Light shining through the dark

What It Really Means to Have Hope

What’s the secret to having hope in dark times? Sister Chieko N. Okazaki explains that having hope means finding meaning and light in life because of Jesus Christ. 

Choose to ally ourselves with Him, with His hope, with the inexhaustible and irrepressible life that is His."-Chieko N. Okazaki

Photo by Angel Videv

When life gets overwhelming and the skies feel dark, it can be hard to know where to find hope and how to hold onto it. 

In Sister Chieko N. Okazaki’s 1996 general conference address, “Raised in Hope,” we are encouraged to find hope by finding the light of Christ. As I read Sister Okazaki’s talk, I learned important points about hope: 

  • We can find hope by humbly recognizing a higher power who has wisdom greater than our own, who can see light that we can’t see, and who can create light for us in the right season. 
  • Having hope means patiently trusting in the promise that “joy cometh in the morning” (Psalm 30:5).
  • Having hope means trusting that, because of God’s love and goodness, our lives will always have meaning and purpose, even in darkness. 
  • Having hope isn’t just waiting for future blessings. We can feel hope in the very moment we are in as long as we believe in the intrinsic goodness of life and of God. 

Sister Okazaki teaches that despair is the opposite of hope. She says, “Despair is a kind of disorientation so profound that we lose contact with the sources of life itself.” The sources of life are God and Jesus Christ, and we can shed our despair and choose hope if we choose them. Sister Okazaki encourages us to “ally ourselves with Him, with His hope, with the inexhaustible and irrepressible life that is His.” 

Jesus Christ’s power to bring hope to our lives means so much to me. I am grateful that there is always a reason to hope and that I can always be confident that the future will be full of joy. Hope brings meaning to our lives because of Christ, and despair brings darkness because we become disconnected from God’s light. The source of our hope, the light of Jesus Christ, is always present.

Learn more about how to combat despair with hope in Sister Okazaki’s talk “Raised in Hope.” 

Source: General Conference

—Emma Freestone, Latter-day Saint Insights

FEATURE IMAGE BY JOHN TOWNER

Find more insights 

Read “A History of Hope” by Linde Fielding for a perspective on hope and anxiety from Latter-day Saint Insights.

Read an apostle’s explanation of hope in Elder Neal A. Maxwell’s 1994 General Conference address, “Brightness of Hope.”

Read about Elder Russell M. Nelson’s perspective of hope in his 1995 BYU devotional, “A More Excellent Hope.”

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