Thursday, January 23, 2014

The First Step

Jesus Christ was the master teacher, He showed us how to live our lives and what we must do in order for us to gain eternal salvation. The first principle of the Gospel is Faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Faith that He is the Only Begotten Son of God, and Savior and Redeemer of the world.

Throughout time, we can see the great power that comes from exercise faith. The Savior Himself taught: "If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you." - Matt 17:20.

This promise made by the Savior is one that still stands today. As we exercise faith in Jesus Christ, even just a small amount, we will see miracles. I have seen that principle manifest in my life time after time.

What is Faith?

Faith is a factor in our lives that becomes engrained into, but what is faith to start with? The Prophet Alma teaches us that "faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true." Faith is part of a three legged stool; with Hope and Charity being the other two legs. Without this one leg of faith, the stool would fall over and there would be no point in having the other two legs.

How do we believe?

At times, we may think; but I don't have any faith? Or, I don't have faith like Moses, Noah or Abraham? How can I ever see miracles like they did? Well, I guess the answer to that is, we don't. You cannot see miracles until faith is exercised. Doubt and fear are complete opposites to faith. When we doubt, we don't believe that we have a God of miracles. 

The consequence of doubt and fear can be seen many times in the scriptures. In Matthew 14:27-31. In the midst of a stormy sea, The Savior comes to comfort His Apostles. He walks across the water, and as He approaches the boat, the Apostles become afraid, fearing it is a ghost. He reassures them, and Peter, the senior Apostle, called out saying "Lord, if it be thou, bid me come unto thee on the water". The Savior replies, "Come.

Peter jumps out of the boat and starts to walk across the water towards the Savior through the stormy, wind and waves. Seeing the rough sea's, Peter begins to fear. This fear causes him to start sinking into the water. Instinctively, Peter calls out "Lord, Save me!"

The Savior reaches out and grabs Peter's arm and questions him saying; "O thou of little faith, wherefore didst thou doubt?"

Can we, at times be like Peter? When we are presented with a situation, we forget that we are Children of God, and we have a loving Heavenly Father who is willing to help us in all aspects of our life. Or do we worry because we have doubt that miracles can only be wrought by those who have unshakable faith? "Wherefore didst thou doubt?"...

Alma continues in chapter 27, teaching us that "...even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe..." (Alma 32:27). We do not need to be a prophet to believe in Jesus Christ. As we plant our tiny seed of faith, we can watch it grow. The experience we gain, the choices we make and the tests we go through will strengthen us and build faith. As we go through life, we are faced with many situations which require us to choose between right and wrong. As we make what choice we think is right, we exercise that faith we do have. And just like working out, the more we exercise our faith, the stronger it will become.

I believe in miracles. I see them everyday, sometimes obvious, but more often not. God is our loving Heavenly Father. He loves us and wants us to be happy. As we trust Him, and the plan He has for us, we will feel of His love and be lifted beyond our trials.

I testify of a day when we will meet God face to face, and He will look us in the eyes. I hope that when I stand before Him, I will say without a doubt that I knew He was there. And in turn, He shall say "His lord said unto him, Well donethou good and faithful servant:thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord."  (Matt 25:21)

It is at that day, that our faith will truly be manifest, and we will receive our reward. It is then that we will truly be grateful that we followed the Saviors counsel when He said: Be not afraid, only believe...

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