The Power of Hope
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“The Power of Hope,” New Era, July 2017

The Message

The Power of Hope

From a Brigham Young University fireside address given on January 8, 1995.

If we will cling to the anchor of hope, it will be our safeguard forever.

Christ and the Rich Young Ruler

Christ and the Rich Young Ruler, by Heinrich Hofmann

I bring a message of hope. Regardless of how desperate things may seem, remember, we can always have hope. Always! The Lord’s promise to us is certain: “He that endureth in faith and doeth my will, the same shall overcome” (D&C 63:20). I repeat, there is always hope!

We came to the earth to receive our bodies and to be tested. Do you remember the scripture that states, “We will prove them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them” (Abraham 3:25)? Passing tests of obedience requires faith and hope—constantly.

Hope is part of our religion—mentioned in one of the Articles of Faith. “We follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things” (Articles of Faith 1:13; emphasis added).

Hope emanates from the Lord. Only with an eternal perspective of God’s great plan of happiness can we ever find a more excellent hope. “What is it that ye shall hope for?” asked Mormon. He then answered his own question: “Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ” (Moroni 7:41). Paul expressed the same thought. He succinctly called the Lord Jesus Christ “our hope” (1 Timothy 1:1). Have you heard the old statement that “hope springs eternal?” It can only be true if that hope springs from Him who is eternal.

Faith, Hope, and Charity

Have you noticed in the scriptures that hope seldom stands alone? Hope is often linked with faith. Hope and faith are commonly connected to charity. Why? Because hope is essential to faith; faith is essential to hope; faith and hope are essential to charity. They support one another like legs on a three-legged stool. All three relate to our Redeemer.

Faith stems from the Lord Jesus Christ. Hope centers in His Atonement. Charity is manifest in the “pure love of Christ” (see Moroni 7:47). These three attributes are intertwined like strands in a cable and may not always be precisely distinguished. Together, they become our tether to the celestial kingdom.

In our quest for faith, hope, and charity, we must beware of the dangers of doubt, despair, or disdain for the divine. Moroni so taught: “If ye have no hope ye must needs be in despair; and despair cometh because of iniquity” (Moroni 10:22).

Each of you is special, valued, and needed in building the kingdom of God. The adversary is also aware of your worth and will surely taunt you. When Satan’s temptations come your way, please remember this counsel from Alma:

“Humble yourselves before the Lord, and call on his holy name, and watch and pray continually, that ye may not be tempted above that which ye can bear. …

“Having faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts” (Alma 13:28–29).

Anchor of Faith and Hope

A more excellent hope is mightier than a wistful wish. Hope, fortified by faith and charity, forges a force as strong as steel. Hope becomes an anchor to the soul. To this anchor, the faithful can cling, securely tethered to the Lord. Satan, on the other hand, would have us cast away that anchor and drift with the ebb tide of despair. If we will cling to the anchor of hope, it will be our safeguard forever.

A scripture declares:

“Wherefore, 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” (Ether 12:4).

The Lord of hope invites all people to come unto Him. Steps toward Him begin with faith, repentance, and baptism. Moroni explained that “the remission of sins bringeth meekness, and lowliness of heart; and … the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love, … until the end shall come, when all the saints shall dwell with God” (Moroni 8:26).

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Hope of Eternal Life

Happiness comes when scriptures are used in shaping our lives. They speak of the “brightness of hope” (2 Nephi 31:20) for which we yearn. But if our hopes were narrowly confined only to moments in mortality, we should surely be disappointed. Our ultimate hope must be anchored to the Atonement of the Lord. He said, “If you keep my commandments and endure to the end you shall have eternal life, which gift is the greatest of all the gifts of God” (D&C 14:7).

An understanding of that objective should help us approach the future with faith instead of fear, with a more excellent hope in place of despair. God sent each of us here to be happy and successful.

Meanwhile, He also needs us. We are to “seek not the things of thisworld but seek … first to build up the kingdom of God, and to establish hisrighteousness” (Joseph SmithTranslation, Matthew 6:38). He decreed that “no one can assist in thiswork except he shall be humble and full of love, having faith, hope, andcharity, being temperate in all things” (D&C12:8).

Press Forward with Hope

I would like to quote a scripture by way of summary and promise:

“Ye must 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 Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Nephi 31:20).

Your hope is in your “Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel—the God of the whole earth” (3 Nephi 22:5). His hope is in you. You are literally the “Hope of Israel, Zion’s army, Children of the promised day” (Hymns, no. 259).