September 24, 2009

Hope




Hope: to look forward to with desire and reasonable confidence, and to believe, desire, or trust.


It is interesting to me that hope includes not only desire but also reasonable confidence. This definition makes HOPE more solid to me and not so wishful.


Ether 12:6: Faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.



Yes, some trials encourage hope like I have never before imagined possible.


Moroni 7:41: And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.

 

My greatest hope is definitely found in the power of the resurrection. One year ago, I thought I had faith in Christ's resurrection. That was turned upside down in such a brief moment. It's been an amazing journey these past several months. A journey that has not ended bur rather this is the beginning of HOPE.



I read an article a few months ago, "Hope: The Misunderstood Sister" by Larry Hiller that really made an impression on me.

I think of them as three famous sisters whose names are frequently linked, always in the same order: Faith, Hope, and Charity. They are mentioned several times in the New Testament and with remarkable frequency in the Book of Mormon.



Of the three, Faith may be the most well known and popular, the one whose companionship is sought most often. She’s active and energetic, definitely the can-do type. Faith can move mountains, if necessary.


I picture Charity as being modest and refined, beautiful and gracious. In her presence you feel genuinely loved and accepted. She’s unfailingly kind and generous, patient, empathetic, aware of every need, and responsive without being asked. How could you not want the companionship of someone like Charity?

Then there’s Hope, who seems to have a problem with the way people perceive her. It may be her name and the way it’s commonly used: “I hope the car passes inspection.” Or, “I hope the weather will be nice for the wedding.” Used this way, the word hope is the verbal equivalent of keeping your fingers crossed. Consequently, many seem to think Hope is unsure, even fickle—she may or may not grace you with her companionship. But surely that’s not the kind of hope our Father in Heaven commands us to have. Nor would it be the kind of hope our Savior offers.


Three years ago, I didn't know Evan. I wasn't expecting him nor did I comprehend what he would or could mean to me. Now he has passed through my life and has eternally affected it for the better. I'm still getting to know this misunderstood sister, Hope. But I can start to see the glimmer of a bright future peeking through the fog of grief.
When we endure tribulation with faith and patience, what we experience is the Savior’s awareness of us and His love for us. We experience them through the ministrations of the Holy Ghost, the Comforter. We receive this witness after the trial of our faith (see Ether 12:6).


In my own life, when I patiently endure trials, the Savior, who took upon Himself all of our ills and sorrows (see Alma 7:11–12), ministers to me through the Spirit. I experience the Savior’s tender mercies. My trials may continue, but having taken upon me the yoke of Christ, I find Him sharing my yoke, making my burdens bearable, and giving me hope. I then have strength to endure. I have assurance that all will be made right, not just in eternity but also for eternity. Hope is anything but wishful. It is expectation based on experience.


I see Hope more clearly now. She is serene. Her eyes have the deep, knowing look of someone well acquainted with sorrow, the luminosity of recently being wet with tears. Hope has the confidence of one who clearly sees a bright future even when the next hours seem fog shrouded. Hope is steady and strong, a friend I am glad to have beside me during my own trials.

7 Riveting COMMENTS:

  1. Wow Bridget! This post was awesome. You have touched my heart so much. I loved reading about this definition of hope. It has brought new understanding to everything. I'm so sorry for your loss. We still keep you in our hearts and prayers. You are an amazing woman and I can only imagine how hard it has been for you and your family this past year. Thank you for sharing with us your thoughts and feelings as you are going through this hard trial. It has helped me put a new perspective on life and love and I'm growing with you as I read the new strengths that you find. Please know we are thinking of you and send you our love!

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  2. I'm not wise or experienced enough to really understand what you've been going through, I can only feel and understand a part of it. It's a humbling experience to see the positive attitude and the eternal perspective that you have! I love the definition of hope as well. I've been reading Daughters of God: Scriptural Portraits by Michael Wilcox lately and it's funny but I keep going back to his words about Hannah and the scripture he refers to. It's in D&C 98:1-2: "Fear not, let your hearts be comforted; yea, rejoice evermore, and in everything give thanks; waiting patiently on the Lord, for your prayers have entered into the ears of th Lord of Sabaoth." May God continue to bless you and keep you in His love!

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  3. Your kids look adorable. And I Hope you're hanging in there.

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  4. A beautiful way to express an Angel Day. I have absolutely nothing to add, only the fact that I am grateful for you that you are able to touch our lives through your grief, and testimony of the Gospel, and the Faith that you inspire. Thank you.

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  5. You have made me think and ponder. I am so thankful that you inspire me to be better and understand gospel doctrine better through your grief. I can't wait to read this article when the kids are asleep tonight!

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  6. I'm still mad you had to go through this. And you are still going through this. But you keep going on the right path. I'll stay mad for ya and you be happy. How about that? LOL

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  7. Thank you for sharing these wise words. We have been thinking of you as the year-mark happened. It's one year closer to seeing him again and what an amazing moment that will be.

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