Neal-A-Maxwell-MormonHope through the Atonement of Jesus Christ

Our everyday usage of the word hope includes how we “hope” to arrive at a certain destination by a certain time. We “hope” the world economy will improve. We “hope” for the visit of a loved one. Such typify our sincere but proximate hopes. Life’s disappointments often represent the debris of our failed, proximate hopes. Instead, however, I speak of the crucial need for ultimate hope. Ultimate hope is a different matter. It is tied to Jesus and the blessings of the great Atonement, blessings resulting in the universal Resurrection and the precious opportunity provided thereby for us to practice emancipating repentance, making possible what the scriptures call “a perfect brightness of hope” Moroni confirmed: “What is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ” Real hope, therefore, is not associated with things mercurial, but rather with things immortal and eternal! Unsurprisingly, hope is intertwined with other gospel doctrines, especially faith and patience. Just as doubt, despair, and desensitization go together, so do faith, hope, charity, and patience. The latter qualities must be carefully and constantly nurtured, however, whereas doubt and despair, like dandelions, need little encouragement in order to sprout and spread. Alas, despair comes so naturally to the natural man! Patience, for example, permits us to deal more evenly with the unevenness of life’s experiences. Faith and hope are constantly interactive and are not always easily or precisely distinguished. Nevertheless, ultimate hope’s expectations are “with surety” true. Yet in the geometry of the restored theology, hope corresponds to faith but sometimes has a greater circumference. . . Such ultimate hope constitutes the “anchor of the soul” and is retained through the gift of the Holy Ghost and faith in Christ. In contrast, viewing life without the prospect of immortality can diminish not only hope but also the sense of personal accountability.