Hope During These Challenging Times

As I struggled to gather my thoughts to write this message to share with you, I knew I needed to pray. Then tears began to flow down my cheeks as I felt my Savior’s arms around me for the first time in a good long while. I have resisted my personal prayers during the past weeks. My thoughts have been in such turmoil as I’ve tried to process the changes our world was going through with first the Covid-19 virus and the economic consequences of the quarantines, then the civil unrest that has raised such an emotional outcry from our brothers and sisters of all races. I know now that the adversary had persuaded me to avoid calling upon my Father in Heaven for comfort so that I would suffocate in darkness.

As I turned to the scriptures, Elder Uchtdorf’s talk from the General Conference in October 2008, “The Infinite Power of Hope” appeared to be highlighted on my screen as I signed into LDS.org. I knew the Lord had answered my prayer with Elder Uchtdorf’s words. He said, “The adversary uses despair to bind hearts and minds in suffocating darkness. Despair drains from us all that is vibrant and joyful and leaves behind the empty remnants of what life was meant to be. Despair kills ambition, advances sickness, pollutes the soul, and deadens the heart. Despair can seem like a staircase that leads only and forever downward.” He goes on to say, “Hope is one leg of a three-legged stool, together with faith and charity. These three stabilize our lives regardless of the rough or uneven surfaces we might encounter at the time.” I knew I still had faith that Christ was in control during all of these new trials we’re dealing with, but I was missing the hope which also made it difficult to feel charitable.

Sisters, the Lord IS in control. There are no surprises for Him. No one can thwart His plan. This I do know and knowing that our Father in Heaven is in control brings me much comfort and hope. We’ve been taught to seek the Lord through scriptures, prayer and fasting in order to resist the feelings of despair that the adversary would have us feel. I know I must continue to seek Him throughout each day, even more so when I’m feeling resistant to pray. This I testify in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

~Jackie Ahrens

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