How can you have faith and hope?
This powerful question was asked at Institute and with my limited experience and understanding, I find it hard to differentiate between faith and hope. Is hope merely a wish or a dream as the world would have you believe? Or is hope a belief in something or someone? How different really, are faith and hope?
Hope is connected to faith. Alma teaches us that “if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.” (Alma 32:21) Later, Moroni asks, “How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?” (Moroni 7:40)
The topical guide connects hope to expectation, faith, and trust. Hope, it seems, is the “expectation” or a “trust” that obedience will lead to blessings. Does that make hope the “belief” aspect of faith?
Let’s look at Moroni’s promise, specifically, as an example of hope and faith. Moroni tells us to read and then to pray about the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon with the promise that if we ask with “a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ” then “he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.” The “sincere heart,” the “real intent” – this is hope. The reading of the Book of Mormon and the plea to God to know – this is faith. Hope is the desire for an answer; the expectation and trust that a witness will come. Faith is the reading and the praying. Hope is our minds and our hearts. Faith is our hearts and our hands.
Hope is trust. Faith is the doing. Both are necessary and essential.
In the Bible, hope is compared to an anchor. “Which hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…” (Hebrews 6:19) What soothes the soul when a family member dies? What lifts your chin when you are seriously or permanently injured? What makes helps you stand back up when you feel like the world is constantly beating you down? Hope, which hope anchors our souls to God through the belief that all things will be made right through the atonement of Christ, that you are a son or daughter of Heavenly Father, and that you are loved. Hope allows us to rest in the knowledge that families are eternal and that you will receive a perfect resurrected body. All these are hope.
Trust God. Know that he loves you and wants the best for you. Have hope and then act in faith.