deal with.  Moving is a really, really good thing for us, but there will still be many things about it that will be hard. God blesses us with trials in order to help us grow, and to help us truly appreciate the good.

Today I am going to write down in my journal ten things about moving that I am really happy about.

How do you keep hope alive when you are going through hard times?

Hope: A Beacon and Light

Reading: “The Infinite Power of Hope,” Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, October 2008 General Conference, Saturday Morning Session

When we are in the midst of trials, it is sometimes tempting to believe that things will never get better.  We may feel that we are under a great storm and the storm will be the end of us.  The thing that can get us through these storms is hope.  When we do not give into the belief that things will get worse, we do so because we have hope.

Elder Uchtdorf’s talk is very encouraging.  He tells of a time in his own life when he went through some serious trials.  He also teaches the importance of hope in a gospel-centered life.

Sometimes when I read about having hope, and I am feeling particuarly stressed or down, I end up feeling guilty.  I get the idea that I do not have hope because I am feeling bad, so I must be doing something wrong.  However, today, I realized this is not the case.  Hope does not mean not having trials, it means having trials but still choosing to act on the principles of the gospel with hope that they will lead me to greater happiness.  A lack of hope would mean I give up on living the gopsel when I feel discouraged, having hope means I keep going in doing what’s right even when I do feel discouraged.

I also identified with Elder Uchtdorf’s comment at the end of his talk:

Each time a hope is fulfilled, it creates confidence and leads to greater hope. I can think of many instances in my life where I learned firsthand the power of hope. I well remember the days in my childhood encompassed by the horrors and despair of a world war, the lack of educational opportunities, life-threatening health issues during youth, and the challenging and discouraging economic experiences as a refugee. The example of our mother, even in the worst of times, to move forward and put faith and hope into action, not just worrying or wishful thinking, sustained our family and me and gave confidence that present circumstances would give way to future blessings.

I know from these experiences that it is the gospel of Jesus Christ and our membership in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that strengthen faith, offer a bright hope, and lead us to charity.

I also have had many times in my life where things seemed pretty bleak, sometimes because of relationships. sometimes because of my health.  Because I made it through those times it is much easier for me now to have hope in the gospel.

Today when I feel discouraged I am going to think back on other times in my life when it seemed that I would never overcome a particular trial, and remember how I either overcame it or it ceased to be such a big deal.

What does “hope” mean to you?