Sunday, 18 January 2009

Great Quotes On Hope

As I mentioned in my previous blog, I was asked to speak about hope. In preparing, I was referred to three talks, The Infinite Power of Hope, by Elder Uctdorf (Ensign, November 2008), Brightness of Hope, by Elder Maxwell (Ensign, November 1994) and Hope Through The Atonement of Jesus Christ, by Elder Maxwell (Ensign, November 1998). These wonderful articles are full of marvelous, inspiring quotes--a few of which I share here.

Hope is a gift of the Spirit. It is a hope that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ and the power of His Resurrection, we shall be raised unto life eternal and this because of our faith in the Savior. This kind of hope is both a principle of promise as well as a commandment, and, as with all commandments, we have the responsibility to make it an active part of our lives and overcome the temptation to lose hope. Hope in our Heavenly Father’s merciful plan of happiness leads to peace, mercy, rejoicing, and gladness. The hope of salvation is like a protective helmet; it is the foundation of our faith and an anchor to our souls (Uctdorf, Ensign, November 2008) like the beam of sunlight rising up and above the horizon of our present circumstances. It pierces the darkness with a brilliant dawn. It encourages and inspires us to place our trust in the loving care of an eternal Heavenly Father, who has prepared a way for those who seek for eternal truth in a world of relativism, confusion, and of fear (Uctdorf, Ensign, November 2008).

We hope in Jesus the Christ, in the goodness of God, in the manifestations of the Holy Spirit, in the knowledge that prayers are heard and answered. Because God has been faithful and kept His promises in the past, we can hope with confidence that God will keep His promises to us in the present and in the future. In times of distress, we can hold tightly to the hope that things will "work together for [our] good" as we follow the counsel of God’s prophets. This type of hope in God, His goodness, and His power refreshes us with courage during difficult challenges and gives strength to those who feel threatened by enclosing walls of fear, doubt, and despair (Uctdorf, Ensign, November 2008).

Souls can be roused and rallied by hope’s “reveille” as by no other music. Even if comrades slumber or desert, “lively hope” performs like a reconnoitering scout out in advance of God’s columns; “there is hope smiling brightly before us” (see 1 Pet. 1:3; Hymns, 1985, no. 19). Hope caused disciples to go quickly and expectantly to an empty garden tomb (see Mark 16:1–8; Luke 24:8–12). Hope helped a prophet to see rescuing rain in a distant cloud which appeared to be no larger than a man’s hand (see 1 Kgs. 18:41–46) (Maxwell, Ensign, November 1994).

Hope feasts on the words of Christ, “written for our learning,” so that “having all these witnesses” through the “comfort of the scriptures [we] might have hope” (Rom. 15:4; Jacob 4:6; see also 2 Ne. 31:20). We sing, too, of how “more holiness” involves having “more hope in his word” (Hymns, 1985, no. 131) (Maxwell, Ensign, November 1994).

Genuine hope gives spiritual spunk, including to deserving parents drenched in honest sweat from being “anxiously engaged.” Just as the leaning Tower of Pisa is a persistent rebuke to architectural pessimism, so parental hope—by refusing to topple merely because of the gravity of the current family situation—is a repudiation of despair. Giving parents never give up hope! (Maxwell, Ensign, November 1994).

Real hope keeps us “anxiously engaged” in good causes even when these appear to be losing causes on the mortal scoreboard (see D&C 58:27). Likewise, real hope is much more than wishful musing. It stiffens, not slackens, the spiritual spine. Hope is serene, not giddy, eager without being naive, and pleasantly steady without being smug. Hope is realistic anticipation which takes the form of a determination—not only to survive adversity but, moreover, to “endure … well” to the end (D&C 121:8) (Maxwell, Ensign, November 1998).

Much as I lament the gathering storms, there will be some usefulness in them. Events will help to draw fresh attention to God’s higher ways and His kingdom, which is to “become fair as the sun, and clear as the moon” (D&C 105:31).

Individuals and nations will continue to choose what they want, but they cannot alter the ultimate consequences of what they want.

Therefore, in this hastened ripening process, let us not be surprised that the tares are looking more like tares all the time. During this time when nations are in distress, with perplexity, there will actually be some redemptive turbulence: “For the kingdom of the devil must shake, and they which belong to it must needs be stirred up unto repentance” (2 Ne. 28:19).

Being so “stirred up” will be a real thing, though we can only speculate as to how it will be achieved.

Meanwhile, those with ultimate hope accept the truth of this terse verse: “But all things must come to pass in their time” (D&C 64:32).

It is well, therefore, to ponder the status of hope in our present human context when God’s commandments seem unimportant to many. Granted, as the scriptures say, “it is not common that the voice of the people desireth anything contrary to that which is right” (Mosiah 29:26). But if this does occur, bringing massive sea changes in society’s attitudes, then the judgments of God will come (see Mosiah 29:26, 27). Only the acceptance of the revelations of God can bring both the direction and correction needed and, in turn, a “brightness of hope” (2 Ne. 31:20) (Maxwell, Ensign, November 1998).

These are just a few of the nuggets in these wonderful articles. I invite you to follow the links above and read them yourselves.


  1. These are wonderful talks and I appreciate you bringing them to our attention so we can be reminded of them.

    I'm glad your talk was such a success!

  2. wow... i accidentally found your blog cuz of google. i found the talk i was looking for by
    Elder Maxwell from here... i think it's so cool that you do a blog on scriptures :) thnks for this :)