Friday, January 11, 2019

President George Q. Cannon on finding hope in times of gloom

President George Q. Cannon (1827-1901) was called to the Quorum of Twelve in 1860. He served as counselor in the First Presidency to Brigham Young beginning in 1873, and then to the next three presidents, until his death in 1901.
"I do feel to say to my brethren and sisters, do not be discouraged. Do not allow darkness and gloom to enter into your hearts.
"I want to give you a rule by which you may know that the spirit which you have is the right spirit. The Spirit of God produces cheerfulness, joy, light, and good feelings. Whenever you feel gloomy and despondent and are downcast, unless it be for your sins, you may know it is not the Spirit of God which you have. Fight against it and drive it out of your heart.
"The Spirit of God is a spirit of hope; it is not a spirit of gloom. We should pray for hope, if we do not have it. Hope is a gift from God. Faith is a gift from God. Faith, hope and charity are the gifts that we should seek for, that our minds may be filled with the radiant light of hope."
- George Q. Cannon, discourse at Utah Stake Conference, Provo, Sunday 1/14/1894; see The Deseret Weekly, March 10, 1894, vol. 48 no. 12 p. 351; and Gospel Truth, 1:183 Click here to read the full talk

I love President Cannon's "rule" for discerning spirits. There is no gloom or sadness in the Spirit of God. On the contrary, it brings us light and cheerfulness:

There seem to be times in life when we wage a battle against an adversary, and we feel the importance of President Cannon's encouragement: "Do not allow darkness and gloom to enter into your hearts." We must instead cultivate the Lord's Spirit that will push those other feelings out of our lives. With the Spirit of God, there is always hope—hope that comes as a gift from God, even "the radiant light of hope."

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2019)

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