We live in a time and world full of natural disasters, social/political unrest, and widespread suffering from a host of ailments. If we let it, that weight and chaos can cloud and darken what hope we may have left for the future. Although the outlook may seem bleak, I am deeply convinced that things will eventually get better. This hope comes from the perspective that my personal beliefs provide, despite the challenging circumstances of our day.
During my two years as a volunteer for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Central Russia, some of my favorite conversations occurred in a city square along the banks of the Iset River, where the large letters atop an adjacent building state «Кто мы, откуда, куда мы идём?» In English, who are we, where are we from, where are we going? These are what I consider ‘questions of the soul’ and my personal beliefs have laid a foundation for how I answer them.
In my church, we believe that we lived before this life with our loving Heavenly Father, God, as His spirit children. He prepared a plan to allow for us to come to earth and receive a physical body that would help us to learn and grow, while becoming more like Him. This learning and growth is made possible by our Savior Jesus Christ, who set an example and provided the means by which we can overcome weaknesses, sin, suffering, and all that may be unfair in this life. After death, we believe that all will eventually have the opportunity for their bodies and spirits to be reunited and live in a kingdom of glory prepared by a loving Heavenly Father. This heavenly plan has given me perspective to see the difficult moments of this life as temporary conditions that serve a larger purpose of helping me to become more like my Heavenly Father. I consider my time on this earth as a “probationary state; a time to prepare to meet God… (Alma 12:24).” Thanks to this perspective, I am filled with hope and daily assurance that all my experiences and trials in this life are for my good, and that all suffering and injustice will be made right in a coming day.
Another source of perspective for my life has come from the Book of Mormon, which is a volume of holy scripture, along with the Bible and other sacred texts. For me, the verses and stories within the Book of Mormon have become a moral and guiding compass in these uncertain times. One of my favorite verses states that whoever “believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world…which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast… (Ether 12:4).” In simpler terms, this verse states that faith in God leads to hope for a better world, and that hope provides a steady belief we can rely on. My hope and sure belief is that our Redeemer Jesus Christ will make right all that is wrong or unfair in this world, which is the central point of the plan provided by our loving Heavenly Father. This perspective gives me optimism and confidence that things will get better, despite the challenges we now face. I look forward to this better world and with an anchor of perspective and hope wait until that day may come.
In what ways has your faith or worldview provided you perspective and/or hope in the world we live in today?