From David A. Hall of Mesa, Arizona

How to Maintain Hope in the Midst of Affliction

This was an article I wrote that was published in the Church News while I was going through my family trials and pending divorce. I remember seeing a notice online in the Church News that they were looking for articles on this subject and I got the distinct prompting that I was supposed to write this article. I wrote it and submitted it. In this particular series, they would publish four or five submissions. They not only selected my submission but chose it as the lead submission.

Here is a link to the original article as it appeared in the Church News:
How to Maintain Hope in the Midst of Affliction


Church News Dec. 28, 1996
One of the key lessons in life is learning how to handle affliction and remain hopeful through it. Here are some ideas that I have found helpful:

  • Don’t become absorbed in feeling sorry for yourself. Instead, pray to know what the Lord wants you to learn from your afflictions. In understanding what you are to learn, it may help to study carefully your patriarchal blessing, to receive a priesthood blessing or to spend extra time in scripture study. Talks from general conferences also often address the subject of understanding afflictions.
  • Try to radiate happiness. Avoid the pitfall of saying to yourself, “I am justified in being crabby or unfriendly because of my troubles.” Instead, look at your afflictions as an opportunity to learn to be cheerful in spite of your troubles.
  • Share your feelings with close friends or family members. You don’t want to burden others with complaints; however, someone who will listen and understand can help you feel better.
  • Seek to comfort and serve others. Your adversity can make you more understanding of the adversities of others. Use this perspective to serve others with troubles and to listen to them and to help lift them up.
  • Seek solace in sacred music. The right type of music can soothe your soul, and it can help you keep a spiritual perspective in your afflictions.
  • Focus on the Savior. He understands your adversity and will not let you suffer any more than is necessary for your maximum eternal happiness. He is one friend you can always count on.
  • Pray; find a private place and ask for the Holy Ghost to help lift you up. One of the roles of the Holy Ghost is to comfort you. The Holy Ghost can bring you cheerfulness that you can in turn radiate to others.

– David A. Hall, Cedar Rapids, Iowa