“For whatsoever things were written … were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope” (Rom. 15:4).
After his resurrection, Jesus joined two of his disciples as they walked along the road to Emmaus. Not recognizing him, they spoke of their sorrow at the death of their Lord. Jesus tarried with these friends, comforting them with words from the scriptures that prophesied about himself. Then as they recognized him, “he vanished out of their sight.
“And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:31–32.)
In times of sorrow it is natural for us to turn to God for comfort and hope. Often that hope comes when we hear or read God’s word and feel our hearts burn within us with the testimony of Christ.
Sister Patricia Holland, wife of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, experienced the pressures many women feel during the early years of marriage.
She supported her husband in school, moved with the family many times, and cared for their very young children. At one point when her husband, a graduate student, was called to serve in a stake presidency and she was called as ward Relief Society president, Sister Holland admitted, “I really wanted to give up. … It wasn’t easy.”
Her husband’s gentle counsel was, “Read your scriptures more meaningfully. … The only way we will survive (feeling considerable pressure himself) is through spirituality. We will survive through the strength of the Spirit.”
“That’s easier said than done,” Sister Holland thought. On a day of fasting and prayer, “his words kept coming to my mind. … I remember walking over to my scriptures with the attitude, okay, we’ll just see if there’s something to this. And of course there was. The answers were there” (New Era, Apr. 1981, pp. 42–43).
Through hearing or reading the word of God, we can gain access to the Holy Ghost, “which Comforter filleth with hope and perfect love” (Moro. 8:26). One of the greatest gifts we can give others is helping them find this same hope—“which hope we have as an anchor of the soul” (Heb. 6:19).
Sister Eyvonne Black and her husband, Russell, served as missionaries in the Dominican Republic. Their service enabled hundreds of people to find hope through studying the word of God. The couple organized more than one hundred literacy classes, using the Book of Mormon as their text. While learning to read, the students learned of Jesus Christ and how to act in Christlike ways. Many were baptized and, with faith centered in Christ, began to “hope for a better world” (Ether 12:4).
Such hope is as vital to a person’s salvation as are faith and charity (see Moro. 7:38–48). “Wherefore, [we] must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.” If we do so, and continue to endure to the end, the promise is sure: “Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Ne. 31:20).
How can we make our personal and family study of the scriptures more effective?
In addition to the scriptures, how else is the word of God made available to us today?
How can we help others find hope in the word of God?