Sunday, February 26, 2017

1 Peter 3:15 -- On Getting and Spreading Hope

"But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear:"
1 Peter 3:15

I really like this idea of always being ready to give a reason for our hope.  This presupposes that we *have* a reason, which means we have to give it some serious thought, and find the reason, or find the hope if we don't currently have any.  And that is some necessary homework in some of the Lord's lessons.  Just as God advises us "Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word" (D&C 11:21), we also have some prerequisites here.  We can't be ready to answer other people if we haven't found the answers for ourselves.  We can't help others to safety if we aren't safe.  We can't set an example for others if we haven't straightened out our own lives.  In order to tell people why we have hope, we have to actually *be* hopeful, which is understandably challenging at times, but an amazing and worthwhile thing to learn, and to have, and to share.

It's a general principle for a lot of things in the gospel, I think.  Mormon 9:14 tells us that at the judgment we are going to basically keep what we have learned: "he that is filthy shall be filthy still; and he that is righteous shall be righteous still; he that is happy shall be happy still; and he that is unhappy shall be unhappy still."  I don't think that this means we have to perfect righteousness immediately, or that we can never feel sorrow, but in general it is telling us that we have to learn these things now, so that we can continue to have them in the future.  This life isn't going to end with a grade or a scoreboard where we just miss heaven by a few points, or we just miss the cut-off because someone edged us out by a few seconds.  It's going to be about who we are... who we have chosen to be.  And part of that is learning hope, and once we've internalized that, spreading it to others. :)

Today, let's work on reviving our hope if it is waning, and if it is firmly entrenched, then let's take a look at why it is there, and be ready to tell people about it.  Let's keep God in our thoughts and our hearts, and spread hope.

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