Thursday, September 18, 2014

Ether 12:4 - With Surety

 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.
With surety. I'm not sure about much these days, to be honest. I don't know what my favorite band is, what I feel like eating, what I feel at all, what the weather will be tomorrow, when I will see my friends again... I'm not sure if the list ever ends.
Especially now. I'm not sure I'll make it through family dinners, not sure I'll be able to go to that one thing, not sure I'll be able to make it to my bed afterwards. I'm not sure when I will be able to do all these things people normally do on a daily basis. I'm not sure what's wrong with me and what I can do in the meantime.

We're not sure of the future of the world. We're not sure who will still be our friends in a year or so. We're not sure what will happen next month. We not sure of so many things.

To clarify for those unfamiliar with Book of Mormon lingo, "might" in this case doesn't mean "maybe" but "will" or "in consequence of doing so". So in our conversations "I'm not going to on a road trip so I might be able to make it." means "maybe, but I'm not 100% sure." but in this context it means "Because of this I can do that." Make sense?

Now let's look at that pairing. "Surety" and "hope". Isn't that a contradiction? No.
Hope: (n.)
1. a feeling of trust (dictionary/archiac)
2. a feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen

Faith, although intertwined, is different. But that's a different post.

Preach My Gospel says,
"[Hope] is manifest in confidence, optimism, enthusiasm, and patient perseverance." (pg.117 Christlike Attributes: Hope) 
It makes sense that if you believe in Christ, and if you have a personal relationship with God, you have trust. Not iffy trust, but sure trust. You can "with surety hope". You can be confident and patient, because you trust God.

The best example I think of, not from the scriptures but from history, are the founding fathers. Let's focus on John Adams.

I love 1776! It's my new favorite musical. My mom doesn't watch many movies, but she actually excited to watch this one with me. By the end, I was in my futball watching stance. Edge of seat, elbows on knees, leaning forward. I knew how it was going to end, I was watching in the United States of America after all! But sweet mercy!
John Adams (Mr. Feeny), Ben Franklin, Thomas Jefferson
1776 Movie via Pinterest

The vote for independence had to be unanimous. Yet, just barely half were willing to even talk about it! Delaware was split in half and the southern colonies would go with the majority as long as they were able to keep their trade (slavery). Politics wasn't the only problem either. The war front was coming to them, there was home sickness, there was a large group of men stuck together in an unconditioned room (o, the heat), supply shortage, and other issues at hand. Not to mention, dear Mr John was "obnoxious and disliked, did you know that?" ("I hadn't heard")
Even after opening the possibility for debate, the odds were really against him. (His cousin was there too, but he's not in the musical. Sorry, Sam!) It came down to the very last second. THE. VERY. LAST. SECOND! If he didn't have trust, if he didn't surely hope, he would have given up long before. He would have given up when they were obviously sunk, like when the south was adamant that slavery stay legal, like when it took him over a year simply to get people thinking about it, like when he lost faith in himself, like when he got into arguments with is friends, and so forth. But he had that hope! He had that feeling of expectation and desire for a certain thing to happen!

It's truly inspiring to watch the events unfold and come together. It wasn't for him, it wasn't for Benjamin Franklin, it wasn't for Thomas Jefferson. It was for posterity. Posterity they would never meet, but would live in a better future.
Watch the movie. You'll get it.

But that's not the end.
"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world"

Sept 11, Patriots' Day, was last week. As I looked through all the memories of that day in world history, (and I discovered it was, indeed, world history) I saw this theme repeated over and over again. "It was the end of the world as we knew it."
This happened when I was in second grade. I can remember standing in the doorway of my room, watching the TV in my parents room. We had visited those sites just a couple years earlier, when I was in kindergarten. I have been told stories and seen pictures of times when you could go to the airport terminal with someone, either to say goodbye or to pick them up. I've heard stories of times when we weren't so ridiculously cautious. In my experience, travel has been pretty lone. I grew up in this "new world". For me, this paranoia that's in the world is pretty normal.
But according to this scripture, which I know for myself to be true, we can still home for a better world.

Not just that the sun will rise the next day, although we do hope that is the case. This can be taken literally, like in John Adam's case, or figuratively.
It's no secret we all live in our own worlds. I've used this scripture to inspire myself in "down times". When I feel stuck, depressed, discouraged, or what have you. In those times, you can hope with surety that your world will get better. I have seen it for myself. Although you may see no way out of it (as in John Adams case), as if it's the way it will always be, it isn't. I promise you! And you don't have to wait until it happens. You can get to know Christ now and with surety hope for a better world. Hope manifests in wonderful ways! It sets the stone rolling, however slow yet still moving.

Medically, I can hope for a cure or a solution. Physically and emotionally, I surely hope that there will always be someone around to take care of me and support me (something I have experienced many times in the past month alone). Spiritually and mentally, I hope that I will endure, that I won't lose hope or lose sight of what is really important.

The best week of study and growth is when I studied hope. I can't wait to continue discussing it as we continue to explore this verse. I'm so excited! I hope you will get something from it, too!

S ljubavlju!

I just want to publicly thank everyone who I have bumped into or who dropped a line in my direction. You have no idea how much it meant to me to receive these hugs physically and verbally. Perhaps one of these days I will get to share the whole story. For now, with all my heart I thank you very much!

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