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,” and they said one to another, “Did not our heart burn within us … while he opened to us the scriptures?” (Luke 24:32).
At 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.
The word of God is powerful, too, in helping us find hope in coping with our daily trials. Sister Patricia Holland, wife of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve, experienced the pressures many women feel during the early years of her marriage as she supported her husband in school, moved 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 Sister Holland was called as ward Relief Society president, she 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, April 1981, pages 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 share is helping others find this same hope.
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. They organized more than 100 literacy classes, using the Book of Mormon as their text. While learning to read, the students learned of Jesus Christ. Many were baptized and, with faith centered in Christ, began to “hope for a better world” (Ether 12:4).
Hope is as vital to salvation as are faith and charity (see Moro. 7:38–47). “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, and endure to the end, the promise is sure: “Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Ne. 31:20).
• How can we make our study of the scriptures more effective?