In Hope Lifting Always…
“I am a man of faith, because I have hope. All of my life I have been a believer. I have hoped for things that I believed could come to pass, because I have faith in the giver of blessings, the giver of hope. Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of my faith (Hebrews 12:2) and therefore my hope. In Him I have been given the capacity to hope, even in hopelessness. By Him, and through the hands of His servants, my family and friends, I have been lifted time and time again out of dark despair and into the light of hope. In simple terms ‘faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen’ (Hebrews 11:1) yet in hope and faith I see, and by the lifting hands of those unified in faith, I see all the more clearly.”Daniel Joseph Malcolm, 11 November 2023
Today is a time for faith more than in any era that has come before. There is no doubt that in this age we have advantages that never existed for previous occupants of mortality. Nevertheless, the rampant wickedness and temptation to do evil, to not believe, that has accompanied this age of advantage, is staggering like nothing the world has ever seen, and disadvantaging in countless ways. As in all times, for every point there is a counterpoint and the adversary is ready and waiting to respond with every counterpoint necessary to create doubt and dissatisfaction in our gospel journey, to disrupt our faith.
We have all known the disability of despair. Throughout life there is suffering and sadness, loss and loneliness, anger and anguish, and none of us are immune. With faith and hope we can endure the loss of loved ones, the despair of disease, and the paralyzing affects of fear and pain. In the life to come relief is provided exclusively and directly from our Savior Jesus Christ, but in the here and now, the hands of others, acting on behalf of our Lord, can give hope in the darkest of hours.
How do we combat doubt and reinforce our faith? We do it together.
President Russell M. Nelson has called upon the youth of our generation to be a battalion. He did not say that we need to stand alone with no assistance, but he called upon our youth to unite together in the Lord’s battalion.
The same is true for all of us. We gather in Christian faith to turn the disadvantage of being few, into the advantage of many, being unified in Christ. This is why we have families, congregations, quorums and classes, organizations dedicated to strengthening our faith, not only as individuals, but as units, as children of our Heavenly Father, and as saints, followers of Christ.
It is so important that we be united as families, to build one another up and to strengthen each other’s faith. No individual should have to stand alone, no family without friends and support, and no saints without the body of the church working together to bring us all to Christ. The iron rod, which leads to the love of God, has place for all of our hands to press forward together. We will stand alone, if we must, against the winds of evil and the forces of darkness, but standing alone is not necessary because we have each other. If we just have the faith to stand together and strengthen one another against all adversity, Christ will stand with us, and against the God of heaven and earth nothing can prevail.
In Hebrews 12:12 we read, “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees.” There are so many that need for us to lift and to strengthen their faith, and if the day is not upon you or I now, the day will come when without the lifting of others we will surely be swept away by unyielding currents of storm filled darkness. We must be lifting always that none of us will be found without hope and unable to stand.
President Thomas S. Monson taught, “Time passes. Circumstances change. Conditions vary. Unaltered is the divine command to succor the weak and lift up the hands which hang down and strengthen the feeble knees. Each of us has the charge to be not a doubter, but a doer; not a leaner, but a lifter” (General Conference, October 1971).
As I strive to lift others, I feel the more lifted and strengthened of my own feeble knees by the prayers and lifting of my family, faithful friends and fellow saints. What would I do without you, or what will I do without you, if I were ever to decide to stand alone without your love, faith and strength? I dare not, for I would surely fail.
I am ever grateful for the sustaining support I receive from my family, friends and fellow children of Heavenly Parents. Let us all be grateful for the lifting that is done to strengthen our faith and to bear up our burdens. May we show that gratitude by lifting and bearing for others, standing together and not losing the faith. It is my prayer that we will ever be a people of faith, bound together, not by geography or self interest, but by Christ. Whether by divine assignment or love in friendship, let us minister one to another, in faith and for love’s sake, lifting always. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.