Monday, November 20, 2017

President James E. Faust on finding hope in our mortal life

President James E. Faust (1920-2007) was called as a Seventy in 1976, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve in 1978. He served as a counselor to President Hinckley from 1995 until his death in 2007 at age 87.
"Everybody in this life has their challenges and difficulties. That is part of our mortal test. The reason for some of these trials cannot be readily understood except on the basis of faith and hope because there is often a larger purpose which we do not always understand. Peace comes through hope....
"Hope is trust in God’s promises, faith that if we act now, the desired blessings will be fulfilled in the future....
"Peace in this life is based upon faith and testimony. We can all find hope from our personal prayers and gain comfort from the scriptures. Priesthood blessings lift us and sustain us. Hope also comes from direct personal revelation, to which we are entitled if we are worthy. We also have the security of living in a time when a prophet who holds and exercises all of the keys of God’s kingdom is on the earth."
- James E. Faust, "Hope, an Anchor of the Soul," General Conference October 1999
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

The world's definition of "hope" is generally as a vague and ungrounded emotion, a wistful desire. But the gospel's definition is based on firm understanding and well-grounded expectation for future blessings—a "trust in God's promises" and confidence that all will be well in His hands. President Faust describes the "challenges and difficulties" of our mortal life, and reassures us that through faith and hope, we can find peace even when we don't fully understand the reasons.

Finding hope in times of challenge and trial is a critical skill to develop. President Faust reminds us of some of the sources: prayer, scriptures, priesthood blessings, personal revelation, and prophetic counsel. In "times of plenty" we should be taking advantage of those sources in order to fortify our faith and hope for the times of need.

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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