- Whether or not these are indeed the last days or even “the beginning of sorrows” as the Savior foretold, some of us may find our lives laden with frustration, disappointment, and sorrow. Many feel helpless to deal with the chaos that seems to prevail in the world. Others anguish over family members who are being carried downstream in a swift, raging current of weakening values and declining moral standards. Children particularly are suffering as society drifts further and further away from the commandments of God.
- Many have even resigned themselves to accept the wickedness and cruelty of the world as being irreparable. They have given up hope. They have decided to quit trying to make the world a better place in which they and their families can live. They have surrendered to despair.
- Admittedly we have ample reason to be deeply concerned because we see no immediate answers to the seemingly unsolvable problems confronting the human family. But regardless of this dark picture, which will ultimately get worse, we must never allow ourselves to give up hope!
He says his message is simply that the Lord is in control. We need to trust that all will be fulfilled as He has promised.
- My message to you today, my brothers and sisters, is simply this: the Lord is in control. He knows the end from the beginning. He has given us adequate instruction that, if followed, will see us safely through any crisis. His purposes will be fulfilled, and someday we will understand the eternal reasons for all of these events. Therefore, today we must be careful to not overreact, nor should we be caught up in extreme preparations; but what we must do is keep the commandments of God and never lose hope!
Elder Ballard speaks of faith and hope in our lives. We need to determine where our hope comes from and he suggests that as we exercise our faith, hope is generated within our hearts and minds.
- Our one hope for spiritual safety during these turbulent times is to turn our minds and our hearts to Jesus Christ.
- Faith in God and in His Son, Jesus Christ, is absolutely essential for us to maintain a balanced perspective through times of trial and difficulty. Remember, nothing will occur in our lives that He does not understand.
He encourages us to turn to the Savior and have faith that He is in control. He assures us that we will be alright in these turbulent times.
- Please turn to Him if you are discouraged and struggling for direction in your life. Armed with the shield of faith, we can overcome many of our daily challenges and overpower our greatest weaknesses and fears, knowing that if we do our best to keep the commandments of God, come what may, we will be all right.
He tells us that from faith and trust in the Lord, hope is given birth. Despite all our transgressions, there is always hope that we can find in the loving arms of the Savior.
- As we put our faith and trust to work, hope is born. Hope grows out of faith and gives meaning and purpose to all that we do. It can even give us the peaceful assurance we need to live happily in a world that is ripe with iniquity, calamity, and injustice.
- Some among us may have lost all hope because of sin and transgression. A person can become so deeply immersed in the ways of the world that he sees no way out and loses all hope. My plea to all who have fallen into this trap of the adversary is to never give up! Regardless of how desperate things may seem or how desperate they may yet become, please believe me, you can always have hope. Always.
He concludes talking about a three legged stool with each leg being faith, hope, and charity. All work together to provide the stability that is needed to keep the stool strong. Our faith leads us to hope, which leads us to change our lives and be more like the Savior. Being more like the Savior leads us to care more for our fellow man and creates a feeling of charity within us.
- Working together, these three eternal principles will help give us the broad eternal perspective we need to face life’s toughest challenges, including the prophesied ordeals of the last days. Real faith fosters hope for the future; it allows us to look beyond ourselves and our present cares. Fortified by hope, we are moved to demonstrate the pure love of Christ through daily acts of obedience and Christian service.
Elder Ballard's message gives me hope of brighter days ahead. I can get involved in the worldly trials sometime and life becomes discouraging. With all the troubles and issues that are all around us, it is easy to lose hope of brighter days. But Elder Ballard tells us to not lose hope, to exercise our faith, and to press forward through our frustrations in life. The Savior is there to support us, to lift us, and to help us find that faith that will lead us to hope. Hope in the Savior leads us to treat others will respect and dignity, cultivating a feeling of Charity, which is a gift from the Savior. Don't lose hope. There are brighter days ahead.