We left off in the chapter with Christ promising us that “If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.” (33) Mormon is about to delve more deeply into the three pillars of Christlike love—faith, hope, and charity.
Mormon quotes Jesus as saying “Repent all ye ends of the earth, and come unto me; and be baptized in my name and have faith in me, that ye may be saved.” (34)
Repentance cannot be emphasized enough. It is vital to receiving the other gifts of God. If we are not humble and meek before God, He cannot help us to change and become more like Him through His Atonement. Repentance prepares us to connect with the Spirit and receive that Atoning power from our Savior. Repentance makes us humble enough to come unto Christ, without any impure thoughts or desires blocking us from Him.
Mormon asked his audience if the day of miracles was passed away. He asked if angels had ceased to appear unto men and women. He asked if God had withheld the Holy Ghost from them. He answers his question by saying that all these things come unto us by faith in Jesus Christ. If miracles cease or the Spirit stops striving with us, it is because of our own unbelief. It is our choice.
Mormon judges better of them. He judges that they do have faith “because of your meekness.” (39) If you want to learn more about meekness, study this profound talk by David A. Bednar.
Mormon has shown how important faith in Jesus Christ is. Now he moves on to the second pillar.
How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?”Moroni 7:40
To me, hope is a vivid vision of what we want the future to look like. We can hope in physical things, like that we have the means to provide for our family, or that our family is safe. These pictures of our hopes move us to faithful action to bring our hopes to pass. Without hope, we despair and give up. We cannot see what we want in the future, so we have no faith to act today, because we have nothing we are moving toward.
Instead of being judgmental about others, we should be concerned about ourselves. We must not give up hope. We must not stop striving. We are children of God, and it is possible for us to become what our Heavenly Father would have us become.”Dallin H. Oaks (see link below)
In the next verse, Mormon tells us what our spiritual hope should be—the picture we should strive toward.
And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.
Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.”Moroni 7:41-42
He goes onto say you can’t have faith and hope “save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart.” (43) If we are humble and confess by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, “he must needs have charity” also. (44)
These three pillars all work together. We hope that the Atonement of Jesus Christ works, that He will forgive us of our weaknesses, omissions, and sins, and that hope leads to faith to repent and come unto Him.
Hope seems more in the mind. Faith puts our hope into action. Charity stems from both of those.
And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.”Moroni 7:45
Charity never faileth. It is one of the greatest of spiritual gifts which can be given (46) for it “is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever, and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.” (47)
The reason charity never fails and the reason charity is greater than even the most significant acts of goodness he cited is that charity, “the pure love of Christ” is not an ACT but a CONDITION or state of being. Charity is attained through a succession of acts that result in a conversion. Charity is something one becomes.”Dallin H. Oaks (see link below)
Mormon ends his sermon by pleading with us to change and become more like our Father in Heaven.
Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are the true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen.”Moroni 7:48
Charity isn’t something we claim. It possesses us when Christ bestows it on us, after faithful and hope-filled action. Charity is key to recognizing our Savior because it makes us more like him, and we see Him truly and won’t be deceived by our mortal eyes. Charity gives us heavenly vision.
If we are losing our desire to do evil, we are progressing toward our heavenly goal. The Apostle Paul said that persons who have received the Spirit of God “have the mind of Christ.” (1 Cor. 2:16). I understand this to mean that persons who are proceeding toward the needed conversion are beginning to see things as our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, see them. They are hearing His voice instead of the voice of the world, and they are doing things in His way instead of by the ways of the world.”Dallin H. Oaks (see link below)
Let us recommit to being more hopeful, envisioning spiritual blessings and promises that lead us to faithful action, like repentance, covenant-making and keeping, and charity in our thoughts and deeds. Let us work to come unto Christ more fully, so our desire to do evil disappears as we yearn to become closer to our Savior.