Thursday, May 26, 2016

Howard W. Hunter on having hope and excitement in troubled times

President Howard W. Hunter (1907-1995) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1959.  He served as Church President for only nine months, from June 5, 1994 to his death on March 3, 1995.
"It is incumbent upon us to rejoice a little more and despair a little less, to give thanks for what we have and for the magnitude of God's blessings to us, and to talk a little less about what we may not have or what anxiety may accompany difficult times in this or any generation.
"For Latter-day Saints this is a time of great hope and excitement—one of the greatest eras of the Restoration and therefore one of the greatest eras in any dispensation, inasmuch as ours is the greatest of all dispensations. We need to have faith and hope, two of the greatest fundamental virtues of any discipleship of Christ. We must continue to exercise confidence in God, inasmuch as that is the first principle in our code of belief. We must believe that God has all power, that he loves us, and that his work will not be stopped or frustrated in our individual lives or in the world generally. He will bless us as a people because he always has blessed us as a people. He will bless us as individuals because he always has blessed us as individuals....
"I promise you tonight in the name of the Lord whose servant I am that God will always protect and care for his people.... With the gospel of Jesus Christ you have every hope and promise and reassurance. The Lord has power over his Saints and will always prepare places of peace, defense, and safety for his people. When we have faith in God we can hope for a better world—for us personally and for all mankind....
"Disciples of Christ in every generation are invited, indeed commanded, to be filled with a perfect brightness of hope."
- Howard W. Hunter, "An Anchor to the Souls of Men," Ensign, Oct. 1993, pp. 70-73
Click here to read the full talk

In the midst of the challenges and trials of daily life, it's very easy to fall into the trap of despair as we lost hope and perspective. These wise words from President Hunter encourage us to keep the vision of our time and our opportunities by "giv[ing] thanks for what we have and for the magnitude of God's blessings to us."

And then to remember. I love his description of the sense of our place in God's plan; we live in a precious and blessed period of history, when there is so much to be grateful for. As true disciples of Christ, we should be filled with faith in Him and His plan, and have great hope for the future based on His promises and desire to bring us happiness.

Apostolic promises, given "in the name of the Lord," should always draw our keen attention. President Hunter assures us that all will be well; God will care for his people and provide places of peace and safety, collectively and individually.

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