Sunday, 15 May 2016

Hope in Christ

I encourage you to answer the following question in your own time. What does Hope in Christ means to you?

This post is based on an October 1986 General Women's Conference talk from General Conference called "Hope in Christ" by Sister Barbara W. Winder. I would like to share with you some highlights while I was reading the talk.

Sister Winder mentioned, "As our Father and the Savior planned for us to come to earth, they said, “We will prove them herewith, to see if they [you and I] will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them” (Abr. 3:25). This was to become a testing ground; we would come to an understanding of good and evil, of happiness and suffering, of joy and pain. We knew the plan. We desired it; we endorsed it. We defended it. We even fought for it!

With eagerness and excitement, we came to earth to learn each of us having our own particular set of circumstances with trials and temptations to overcome.

We were not left without hope. Our Savior, through his atonement, has made it possible for us to obtain salvation. He will not leave us helpless as we struggle to overcome the adversities of this life.There are so many kinds of challenges: the frustrations and disappointments of disobedient children or a difficult marriage, the loneliness of an empty house when one is so eagerly seeking companionship, the long upward road to repentance, or the difficulty of keeping a positive attitude and counting our blessings even in times of hardship.

The example of the Savior’s life and the teachings that he left us are patterns for us to follow. He faced trials similar to those we experience; he handled each situation in a perfect manner. In the wilderness of Judea and the Garden of Gethsemane, we witness two of the most grievous temptations of Christ, but during no part of his days in the flesh was he free from temptation. Otherwise his life would have been no human life at all. We read in Mosiah, “And lo, he shall suffer temptations, and pain of body, hunger, thirst, and fatigue, even more than man can suffer” (Mosiah 3:7).

Which of us has not known disappointment, discouragement, and despair? That is one of the tests for all of us. Consider the Prophet Joseph, as he languished in Liberty Jail in March of 1839, having been there for months, knowing that his people had been driven from their homes and were destitute. His cry is touching: “O God, where art thou? … How long shall thy hand be stayed?” (D&C 121:1–2).
And then the soothing answer came from a kind and loving Father: “Thine adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment; “And then, if thou endure it well, God shall exalt thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes” (D&C 121:7–8).

An then, later, tenderly, “Know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good” (D&C 122:7). Most of us have witnessed how living the gospel can change the lives of people in a positive way.

Sister Barnes writes: “As we read the scriptures, we found that Jesus gave the instruction to ‘be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee’ (Matt. 9:2), indicating that as we truly repent and forsake our sins, we may be optimistic about the future. He said, ‘Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me’ (John 14:1). And we do believe in him, and this belief has changed our lives. We now feel that we can say, as Paul did, ‘I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me’” (Philip. 4:13).

Another sister wrote: “On August 3, my twenty-one-year-old son broke his neck in a diving accident six hundred miles from home. He hovers near death, but we are at peace. We do not understand the reason this had to happen, but we do understand the gospel.”

Elder Richard L. Evans was sensitive to the need to prepare spiritually and emotionally for difficult times: “We have to prepare even for what we are unprepared for and do the best we can … to improve, to repent, to be grateful for all that is good and to have faith and hope even [in hard times]. …

“And whatever happens in the interim, there is solid assurance that life is everlasting, and that eternal progress is its purpose” (Richard L. Evans, Thoughts for One Hundred Days: Volume Four, Salt Lake City: Publishers Press, 1970, p. 169).

Let us recognize and be grateful for the blessings we have. From the Savior comes hope! Understanding the gospel, doing his works of righteousness, and following the counsel of our prophet are our assurance of the realization of that hope."

If you can't see the Image for this post, it says "Once you choose HOPE, anything is possible."

I encourage you to read the whole talk in your own time. Here's the link,

Stay Tuned until next tme.

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