Flying on Hope

Last month I took my two daughters with me to visit my parents in California. It was wonderful to take a quick break from Alaska before the winter settled in. On my return home I made a connection in Seattle. Flying doesn’t scare me. However, I do get nervous during take-off and landing, and occasional turbulence. I always close my eyes and say a short prayer when the plane speeds up and lifts off the ground.

I held my daughters’ hands while we boarded our flight. I strapped them in, and thought to myself, “I hope this plane doesn’t crash.”

I spent the first flight pondering that word—hope. During the plane’s descent into Seattle I looked out the window and saw the biggest, most brilliant rainbow. It reached out of a puffy crisp white cloud. It was amazing. Each color as clear as if it was pulled from a crayon box. I was filled with gratitude, not only for this beautiful gift but for feelings of peace.

Hope is not a whim of emotion. It is steadfast and sure. It is confident. True hope is like that rainbow. In the book of Ether, hope is called “excellent”. Nephi called it “bright”. Elder Neal A. Maxwell called it “ultimate”. Alma, “firm”. Peter, “lively”.

I didn’t fly the plane. I had no control over whether the plane would crash. I only had the choice to board. So much of what happens in this life is out of our control. Our only real choice is to get on board, keep moving forward, be happy.

Occasionally I have bouts of anxiety about my book. I hope it doesn’t crash. I’m not scared, but I’m riding it out, unsure of my course. My hope is in Jesus Christ and His promise of eternal life. I’m confident this journey will lead to the same feelings I had when I saw the rainbow from my plane’s small window—peace and gratitude.

“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.” (Moroni 7:41)

My message is hope. It is for others to experience the same hope I found.