Monday, December 23, 2013

[face the future with optimism and faith]

Loved this article by Elder M. Russell Ballard in the January 2014 Ensign. The world can be a crazy place nowadays as prophecies about the latter days are coming true. It would be easy to let fear enter our hearts. But even in times of trouble, we can have peace in our hearts when we rely on the Lord. It also helps when you know that what is happening in the world is all part of the Big Plan. Knowing that the Church leaders remind us not to fear, but to be optimistic, helps too.

Here are some quotes from the article.

About the conditions in the world today:
 The conditions in the world are uncertain and dangerous, and the economies of the world are unstable and unpredictable. The cherished values of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness are under attack by those who want to restrict agency and make us dependent rather than encourage us to use our skills and talents to create new and exciting ways of doing things.
Standards of morality are failing. The family is under attack and is crumbling. Love in the hearts of men and women has waxed cold and is unnatural (see Matthew 24:12Romans 1:31). There is a continuing breakdown in the integrity, honesty, and righteousness of political, business, and other leaders. Wars and rumors of wars among nations and creeds abound. And even more destructive than any armed conflict is the war raging between good and evil... for the very souls of the children of God.
President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008) described the world that today’s young people are about to enter when he said: “We live in a season when fierce men do terrible and despicable things. We live in a season of war. We live in a season of arrogance. We live in a season of wickedness,pornography, immorality. All of the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah haunt our society. Our young people have never faced a greater challenge. We have never seen more clearly the lecherous face of evil.”1
About replacing fear with faith:
As we think about the future, we should be filled with faith and hope. Always remember that Jesus Christ... is in control. He will not permit His work to fail. He will be victorious over all darkness and evil. And He invites us all, members of His Church and others who are the honest in heart, to join in the battle for the souls of God’s children. Along with all else we will do in life, we must also dedicate and consecrate our heart, might, mind, and strength to His cause, walking in faith and working with conviction.
Face the future with optimism. I believe we are standing on the threshold of a new era of growth, prosperity, and abundance. Barring a calamity or unexpected international crisis, I think the next few years will bring a resurgence in the world economy as new discoveries are made in communication, medicine, energy, transportation, physics, computer technology, and other fields of endeavor.
One of the challenges we will be facing:
The trial of your faith in the next few years will likely not be that you lack the material things of this world. Rather it will be in choosing what to do with the temporal blessings you receive.

A quote by President Thomas S. Monson:
“Though the storm clouds may gather, though the rains may pour down upon us, our knowledge of the gospel and our love of our Heavenly Father and of our Savior will comfort and sustain us and bring joy to our hearts as we walk uprightly and keep the commandments. There will be nothing in this world that can defeat us.
“My beloved brothers and sisters, fear not. Be of good cheer. The future is as bright as your faith.”
To read the full talk, click here.

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