Here’s to Hoping

Seeds

Seeds

I want to bear my testimony. I hope this church is true, for the most part.  I also hope that a few bits of it are not. Some people are knowers and others are believers.  I am a hoper.

I hope that the seeds of faith I have planted will grow, but my seeds of faith aren’t pine seeds—they don’t grow into a tree that becomes bigger and stronger with time.  They grow more like perennials—ever changing with the seasons. Sometimes faith completely disappears in frigid weather but it’s still alive under the ground, waiting to spring up again.  I hope someday my faith will become more evergreen, but I just don’t know.  There are many things I don’t know.

Hope might be Faith’s awkward kid sister, brimming with potential to become more like Faith, but lacking maturity and confidence.  But hope could be something altogether different from faith: a unique spiritual gift that a wannabe believer like me could cultivate to grow a different kind of testimony.

Faith, hope, and charity qualify you for God’s work.  Can you qualify if your faith is weak but you are extremely hopeful?  I hope so.

I believe some things, I hope many things, I have endured many things and hope to be able to endure all things.  Also, I hope I won’t be required to endure every possible thing.  If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, I seek after these things hopefully.

April Young Bennett

April Young Bennett is an advocate, mother, professional, lover of the arts, hater (but doer) of housework and seeker of truth. Twitter: @aprilyoungb

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15 Responses

  1. CatherineWO says:

    I love this. I hear so much about faith and knowledge at church, but much less about hope. Many years ago I heard Elder Maxwell give a talk about hope that rang true to me. He defined hope as an expectation of things to come, which to me implies that hope can help take us beyond feeling to a place of action, though it may begin as just a small idea or feeling.

  2. Stephanie K says:

    This is exactly how I’ve been feeling for years without being able to put it into words. Thank you for the post, I feel much more at peace knowing others feel the same and that it’s OK, and that hope just may be enough.

  3. Rita says:

    Thank you April. You’ve expressed exactly where I am in my life these past many years – you just made me feel a whole lot better about myself.

  4. Ziff says:

    Great stuff, April! I’m a hoper too. I have a harder time with belief, but hope I can do.

  5. Rachel says:

    For a long time my mom’s favorite scripture was 2 Nephi 31:20, “Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.”

    When I asked her why, she told me that even when she can’t have faith or love perfectly, she can hope. It has stayed with me.

    I also like the famous chapter Alma 32 that people usually think of as being on faith, but not for the reasons others seem to like it. Verse 21 that is generally pointed to as a definition on faith isn’t a definition on faith at all, or at least not a positive definition. The first part simply says what faith is not. It “is NOT to have a perfect knowledge of things.” And then the second part is not a definition of faith either. It is instead a definition of the faithful, or of what people who have faith do. They hope! “If ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen which are true.”

    This makes me think that you have hope and faith both. But, even if it is only hope, I think it is enough. It might be that “desire to believe.”

    • charlene says:

      “If ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen which are true.”

      THIS. I was in a dark place a couple of years ago, not knowing anything, not believing anything — and this scripture brought me out of it. I cannot say that I believe that the church is true — but because of this scripture I will say that I have faith.

    • April says:

      Great point. I tend to equate faith with belief, or “knowing” like the verbiage we use in testimony meeting, but the scripture actually says those who have faith actually hope.

  6. EmilyCC says:

    I love your analogy of faith as perennials. I think of how much more I’ve pondered and studied and prayed, how much more I’ve sought out deeper connections with my sisters and brothers of other religious persuasions. I don’t know that I would have tried so hard if faith had been my spiritual gift. So, I think that doubt may also be a spiritual gift.

  7. Jessawhy says:

    Wonderful post, April. I love to think of hope as a gift. It’s the absence of hope that can be really hard for me. Reading your post has been a bit of hope for me.

    Thanks.

  8. sartawi says:

    I’ll join the masses that say “I feel this way, too.” You have a beautiful talent for expression. I read this post aloud, because it reads almost like poetry. Thanks for sharing such profound thoughts in such a simple way.

  9. X2 Dora says:

    Beautiful. I love the imagery and honesty that I feel from this post.

    Amy recently posted a quote from Bertrand Russell, “The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves, and wiser people so full of doubts.” This resonated strongly, because I do feel that complex issues have so many layers that it’s detrimental to strike unbending positions. It goes to the whole theory of the-more-you-know-the-more-you-realize-that-you-know-nothing. One of my favorite academics is fond of saying something along the lines of, “Spiritual maturity means being able to live with uncertainty and doubt.” So, amen, and amen.

  10. April says:

    Thank you to the many hopers who have commented here. I, too, feel better about my hopeful kind of testimony when I hear that others feel the same way.

  1. May 3, 2015

    […] I may not be naturally faithful, I do have the gift of hope. And so I hope that our heavenly mother is there. I hope that it is only because we view the […]

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