Sunday, May 23, 2021

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland on help and hope from the Savior

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland (1940- ) served as Church Commissioner of Education from 1976-1980, as the president of BYU from 1980-1989, as a Seventy from 1989-1994, and as a member of the Quorum of Twelve Apostles since 1994.
"On those days when we have special need of heaven's help, we would do well to remember one of the titles given to the Savior in the epistle to the Hebrews. Speaking of Jesus' 'more excellent ministry' and why He is 'the mediator of a better covenant' filled with 'better promises,' this author—presumably the Apostle Paul—tells us that through His mediation and Atonement, Christ became 'an high priest of good things to come' (Hebrews 8:6, 9:11). 
"Every one of us has times when we need to know things will get better. Moroni spoke of it in the Book of Mormon as 'hope for a better world' (Ether 12:4). For emotional health and spiritual stamina, everyone needs to be able to look forward to some respite, to something pleasant and renewing and hopeful, whether that blessing be near at hand or still some distance ahead. It is enough just to know we can get there, that however measured or far away, there is the promise of 'good things to come.' 
"My declaration is that this is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us, especially in times of need. There is help. There is happiness. There really is light at the end of the tunnel. It is the Light of the World, the Bright and Morning Star, the 'light that is endless, that can never be darkened' (see John 8:12; Rev. 22:16; Mosiah 16:9). It is the very Son of God Himself. In loving praise far beyond Romeo's reach, we say, 'What light through yonder window breaks?' It is the return of hope, and Jesus is the Sun. (See William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet, act 2, scene 2, lines 2-3.) To any who may be struggling to see that light and find that hope, I say: Hold on. Keep trying. God loves you. Things will improve. Christ comes to you in His 'more excellent ministry' with a future of 'better promises.' He is your 'high priest of good things to come.'" 
- Jeffrey R. Holland, "An High Priest of Good Things to Come," General Conference October 1999
Click here to read the full talk

This was one of Elder Holland's most heartfelt and tender talks. He has such a sensitivity to those who struggle — which we all do from time to time. This message is a crucial one; "through His mediation and Atonement, Christ became 'an high priest of good things to come.'" That is the core of Christianity, the essence of the help and hope that is available to one and all.

Knowing that those times of need come to all, when out stamina runs out in the midst of a challenging part of our journey, Elder Holland wisely counsels on the strength that can come by anticipating the time of relief ahead. There is always a promise of relief ahead.

But it's not always easy to cling to that promise. We forget; we doubt. The pressures of the world can be so difficult to bear. Where is hope? Elder Holland testifies that help and hope and happiness are always available to us through the Savior:

So when the darkness almost overwhelms the light, and we forget that there is a promised dawn, this apostolic reassurance is powerful:

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
February 16, 2015

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