In the June 2009 Ensign pgs 8-9 it talks about Hope being the ‘misunderstood sister’ in Faith, Hope and Charity. People have turned hope into a commonly used word, such as ‘I hope it’ll be sunny today’ or ‘I hope I pass my driving test’ – basically making hope synonymous with ‘wishful thinking’. So, in this way, hope doesn’t sound nearly as uplifting as Faith or Charity. However, this is not the meaning that Hope was intended for. Preach My Gospel pg 117 says “Hope is an abiding trust that the Lord will fulfill His promises to you.” This is much different to the wishful thinking mentioned before.
How do we gain this abiding trust? In Romans 5:3-5 we read “…we glory in tribulation also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost…” Trials bring us patience as we endure them – but how does patience bring us experience? The article in the Ensign explains “We experience them through the ministrations of the Holy Ghost…we receive this witness “after the trial of your faith” (Ether 12:6)” – so this experience of the Holy Ghost helps us feel our burdens lifted through Christ’s Atonement and this gives us Hope!
So we see “Hope is anything but wishful…It is expectation based on experience.” Mormon said to the Nephites “Behold, I say unto you that if ye shall have hope through the Atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal…” (Moroni 7:41) and counsels to his son Moroni, “may Christ lift thee up…and the hope of his glory and of eternal life, rest in your mind forever,” (Moroni 9:25).
“I see Hope more clearly now. She is serene. Her eyes have the deep, knowing look of someone well acquainted with sorrow, the luminosity of recently being wet with tears. Hope has the confidence of one who clearly sees a bright future even when the next hours seem fog shrouded. Hope is steady and strong, a friend I am glad to have beside me during my own trials.” What a beautiful description of the true form of Hope – it is indeed the anchor of our soul. As we have Hope in our Saviour, Jesus Christ, nothing can hold us down for we see the destination of eternal life rest in our minds forever throughout all our trials. It is clear to see now why it is a Christ-like attribute we should try and possess.