On Saturday I had the opportunity to listen to the General Womens Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I felt inspired and touched as I listened to the words of those divine women of the church, as well as the wisdom of President Dieter F. Uchtdorf. Some of the things they touched on that I’ve been reflecting on since then, are the importance of having love, faith, and hope. I’ve been reading a book written by Jeffrey R. Holland called, “For Times of Trouble,” and in it he shares a very powerful message on the importance of having hope. I thought I would share it with you today. —
In a good-natured conversation around a dinner table, the host of the dinner party told his guests that a delightful dessert had been prepared for them, however receiving the delicious dessert depended upon their answering this question. “What virtue, what strength is it, that no man or woman can live without?”
One guest answered, faith and another answered love, the host replied to both answers by saying this,
“Faith in God is certainly the most fundamental of religious virtues. Living a truly good and happy life certainly requires faith. Love, undoubtedly, as a virtue, would be true if we were speaking about the love of God, but my question was about the virtues we have. There are lots of people who live without love toward anyone or from anyone- and yet they still continue to live.”
“No, ” says the host to his own question, “I truly believe the most essential ingredient in life and the virtue that let’s other blessings like faith and love flourish is hope.”
Jeffrey R. Holland goes on to say that, hope isn’t necessarily the greatest of virtues ( for as the Apostle Paul said, love is the greatest of these three), but having a sense of hope is the most essential of the the three…at least initially…because it can give rise to love and faith.
Elder Holland says this, ” All of us need to believe that things will get better. No matter how dark the night or how long the struggle, we need to believe that the dawn will come and that the tears of the night will be dried in the rays of the morning sun. In Psalms 30:5 the Psalmist gives good old fashioned hope when he promises, “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
He continues to say, ” In the course of living there are plenty of chances for weeping. But those tears are not permanent; that despair is not endless. In the dark of night, in the midst of our troubles, we may not see any way out or any reprieve to come, but that feeling passes as the night passes. Things will get better in the morning. With the dawning of a new day, joy will return…No matter how much weeping endures for a night, there will always be joy in the morning if we, hope in God.”