But First, Faith

Any time I read about Nephi I am always so amazed by his faith. I always think to myself, “I wish I could have faith like him.” As I’m starting The Book of Mormon over again, this time I thought to myself, “Well, why can’t I?”

Faith is the first principle of the Gospel for a reason. If we do not have faith, then we have nothing. Everything builds on faith.

“We live in trying times. I need not list all of the sources of evil in the world. It is not necessary to describe all of the possible challenges and heartaches that are a part of mortality. Each of us is intimately aware of our own struggles with temptation, pain, and sadness… Despite all of the negative challenges we have in life, we must take time to actively exercise our faith. Such exercise invites the positive, faith-filled power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ into our lives.”
– Richard G. Scott

I have been noticing more and more lately that when we take our focus off our Savior and let the opinions and ideas of others become our source of knowledge then we lose faith. Peter is a prime example of this when he was walking on the water.

29 And he said, Come. And when Peter was come down out of the ship, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid; and beginning to sink, he cried, saying, Lord, save me.
31 And immediately Jesus stretched forth his hand, and caught him, and said unto him, O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?
Matthew 14: 29-31

There is so much going on in the world, and even in the Church, it can be easy to lose sight of what is most important. It can be easy to question and start doubting. It can be easy to turn to man and away from God.

Speaking of turning to man and away from God… last week, a High Councilman gave a talk in my ward and he shared an experience of someone speaking and posing the question about the 1/3 of the hosts of heaven following Satan’s plan. Why did 1/3 not follow our Savior? He shared that the speaker agreed with all the answers that were given, but that someone came up to him afterward and discussed with him that maybe it was because of a lack of faith. That got me wondering about this time in our pre-earth lives, and even though we don’t have a sure answer, I do believe that it came down to faith. 1/3 lacked faith in The Plan. That means that you and I had faith.

And right now, I’m riding on faith.

I am grateful for past spiritual experiences I’ve had with the simple things: prayer, reading my scriptures, following promptings, serving in the Temple, going to Church, etc. Because those experiences have been carrying me through life for the past couple of months. And I keep doing them because I have faith. Faith that they will protect me from the adversary. Faith that the Spirit will be more abundant in my life. Faith in all the simple things I am promised if I keep going and doing.

Ultimately that is what keeps me going. Faith in those promises. And faith in the knowledge that I have that one day all will be made right. That one day I will be free from burden, sin, and illness. That one day I will be happy all the time. That one day I will have all the answers. That one day I will live in the presence of my Father in Heaven and my Savior.

And I have come to terms with the fact that those things aren’t happening for me right now, during this earth life. That’s part of the experience here, right?

The rewards of heaven will be sweet if we but keep the faith.

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