The Joy of Hope

This is just one of my favorite scriptures.

“Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God.” – Ether 12:4

This scripture brings me joy.

This scripture was given to us by Ether, but recorded for us by Moroni. Moroni- who had just witnessed the complete extinction of a civilization – his civilization. AND he had just abridged the records of another civilization that went extinct based on their wicked choices.

Ether also witnessed the destruction of his civilization.

These men witnessed an event that most of us will never really see – and yet they tell us – during such hopeless times that if we believe in God, we can have hope.

A belief in God gives us hope for a better world (which means a lot when you just witnessed the end of your civilization!). This hope for a better world anchors our soul to Christ. We understand that He is the author of such a world. Then, our hearts are turned to Him and filled with His love. We do good works for others because of the Love of God that we have obtained.

Is this not joyful?!

It’s possible to have joy in any circumstance when we have the perspective and hope of God.

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“I’ll Pray for You” (Enos 1)

Lately, I’ve seen a sentiment gaining popularity. It’s usually in response to some kind of calamity. For example, after the terrorist attack in Orlando, people started saying, “Pray for Orlando.” The sentiment that followed, was, “Don’t pray for Orlando, Do something.”

I get a little frustrated when I see this kind of statement made. It makes me realize how much prayer is underestimated. Prayer works. Enos is a great example of this.

So – here’s what happens…

Enos Prays for Himself

While hunting, a man named Enos starts to think about the things that his father has told him “eternal life and the joy of the saints.” He must wrestle before God before he completely understands any of what his father teaches him.

So, he starts to pray. He prays for his own soul – that He will receive forgiveness.

The Lord answers:

“And there came a voice unto me, saying: Enos, thy sins are forgiven thee, and thou shalt be blessed.” – Enos 1:5

The prayer doesn’t end here.

Enos Prays for his People

After feeling the joy that overcomes his soul when he repented of his sins, Enos’s thoughts start to turn outward. He begins to pray for his people.

“Now, it came to pass that when I had heard these words I began to feel a desire for the welfare of my brethren, the Nephites; wherefore, I did pour out my whole soul unto God for them.” – Enos 1:9

As Enos prays for his people, the Lord promises he will bless them.

The prayer still doesn’t end there.

Enos Prays for his Enemies

Enos shares:

“And after I, Enos, had heard these words, my faith began to be unshaken in the Lord; and I prayed unto him with many long strugglings for my brethren, the Lamanites*.” – Enos 1:11

* Keep in mind that the Lamanites were the enemies of the Nephites. They often warred and battled each other. The Lamanites regularly stole from and murdered the Nephites.

Yet, Enos prays for them. He prays for their welfare. His heart is full of love and compassion, for his enemies.

Prayer changed Enos’s heart.

Prayer is powerful. A speech, a physical threat, a gun can’t change a heart. But prayer can, and it consistently does.

Imagine if we were more like Enos. Imagine if all Americans (at the very least),

1) Would pray for Forgiveness

2) As we experienced this forgiveness, we were so filled with God’s love, that we prayed for our own people.

3) With unshaken faith in the Lord, we started to pray for the welfare of our enemies.

Imagine what our world would be like if, instead of busying ourselves or saying, “Do something” We would first pray. Imagine if we would change our hearts through the humbling practice of prayer. Imagine a world where we were praying for each other- truly and compassionately praying for each other!