A Perfect Brightness of Hope - Sunday, July 31, 2016
A young woman from a disadvantaged background stood on the stage in cap and gown, proudly holding the university diploma she had just been awarded. With perseverance, she had achieved what many thought impossible. When asked how she had done it—how she had managed to pull herself out of such difficult circumstances—she replied, “I had hope! I just kept going and never lost hope.”
It’s helpful to see and hear such examples of hope fulfilled, because all of us, regardless of our background, face challenges. Some struggles are obvious and visible to all, while others are more private, but every life includes circumstances that seem to defy our ability to overcome. We may, often through no fault of our own, find ourselves in situations that make the future look bleak, with little or no promise of happiness or relief from the pain we feel. At such times, when we are drowning in a sea of challenges, when all seems lost, hope is sometimes all we have.
This is why we need occasional reminders that people can, and do, bounce back from almost anything. We cheer for every runner in a marathon, but we cheer a little louder when we realize that one of them is an amputee. Our hearts rejoice when a former addict remains free of his addiction. And we take courage when we meet victims of abuse who courageously define themselves by their future instead of their past. Any of these people could have easily given up, but they kept moving forward, one step, one day at a time. Their victories resonate with all of us, because they renew our hope that we too can overcome. When we’re struggling and feel our strength weakening, we can listen to the quiet inner voice that says, “Hang on. Things will get better. It won’t always be this hard.”
In 1941, England was in the midst of World War II, under the constant threat of attack and invasion. It was in these perilous circumstances that Winston Churchill stood before the students at Harrow School and said these memorable words: “Never give in, never give in, never, never, never.”1 When applied with what Churchill called “good sense,” the courage to “never give in” will see us through the toughest times and help us keep “a perfect brightness of hope.”2
-Lloyd D. Newell
1. “Never Give In,” The Churchill Centre, Oct. 29, 1941, winstonchurchill.org/resources/speeches/234-1941-1945-war-leader/103-never-give-in.
2. 2 Nephi 31:20.
July 31, 2016 Broadcast Number 4,533
Mormon Tabernacle Choir
Orchestra at Temple Square
Rejoice, the Lord Is King
I Will Sing with the Spirit
There Is a Happy Land
Giulio Caccini; arr. Mack Wilberg
You’ll Never Walk Alone, from “Carousel”
Richard Rodgers; arr. Arthur Harris
When the Saints Go Marching In
Traditional American song; arr. John Rutter