From Jeffrey R. Holland. . . .
Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning.(Psalms 30:5)
Why art thou cast down, O my soul? and why art thou disquieted in me? hope thou in God. (Psalms 42:5)
My soul waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning. (Psalms 130:6)
In a good-natured conversation around the dinner table, the host said that receiving the delightful dessert that had been prepared depended upon his guests’ answering a gospel question correctly, namely, “What virtue, what strength is it that no man or woman can live without?”
Guest number one said of faith—no one could really live without faith in God.
The host replied that faith in God was the most fundamental of religious virtues and that living a truly good life or a saved life or a happy life would certainly require faith. But no faith was not the answer. Unfortunately he knew many people who lived without faith in anything, and though the fact was unfortunate, it nevertheless indicated that life could go on without faith because it did for them.
The second answer love—that no one could really live without love in his or her life.
Again the host qualified the answer, said that that was true if we are speaking about the love of God, but this question was about virtues we have, not that God has. Unfortunately, he said, there were lots of people who lived without love toward anyone or from anyone—and yet they continued to live.
“No,” he said in answer to his own question, “I truly believe the most essential of life and the virtue that lets other blessings like faith and love flourish is hope.” This does’t mean hope is the greatest of virtues (the Apostle Paul went on record as saying that love was the greatest of these three) but it meant that in a sense hope is the most essential of the three at least initially, because it can give rise to the other two.
All of us need to believe that things will get better. No matter how dark the night or how long the struggle, we all need to believe that the dawn will come and that the tears of the night will be dried in the rays of the morning sun. The Psalmist is giving us good old-fashioned hope when he promises, “Weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning.”
Some of our earliest fears in childhood are those in and of the night. Perhaps that is simply an inevitable youthful anxiety. Perhaps it is symbolic of a more theological kind of darkness, a darkness of evil and a fear of spiritual destruction. In any case, all of us, whether young or old, have waited through some long nights looking longingly to the east for the first rays of morning light.
Fortunately, the morning always comes. Fortunately, the darkness is always driven back and reassurance comes with the sights and sounds of our world coming to life again. Yes, to echo the words of Ecclesiastes, “The sun also ariseth.”87
How wonderful it would be if we could say with the Psalmist that our soul “waiteth for the Lord more than they that watch for the morning.” We ought to anticipate the Savior’s light in our life as anxiously as we hope for the warmth and rising of the reassuring sun. Christ is the “bright and morning star”—the sun/Son. One day He will come again to rule as Lord of Lords and King of Kings. For that day we eagerly and longingly wait “more than they that watch for the morning.”
In the course of living there are plenty of chances for weeping. But those tears are not permanent; that despair is not endless. In the dark of night, in the midst of our troubles, we may not see any way out or any reprieve to come, but the feeling passes as the night passes. Things will get better in the morning. With the dawning of a new day (or a day after that, or a day after that) joy will return. It may not come as soon as we like in every case. Relief might not initially be recognizable as we would like it to be, but it comes nevertheless. No matter how much weeping endures for the night, there will always be joy in the morning if we “hope . . . in God.” Jeffrey R. Holland, For Times of Trouble (Salt Lake City: Deseret Book, 2012) 66-68
(Posts with a preamble asterisk * are for a more general audience and not specific to teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)