"The conditions in the world are uncertain and dangerous, and the economies of the world are unstable and unpredictable. The cherished values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are under attack by those who want to restrict agency and make us dependent rather than encourage us to use our skills and talents to create new and exciting ways of doing things.
"Standards of morality are failing. The family is under attack and is crumbling. Love in the hearts of men and women has waxed cold and is unnatural (see Matthew 24:12; Romans 1:31). There is a continuing breakdown in the integrity, honesty, and righteousness of political, business, and other leaders. Wars and rumors of wars among nations and creeds abound. And even more destructive than any armed conflict is the war raging between good and evil—between the Savior with His army of light and Satan with his evil minions of darkness—for the very souls of the children of God....
"As we think about the future, we should be filled with faith and hope. Always remember that Jesus Christ—the Creator of the universe, the architect of our salvation, and the head of this Church—is in control. He will not permit His work to fail. He will be victorious over all darkness and evil. And He invites us all, members of His Church and others who are the honest in heart, to join in the battle for the souls of God's children. Along with all else we will do in life, we must also dedicate and consecrate our heart, might, mind, and strength to His cause, walking in faith and working with conviction.
"Face the future with optimism."
- M. Russell Ballard, "Face the Future with Faith and Hope," commencement address given at BYU–Idaho on April 6, 2012; see Ensign, January 2014, pp. 24-29
Click here to read or listen to the full talk
It's not difficult to come up with a list of what's wrong with the world. Elder Ballard suggests a number of challenges and problems that are common all around us, and which we must confront in our lives. It might seem easy to be overwhelmed and discouraged in the face of such challenges; but Elder Ballard helps to see a better perspective, one based on faith and hope:
There is always hope for true and devoted followers of Christ.
I am grateful for this challenge, a rallying call to all of us who seek to be His disciples: "Along with all else we will do in life, we must also dedicate and consecrate our heart, might, mind, and strength to His cause, walking in faith and working with conviction."