Finding Hope

For many in our modern world, the word hope comes with a hint of uncertainty, hoping for something, that we may already believe is unlikely to happen. However, in the Gospel of Jesus Christ hope is described as “…firm hope…” (Alma 34:41) and a “…lively hope…” (1 Peter 1:3). Hope is unwavering and sure.

Hope comes through faith, for “…faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1)

The Prophet Moroni taught “… whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.” (Ether 12:4)

Hope comes to us by living a life of faith in God.

One can hope for a better world, a better life, peace from a disaster or joy in times of sorrow. However, the first step in finding this peace and joy is by having faith in Jesus Christ. We must rely completely on Him, trusting in His infinite power, intelligence and love.

Following Him, means: Believing and following His teachings, which also means keeping His commandments. Believing that even though we do not understand all things, He does. For “Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite” (Psalm 147:5).

As a follower of Jesus Christ, we become one of His disciples, it is no coincidence that disciple is so similar to the word discipline. Following anything, requires discipline.

Discipline by definition is “control gained by enforcing obedience…” (Merriam-Webster Dictionary). Obedience requires self-control, it requires dedication and a lot of work. The scriptures teach us that “… faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. (James 2:17-18)

Work requires Action.

Our Belief and Faith can be expressed through our Actions – by the way in which we live.

The Savior promised that “If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.” (Moroni 7:33) Living our lives by faith will motivate us to follow Jesus Christ and His teachings. In fact, Jesus Himself taught that; “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do…” (John 14:12).

As a Disciple of Jesus Christ, not only are we to follow His example, but He encourages us to strive to do even more! Faith in Jesus Christ and in His Gospel helps us to receive physical, spiritual, mental and emotional healing through His Atonement.

He knew that life would not always be easy. He taught us that “…in the world ye shall have tribulation:  but be of good cheer; for I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33).

We too can overcome the world.

Speaking to the Romans, the Apostle Paul taught;

Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; … because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us. For when we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly… God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement.” (Romans 5:1-11)

The Apostle Paul knew that we should glory in the difficult times, for these challenges work our patience and give us experience. This experience gives us strength and through Jesus Christ and His Atonement or sacrifice, we too can overcome the world.

Remember, Hope comes through Faith. 

Hope can sustain us through everyday challenges.

Hope can provide us with joy in this life, for “Happy is [them]… whose hope is in the Lord his God” (Psalm 146: 5).

We must strengthen our faith through our discipleship, and “…press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Chris, and endure to the end, behold… Ye shall have eternal life.” (2 Nephi 31:20)

Wild flower growing out of concrete cracked | Geri Gibbons

2 Nephi 22

2 Nephi 22: All Men shall Praise the Lord

Praise will be offered to the Lord when his anger has passed away. The Lord is my strength and salvation! You will draw water from the well of salvation. Praise sung – great is the Holy One of Israel in your midst!

“And in that day shall ye say: Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. Sing unto the Lord; for he had done excellent things…” (2 Nephi 22:4-5)

John 16

John 16: The Mission of the Holy Ghost

Jesus continues His address from the last chapter, He explains that there will come a time when those who believe on Christ will be forced out of the Synagogues and “…that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service.” (John 16:2) This act was seen in ancient times and in modern times. Shortly after the death of Jesus Christ, the Apostles He had called were also killed, and done in the name of doing ‘service to God’, just like bombings that occur in our modern society in the ‘service or name of God’.

The Apostles were upset by all of what Jesus had told them, but He assured them that all this must come to pass, but that after He leaves the world, the Comforter or Holy Ghost will guide them. “…he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will shew you things to come.” (John 16:13)

Jesus then tells them; “A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father.” (John 16:16) The Apostles all thought to themselves, how is this possible? They were confused by His statement, and Jesus perceived this in their hearts and asked them; “…Do ye enquire among youselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?” (John 16:19) Jesus knew that they wanted to know, but were too afraid to ask, so He explains; “…ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world…. Ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” (John 16:20-22)

The Apostles did not ask to receive this answer, but Jesus tells them in the future they will need to ask, but that if they ask they shall receive. Jesus explains that He will no longer have to use Parables to explain, and will instead show them plainly; “I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again I leave the world, and go to the Father.” (John 16:28) Jesus asks them if they now believe, seeing that He speaks plainly. The Apostles say they do believe.

Jesus reminds His Apostles and Followers, that; “…In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I [Jesus] have overcome the world.” (John 16:33) We need to remember that when we are sad, lonely, angry, upset, etc. that Jesus Christ overcame the world for us, and gave His life that we could be forgiven of our sins, if we use our agency to repent and longer commit those sins. Jesus Christ enabled us to return to live with the Father. Jesus Christ overcame the world, and we too can overcome the world.

Psalms 15-16

Psalms 15-16

Chapter 15: The Righteous Shall Dwell with God

A Psalm of David.

                David opens this Psalm by asking the Lord a simple question, which happens to have a very simple answer; “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle?” (Psalms 15:1)

Who shall dwell with God, once again? “He that walketh uprightly, and worketh righteousness, and speaketh truth in his heart” (Psalms 15:2)

                “He that putteth not out his money to usury, nor taketh reward against the innocent…” (Psalms 15:5)

So who shall return to live with God? Those who are righteous, upright and full of integrity.

So what does that? It means you MUST follow the commandments, and be righteous and have integrity. Does that mean you must be perfect? No, but we must strive to have the integrity to be righteous before the Lord.

Chapter 16: Fullness of Joy is found with God

Michtam of David.

“Michtam – is commonly understood as ‘golden’. However other Biblical Scholars believe that since this word is only associated with Psalms 16 and 56-60 (which were times of peril), that Michtam could also mean the covering of the lips in the sense of ‘secrecy’”

                “PRESERVE me, O God: for in thee do I put my trust” (Psalms 16:1)

We can see that David wrote this Psalm in a time of trouble, because he asked for preservation, but he put his trust God. “…my goodness extendeth not to thee; But to the saints that are in the earth…” (Psalms 16:2-3). God will be with the saints in the earth, even though troubling times.

David goes on to rejoice in the Lord, “…because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoiceth…For thou wilt not leave my soul in hell; neither wilt thou suffer thine Holy One [Jesus Christ] to see corruption.” (Psalms 16:8-10)

David knew that with his trust in the Lord, he could rejoice knowing that everything would be ok, or eventually be ok. Times of trouble happen, but the Lord will be there for his saints.