Moving Forward with Faith and Hope
~by Michelle, Editor of Mormon Women: Who We Are
In Relief Society yesterday, we had a very uplifting discussion that was relevant for this New Year’s time when many people are reflecting on the past and makings resolutions with regard to the future. The member of the ward Relief Society presidency who guided the discussion began our time together by showing the video “Look Not Behind Thee.” She also shared some snippets from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s talk “The Best is Yet to Come. (This article, in fact, gives some context to the video comments about Lot’s wife.)
There are many gems in this talk, but I think the following resonates well with the purpose of my post today, which is to introduce a new series here at Mormon Women. Elder Holland stated:
[A]s a new year starts and we try to benefit from a proper view of what has gone before, I plead with you not to dwell on days now gone, nor to yearn vainly for yesterdays, however good those yesterdays may have been. The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead, we remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives.
As I have thought the past several weeks and months about what content might be meaningful on our Mormon Women website this year, I thought of the many people I know — and many others I don’t — who face difficult and often persistent challenges. I’ve reflected on the kinds of searches we get on our site’s analytics. I’ve pondered messages we as Mormons heard not too long ago from prophets, apostles, and other leaders in our General Conference.
We want to provide some support and encouragement to people who face challenges like addiction and abuse, death of loved ones, chronic mental or physical or emotional illness (one’s own or that of a loved one), divorce, infertility, same-sex attraction, and many others. Some weaknesses and trials can take years, even decades, to overcome — or may not be fully overcome in this life — obviously meaning they require a great deal of patience and endurance.
As such, some may tempt us to look back at easier times in our lives, or even to envy the situations of others. Both can be destructive to faith and obstructions to happiness. In the midst of challenges like these, weariness and sometimes a crushing sort of hopelessness can all too easily creep in.
But a key message of the gospel of Jesus Christ that we desire to share here at Mormon Women is that there is always hope. Clearly hope doesn’t always lead to an instant resolution of our problems, but the Savior promises that we can find strength in Him, peace in times of difficulty, and the ability to see and feel growth in our lives along the way as we turn to God and His Son for guidance and help. We can also let eternal promises God has made (made possible through Christ) be an anchor to our souls as we muddle through the messiness of our mortal journeys. And we can come to know and understand God’s love and plan for us as we move forward with faith and hope.
Over the next several weeks, we’ll be sharing thoughts and experiences of LDS women and men who talk about how their faith has helped them face challenges in their lives, including some of the trials listed above. Some of the individuals have found resolution over time, others are still in the midst of their refining fires. Either way, I think you’ll be able to find the threads of faith throughout their stories. We’ll also share some resources that we hope can help with some of the difficulties readers may be facing.
Again, from Elder Holland:
Faith trusts that God has great things in store for each of us and that Christ truly is the “high priest of good things to come” (Hebrews 9:11).
…[L]ive to see the miracles of repentance and forgiveness, of trust and divine love that will transform your life today, tomorrow, and forever. That is a New Year’s resolution I ask you to keep.
It’s our hope here at Mormon Women hope that we can all find a little more inspiration to do just that as we enjoy the “Forward With Faith” posts, which will appear at least every Monday for the next few months. (We might publish more than one post on some weeks.)
As always, if you have something to share (a submission or a question), or know someone who does, please contact us at gmail, with either of the two usernames ‘mormonwomen’ or ‘mormonwoman’