Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Gift of Hope

We have been meeting with a man named Eugene for a while now. When we first met with Eugene, he was down-trodden and lonely, humble and broken. To put it lightly, Eugene had nothing going for him. He would sit at home and wallow in sorrow, finding excuses not to leave. He couldn't find it in himself to trust anyone, and thus separated himself from the world. I could feel the sadness inside of this man, I could feel how much he deeply wanted change. He needed hope.. for himself, for the world around him. It was such a blessing for me to be a part of helping Eugene find that hope he was looking for.

Love this guy!

For a long time Eugene lacked faith to do the things that we knew would help him become happier. He didn't have faith that God would help him, or that he even could. He couldn't find it in his heart to believe that Jesus Christ could heal him, he felt he was lost to the world. He had kind of a, "Why bother trying, it's no use" kind of attitude. Slowly but surely, as we prayed hard and worked with him, Eugene started to change. He began to exercise his faith, to do things that we knew and promised would make him happy. He began to read the scriptures with us and, eventually, on his own. Before long he began to pour out his soul to God in prayer, asking for the deep desires of his heart. Day by day, light started to enter into his life. It was truly a great blessing in my life to be able to witness that miraculous process. The formula can be found in the Book of Mormon, described  to us by an ancient prophet named Ether. He says,

"Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God."
Ether 12:4

Things are different for Eugene now. He still struggles with challenges, and life is still difficult, but he has been given the wonderful gift of hope. Just as the scripture above says, as he acted on the things of God (or exercised his faith) he was able to find within himself a hope for a better world. He can see the light at the end of the tunnel and feel the support from Jesus Christ nudging him forward. He knows that there is a hope for him and his future, as well as the future of mankind. I leave with you my testimony that I know that Christ lived a perfect life, and after suffering the price of our sins, died for us. Because of His sacrifice, we, like Eugene, can exercise our faith and repent. With constant and persistent effort, we will see the same result, and will be given the gift of hope. I can testify of the truth these things of myself, because I have lived and experienced them for myself. In striving to be sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, we will be given that great and marvelous gift of hope.


  1. Great post Elder. Eugene truly is the man and I am also grateful for the opportunity I had to witness that light come into his life. This all reminds me of a quote from Boyd K. Packer - "True doctrine, understood, changes attitudes and behavior. The study of the doctrines of the gospel will improve behavior quicker than a study of behavior will improve behavior." The gospel is true, keep doing good work, love ya.

  2. Thank you for sharing that great miracle! It is so amazing to see the light shine brighter and brighter in people once they start to understand the importance they are to God. He looks like a great guy!

  3. Faith is very powerful, and as we use it our lives as we know them will change. As we strive to be better, Jesus Christ will help every step of the way.

  4. Hope leads to Faith. What a powerful gift we have been given. Christ and His Atonement can help us through anything.

  5. I am not sure how this blog thing works, especially on a mission, but I am so glad you are doing it. You are amazing Rob, I am so proud of you and how you are living your life and helping others to change theirs. You are doing a great work.

    Sister Terri Petersen