Last night I read the following scripture verse from the Book of Mormon:
And I also remember that thou hast said that thou hast prepared a house for man, yea, even among the mansions of thy Father, in which man might have a more excellent hope; wherefore man must hope, or he cannot receive an inheritance in the place which thou hast prepared. - Ether 12:32
The power and importance of having hope blew me away. Without ever really analyzing it, I have always thought of hope as a passive, kind of wimpy, emotion. Obviously not, if I can't receive the ultimate eternal reward without it. My heart started to beat a little faster as I realized I had learned an important eternal principle. It almost skipped a beat when I realized, sadly, that often I am without hope. At least, I don't have the powerful version of hope of which Moroni wrote; the hope that produces faith strong enough to literally (a la the brother of Jared) move mountains. This kind of hope led the woman in the crowd to touch the Lord's hem and be healed, Nephi to build a boat, and the sons of Mosiah to convert countless Lamanites. This hope involves faith and work. In fact, I think if you truly hope for something, this hope compels you to work towards achieving it, having faith that the Lord will make up for what you can't do alone.
So, how do I go about getting hope? Moroni counsels:
And now, I would commend you to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written, that the grace of God the Father, and also the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost, which beareth record of them, may be and abide in you forever. Amen. - Ether 12:41
How can I have hope if I don't believe He'll keep his promises? It's not enough for me to know that He gives blessings to people in the scriptures/church magazines, I have to know Him well enough to hope that He'll extend those blessings to me as well. I've decided to work on having hope for a few blessings that I want. After some deliberation, I've decided to list them.
1. I hope to get married someday. Those of you who know, know that this is a big step for me.
2. I hope to lose weight. If He can cure leprosy, why not obesity?
3. I hope to go to France someday. Is there such a thing as a trivial hope?
4. I hope to be a more patient, loving person.
5. I hope to be happy.
6. I hope to earn eternal life.