“Hope in Christ”

Elder M. Russell Ballard

April 2021 General Conference Address

“I personally feel the pain of those who lack a sense of belonging. As I watch news from around the world, I see many who seem to be experiencing this loneliness. I think that, for many, it is because they may not know that they are loved by Heavenly Father and that we all belong to His eternal family. Believing that God loves us and that we are His children is comforting and assuring.

Because we are the spirit children of God, everyone has a divine origin, nature, and potential. Each of us “is a beloved spirit son or daughter of heavenly parents.” This is our identity! This is who we really are!

Our spiritual identity is enhanced as we understand our many mortal identities, including ethnic, cultural, or national heritage. This sense of spiritual and cultural identity, love, and belonging can inspire hope and love for Jesus Christ.

I speak of hope in Christ not as wishful thinking. Instead, I speak of hope as an expectation that will be realized. Such hope is essential to overcoming adversity, fostering spiritual resilience and strength, and coming to know that we are loved by our Eternal Father and that we are His children, who belong to His family.

The Quorum of the Twelve Apostles have counseled together in a spirit of prayer and with a yearning to understand how to help all who feel alone or feel they don’t belong.

…Is there a way to avoid this human tendency that can separate us from one another?

…The gospel of Jesus Christ has the power to unite us. We are ultimately more alike than we are different. As members of God’s family, we are truly brothers and sisters. Paul stated, “And [God] hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth.”