Hope of Israel
From The Encyclopedia of Mormonism
Author: Madsen, John M.
The phrase "hope of Israel" appears three times in scripture: Jeremiah 14:8;17:13; and Acts 28:20. These passages refer to Israel's Lord and Savior as the "hope of Israel." Latter-day Saints believe that all blessings or promises associated with this hope are dependent upon acceptance of, and obedience to, Israel's God, Jesus Christ (see Jehovah, Jesus Christ).
The phrase "hope of Israel" also calls to mind the expected fulfillment of divine promises made to Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and their posterity. The promises included an inheritance in the Promised Land, combined with prosperity and peace-conditioned on their obedience-and an endless posterity that will continue "in the world and out of the world" (D&C 132:29-33; cf. Gen. 15:5; see also Abrahamic Covenant). Only through Jesus Christ and the latter-day restoration of his Church will the fulfillment come of these promises made to the fathers (cf. 3 Ne. 20:10-46; Isa. 11:10-12; Jer. 14:8, 13; 1 Tim. 1:1; Titus 2:11-13).
In his defense before King Agrippa, Paul referred to this hope (Acts 26:6-8). Apparently Paul, as well as other prophets, believed that the full redemption of Israel can be realized only after the Resurrection, when Jesus Christ comes to rule in his millennial kingdom (cf. Acts 24:15;28:20; Ps. 16:9-11;37:1-11; Isa. 26:19; Ezek. 37:1-14).
For Latter-day Saints, the phrase "hope of Israel" is well known through the words of a familiar hymn (Hymns, 259) which characterize the youth of Zion as the "Hope of Israel." They are to "rise in might" and wield "the sword of truth and right" above hosts marshaled in "ranks of sin." If the youth willingly heed the call to battle against sin and error, remaining watchful and prayerful, they will see victory. [See also Covenant Israel, Latter-Day; Israel.] JOHN M. MADSEN