Personal Online Journal

Friday, July 12, 2013

Why Hope?

We hear the phrase in the scriptures "faith, hope and charity". Gerald N. Lund had a calling to teach a monthly class on spiritual and temporal preparation. He was trying to figure out what to teach on. Here is an excerpt from his conversation with Heidi Swinton.
I had started to notice that more and more I was hearing people just talk about how tough life is for them right now. This was right when the economic crash came. We got people out of work. You are seeing retirees going back to work because they can't survive because they lost all their retirement.  
It was that and I met a man who'd been active in the church his whole life, had held a lot of positions in the priesthood and his basic response was, "you know what I've tried it all, I've prayed I've been faithful, I've served in the church, God doesn't hear my prayers. That means He doesn't care. I've had it. I'm through with it." and [he] left the church. That was the most dramatic.  
One day in fast meeting a fellow in our ward got up and basically said farewell to the ward. He said that they were going to be moving and he got quite emotional and he said that one of the the hardest thing he ever had to do in his life is try to explain tell his 16 year old son why they were moving in with Grandma.  
I was hearing all this kind of stuff, so I decided this one night I was going to do one of my classes on hope. We talked and asked, why is it faith, hope and charity? Frankly I used to think why isn't it faith, revelation and charity or faith and repentance and charity or faith, obedience and charity? 
Faith, yes I can see that. Charity yes, but why hope? And so as I started studying it, I started to sense that here was the answer to these problems. Why is it that some people...  You know we talked earlier about the strength of the pioneers and their faithfulness and so on but there are some that weren't. You don't have to read too far to find out the stories of drop out pioneers, who are facing no more difficult challenges than some of the faithful ones.  
So what makes the difference, why does one stay faithful maybe even strengthened by adversity where someone else says, "that's it I'm outta here", turns bitter and so on? That has intrigued me for a long time. It doesn't intrigue me any more. I know the answer.  
The difference is hope.  
I remember two or three conferences ago President Uchtdorf talked about hope and he defined it as trust in the promises of the Lord. He said hope is not knowledge, it's trust in the promises of the Lord.  
When you hear as I recently did of a woman who lost a teenage daughter to an automobile accident. She talked about the pain and the loss. Even now two or three years later, even the tiniest thing will set her off and she starts to cry for her loss. But she said, I choose hope. I know where she is and I choose hope.  
And I thought, "that's the difference. That's what brings the strength". And so, I decided to turn it into a book.  Probably the most difficult one I've written for some reason. A really great learning experience for me personally.
(59:33 - 1:04:20)

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