In the 1950s, a rather brutal experiment was done. Rats were put in a glass of water and swam until exhaustion.
On average, they lasted about 15 minutes before they sank.
But just as they sank, the scientists took them out, dried them off, let them rest for a few minutes, and then put them back in.
Now that they knew there was someone who would rescue them, guess how long they swam for this time?
On average, 60 hours.
That’s 240 times as long!
What was the difference?
Researcher Curt Richter said it was one word: hope.
Hope is powerful.
As Joseph sat in Liberty Jail for four and a half months, food was scarce and sometimes poisoned.
It was the coldest part of the year and they slept on the ground with no blankets.
Letters from home spoke of the suffering of the saints as they were forced to move to Illinois.
In anguish of soul, he cried out, “O God, where art thou? And where is the pavilion that covereth thy hiding place?”
He felt it.
But God reminded him,
“If thou shouldst be cast into the pit,
or into the hands of murderers, […]
if all the elements combine to hedge up the way;
if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee,
“Know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good.
“The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?
“Therefore, ✨hold on thy way✨, and ✨the priesthood shall remain with thee✨,
therefore, fear not what man can do, for God shall be with you forever and ever” (D&C 122)
When we are drowning,
We have to remember: we have been saved.
We have something to hope in. SomeONE to hope in.
“With God, comfort replaces pain, peace replaces turmoil, and hope replaces sorrow.” D. Todd Christofferon
That knowledge of Him will hold us on our way.
Priesthood power will sustain us.
Christ will lift us.
Miraculously, we will be able to keep afloat.
Because hope floats.
Research: Richter, Curt P. (1957). On the phenomenon of sudden death in animals and man. Psychosom. Med., 19, 191-8.