5 Verses: Hopeless to Hopeful

And if ye have no hope, ye must needs be in Despair; and despair comes because of iniquity
— Moroni 10:22

The Unexpected Definition of Iniquity

According to Webster iniquity implies "A Gross Injustice", while the Oxford Cambridge dictionary states "a very wrong and unfair action or situation".

  1. A gross injustice

  2. A very wrong action

  3. A very unfair situation 

Definition of Despair

"A feeling of being without hope or of not being able to improve a situation" - Oxford Cambridge Dictionary

  1. A feeling of being without hope
  2. A feeling of being unable to improve a situation

Finding Hope

If despair rots away hope, then the question is how do I have hope during a "very unfair situation" that I feel I am not able to improve? I have noticed that those who love us the most can also be those that offer the most miserable advice, unintentionally of course, but nonetheless it was Job who said to his friends and family "miserable comforters are ye all". Advice meant to comfort often begins with "keep the faith", "keep hoping" or worst of all "hang in there", yet when I feel like my situation is an unfair situation and I am lacking the influence or capacity to change my situation I want to cry over such simple minded advice (even though at the heart of the matter it is well-intended advice).

How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?
— Moroni 7:40

Having faith in my despair, requires that I first have hope. Yet, I must have hope before I can have faith. Hope and faith are deeply connected; inseparable. If I am in despair, then I don't have hope, and if I don't have hope, then I don't have faith, and then comes the advice to just have hope and faith. Shoot me in the leg please- it'll feel better.  

For without faith there cannot be any hope
— Moroni 7:42

 Despair is the father of "discouragement, despondency and depression" (President Benson, Do Not Despair). In despair things can quickly enter in a negative cycle. This is where most of us check out. We run, which only makes things worse... in the long run (pun intended)

How do I course correct Faith and Hope challenges?

I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek and lowly of heart
— Moroni 7:43

What is Meekness?

How do you get meekness and lowliness of heart?

And the remission of sins bringeth meekness and lowliness of heart, and because of meekness and lowliness of heart cometh the visitation of the Holy Ghost, which Comforter filleth with hope..
— Moroni 8:26

If Despair eats away hope (and faith), then we must achieve a remission of our sins, so that meekness and lowliness of heart develops into our character. After repentance, the process of forgiveness which we willing obey, eventually brings forgiveness. Forgiveness brings the "remission of sins", then cometh the Comforter, the Holy Ghost, to fill us with hope (and faith). 

What if I didn't do anything wrong?

We always have something to improve, but sometimes we are caught in the middle of "very unfair situations", depending on our level of meekness determines how well we endure. Low levels of meekness and we endure poorly. High levels of meekness and we endure well. Assuming, we are meek and have not justified "very wrong actions" by way of "very unfair situations" we are able to learn from the Savior's way of overcoming hard circumstances. No one suffered more "gross injustices" or "unfair situations" than did the Savior. 

Christ, referring to these heavy moments in life gives us His advice in Matthew "take my yoke upon you, and learn [from] me, for I am meek and lowly of heart". 

Meekness and lowliness of heart empower us to respond to the unfair situations of life as He would. Meekness, not only endures the challenges, temptations and trials of life, but endures them well. By meekness we avoid being resentful. By meekness we avoid blame. By meekness we avoid sin. By meekness we repent. By meekness we forgive. By meekness we develop the "ears to hear and eyes to see" what the Lord has been counseling us all along. By meekness we retain our hope and our faith. By being meek and lowly of heart, as the Lord has invited us all to be, we walk where He walked, feel what He felt- on our own little plot of Gethsemane and Golgotha. By meekness we become gentle and humble, tender and vunerable. By meekness we see "our weakness, and then are made strong" (Ether 12:27,37) 

Meekness could have rescued Judas, even after he left the the Last Supper; by meekness he could have slipped back in and rejoined his apostolic colleagues, determined not to betray His master.  

"Meekness can rescue us all from ourselves, even when we are deep in error, and even when others have written us off"  (Maxwell).

Meekness is the common denominator in all virtues.  Meekness always was happiness, and it is not only that which makes us acceptable before God, but that which deconstructs our despair and reconstructs our faith and our hope. 


See Neal A. Maxwell's work on meekness: