Monday, January 12, 2009

A Perfect Brightness of Hope- Part 2

We are commanded to be charitable and kind, faithful and studious to the Word of God. We are to receive the oaths and covenants of the Gospel, live worthy of a temple recommend and be diligent in our service to God and our fellow man. We are commanded to be “perfect” even as the Lord is perfect. These commandments constitute a very tall order and it is impossible for any of us to accomplish it – on our own. We all fail, and as a result, at the time of our death, no matter who we are, or how good a life we think we have lived, we still must rely on the grace of Christ to save us. We all die as sinners, so we should expect to continue repenting after death, because in this life, repentance will never be complete.

Because of the atonement of Jesus Christ we are lifted and saved from utter and unavoidable destruction. We can hope for great blessings in eternity. We can confidently hope in being resurrected and we can hope with confidence in receiving eternal life as we exercise our hope unto faith in Christ. We have confidence in the Savior and our Father in Heaven because there is evidence that they can and will do the things They have promised. Faith in Christ and the hope that we will receive the promises He has made are the foundation of our faith in Him, and as President Uchtdorf has said, this hope is an “anchor to our souls”. Hope is a spiritual gift, which together with faith and charity, stabilize our lives.

We learn from the teachings of Joseph Smith, “While one portion of the human race is judging and condemning the other without mercy, the Great Parent of the universe looks upon the whole of the human family with a fatherly care and paternal regard… He holds the reins of judgment in His hands; He is a wise Lawgiver, and will judge all men, not according to the narrow, contracted notions of men.”

Unless we can entirely understand the complexity of the grace and judgments of God, it is best not to pass judgment on others. If we are not passing judgment on others, how could we ever possibly say that someone’s eternal state is hopeless, or that because of their actions, or the actions of a loved one, their family cannot be eternal. If someone happens to be dragged into a desperate state of mind because he feels hopeless, it is our duty to bring the “Good News” of the gospel to that person and restore hope in the possibility of a grander future.

President Uchtdorf has said, “The adversary uses despair to bind hearts and minds in suffocating darkness. Despair drains from us all that is vibrant and joyful and leaves behind the empty remnants of what life was meant to be.”

This world has plenty of despair, confusion and fear. We should never add to this, but instead focus on the “beam of sunlight” piercing the darkness “with a brilliant dawn.” We should seek to have a “perfect brightness of hope” and we must build and inspire hope in others. With the Savior, there is no such thing as too much hope.

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