Thursday, January 27, 2011

Hope and Happiness

"Nothing righteous is ever hopeless."

I wrote this is my journal today while I was reading from the Book of Mormon. It's so simple, and yet... it's true. Sometimes it's so easy to believe that doing the right thing is hopeless, but that is contradictory to the nature of hope and "doing right".

The Book of Mormon testifies that hope is possible because of Christ. Ether 12:4 is a good example of this, and Moroni 7:40-43 illustrates that you cannot have faith without hope (and vice versa). Hope is almost the very essence of the gospel - these scriptures references (especially if you read the surrounding text) show how being a true Christian automatically entails being hopeful.

We know that God is stronger than Satan. We know that good will overcome evil. We know that God is a just God, and that we will be recompensed for every hurt we endure in this life. We know that God, our Heavenly Father, loves His children, and will do everything He can to make us happier (short of making our decisions for us). Because of these and so many more things, how can we not have hope? If our faith is faltering in any of these things that we may know, we can ask God for a knowledge of them, and when we put forth a little effort (direction to Oliver Cowdery in the Doctrine and Covenants), He will give it to us!

Men are that they might have joy (2 Nephi 2:25), and joy is the opposite of despair. We learn in Moroni 10:22 that  "if ye have no hope ye must needs be in despair". And I've seen for myself that that is true; when I have despairing feelings, it's because I have no hope, and it's not fun. At all... It's so simple and so true, and I've seen it multiple times in my life. Good things come from God (found in the book of Alma), and good things lead us to rejoice.

So, come unto God! Who doesn't want to be happy? It's simple and true, and you can test it for yourself. Doing the things that bring you closer to God will bring you an increased measure of peace and happiness. If you try it and it doesn't work, then you can continue on your merry way. I know though, that it will work. You  are welcome to as much peace and happiness as you are willing to pay for, and the price is just a willing heart and mind. The more of yourself you are willing to give to Christ, the more you will feel the fruits of His discipleship, which are peace, joy, hope and love.

"Nothing righteous is ever hopeless." So friend, take hope in doing right: God is God, and righteousness will prevail. Don't fear and don't despair - keep moving forward and put your trust in God. He will deliver.

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