The Atonement of the Lord Jesus Christ is the heart and core and center of revealed religion.

Elder Bruce R. McConkie Christ and the Creation

Real hope keeps us “anxiously engaged” in good causes even when these appear to be losing causes on the mortal scoreboard (see D&C 58:27). Likewise, real hope is much more than wishful musing. It stiffens, not slackens, the spiritual spine. Hope is serene, not giddy, eager without being naive, and pleasantly steady without being smug. Hope is realistic anticipation which takes the form of a determination—not only to survive adversity but, moreover, to “endure … well” to the end (D&C 121:8).

Though otherwise a “lively” attribute, hope stands quietly with us at funerals. Our tears are just as wet, but not because of despair. Rather, they are tears of heightened appreciation evoked by poignant separation. Those tears of separation change, ere long, becoming tears of glorious anticipation.

Real hope inspires quiet Christian service, not flashy public fanaticism. Finley Peter Dunne impishly observed, “A fanatic is a man who does what he thinks the Lord would do if He knew the facts” (quoted in The Third—and Possibly the Best—637 Best Things Anybody Ever Said, comp. Robert Byrne [1986], no. 549).

Indeed, when we are unduly impatient with an omniscient God’s timing, we really are suggesting that we know what is best. Strange, isn’t it—we who wear wristwatches seek to counsel Him who oversees cosmic clocks and calendars.

Because God wants us to come home after having become more like Him and His Son, part of this developmental process, of necessity, consists of showing unto us our weaknesses. Hence, if we have ultimate hope we will be submissive, because, with His help, those weaknesses can even become strengths (see Ether 12:27).

Elder Neal A. Maxwell

Hope through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, Ensign, Nov 1998, 61

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