Thursday, October 16, 2008

Hope for things which are not seen

Today I studied the talk:

The Infinite Power of Hope
President Dieter F. Uchtdorf Second Counselor in the First Presidency

If you are ever feeling down, this is a good talk to listen to. I REALLY enjoyed it.

Toward the end of World War II, my father was drafted into the German army
and sent to the western front, leaving my mother alone to care for our family.
Though I was only three years old, I can still remember this time of fear and
hunger. We lived in Czechoslovakia, and with every passing day, the war came
nearer and the danger grew greater.
Finally, during the cold winter of 1944,
my mother decided to flee to Germany, where her parents were living. She bundled
us up and somehow managed to get us on one of the last refugee trains heading
west. Traveling during that time was dangerous. Everywhere we went, the sound of
explosions, the stressed faces, and ever-present hunger reminded us that we were
in a war zone.
Along the way the train stopped occasionally to get supplies.
One night during one of these stops, my mother hurried out of the train to
search for some food for her four children. When she returned, to her great
horror, the train and her children were gone!
She was weighed down with
worry; desperate prayers filled her heart. She frantically searched the large
and dark train station, urgently crisscrossing the numerous tracks while hoping
against hope that the train had not already departed.
Perhaps I will never
know all that went through my mother’s heart and mind on that black night as she
searched through a grim railroad station for her lost children. That she was
terrified, I have no doubt. I am certain it crossed her mind that if she did not
find this train, she might never see her children again. I know with certainty:
her faith overcame her fear, and her hope overcame her despair. She was not a
woman who would sit and bemoan tragedy. She moved. She put her faith and hope
into action.
And so she ran from track to track and from train to train until
she finally found our train. It had been moved to a remote area of the station.
There, at last, she found her children again.

My "super- awesome neighbor" left two days ago to move back east with her grown daughter and two beautiful grandchildren. to await a lung transplant for her daughter. She is #1 on the list. She said that she was trying to have more faith than fear. I could tell by her countenance that faith and hope was winning.

The scriptures say that there must be “an opposition in all things.”15
So it is with faith, hope, and charity. Doubt, despair, and failure to care for
our fellowmen lead us into temptation, which can cause us to forfeit choice and
precious blessings.
The adversary uses despair to bind hearts and minds in
suffocating darkness. Despair drains from us all that is vibrant and joyful and
leaves behind the empty remnants of what life was meant to be. Despair kills
ambition, advances sickness, pollutes the soul, and deadens the heart. Despair
can seem like a staircase that leads only and forever downward.
Hope, on the
other hand, is 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.

I love his description of the juxtaposition of hope and despair. His writing is beautiful. It makes me feel like times of pain have purpose.

The things we hope for lead us to faith, while the things we hope in lead
us to charity. The three qualities—faith, hope, and charity35—working
together, grounded on the truth and light of the restored gospel of Jesus
Christ, lead us to abound in good works.36

This was a perspective that I had never heard or thought of before. That which we hope for leads to faith, while that which we hope in lead us to charity.

Embrace and rely upon the Hope of Israel, for the love of the Son of God
pierces all darkness, softens all sorrow, and gladdens every heart.

My hope and prayers are with my "super awesome neighbor". Her example is an inspiration to me. I can see that she is embracing and relying on the Hope of Israel.
If ye have faith, ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true, Alma 32: 21
In the Bible Dictionary- under faith: Faith in Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel and is more than belief, since true faith always moves its possessor to some kind of physical and mental action; it carries an assurance of the fulfillment of the things hoped for.
I like that last line: an assurance of the fulfillment of the things hoped for. In order to have this we need to anchor our hope in that which will be fulfilled.

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