Saturday, May 15, 2010
Faith in Jesus Christ
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the first principle of His gospel. One of the requirements of salvation is to have faith in Jesus Christ. Faith requires action and gives power to motivate us in our daily lives. Faith has been described as a "hope for things which are not seen, which are true" (Alma 32:21; see also Hebrews 11:1). We would not study and learn if we did not believe we could gain knowledge and wisdom. We would not work if we did not hope to accomplish something. We would not plant if we did not hope to harvest something. We exercise faith every day when we act upon things we hope for without being able to see the results. There are numerous examples in the scriptures of great things being accomplished by exercising faith. Acting in faith Noah built an ark and saved his family during the great Flood. (See Hebrews 11:7.) By faith Moses parted the waters of the Red Sea. (See Hebrews 11:29.) With faith Elijah called down fire from heaven. (See 1 Kings 18:17-40.) By faith Nephi called for a famine and then asked God to end the famine. (See Helaman 11:3-5, 9-17.) By the power of faith many miracles have taken place and many prayers have been answered. Faith is a strong belief of truth that leads us to do good. For faith to be most powerful, it must be centered in the Lord Jesus Christ. When we have faith in Jesus Christ, we trust Him enough to obey Him. With faith in Jesus Christ, we become His obedient disciples, receive forgiveness for our sins, and prepare to return to God's presence. Numerous prophets have taught that there is no one else, no other name in the world that can save us. (See Acts 4:12; 2 Nephi 9:23; Mosiah 3:17.) When we have faith in Jesus Christ, we will also have faith in Heavenly Father. We will also have faith that They will send the Holy Ghost to teach us all truth, to protect us, and to comfort us. Many blessings come to those people who exercise faith in Jesus Christ. We can increase our faith in Jesus Christ the same way that we develop any skill. When we study, work and practice at any skill, we improve. The same is true with faith in Jesus Christ. If we want to increase our faith in Jesus Christ, we must work at it. The first step in building faith in Jesus Christ is the desire to have it. We can increase our faith by praying to Heavenly Father about our hopes, desires, and needs. We cannot expect faith to come simply because we ask for it. We must work to obtain faith even though it eventually comes as a gift from God. We can also increase our faith by hearing the word of God as it is taught at our church meetings and by studying the scriptures. There is a direct relationship between faith and action. Faith motivates us to act, and then our faith is strengthened by our actions. Many blessings come through the gift of faith: miracles are wrought, angels appear, prayers are answered, and men become the sons of God. "When faith comes it brings … apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, gifts, wisdom, knowledge, miracles, healings, tongues, interpretation of tongues, etc. All these appear when faith appears on the earth, and disappear when it disappears from the earth; for these are the effects of faith …. And he who possesses it will through it, obtain all necessary knowledge and wisdom, until he shall know God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, whom he has sent - whom to know is eternal life" (Lectures on Faith , 83).