The 4th Article of Faith states, “We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost.”
The most basic, fundamental belief we have is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Faith is what motivates us to do what we do. Faith is what changes us and transforms us.
When I was a young girl, I did not have religion in my life, Yet, I had this simple faith that God was real and he heard my prayers. After my mother died, I used to plead in my prayers that my grandparents would live for a long time so I wouldn’t be left again. Both of my grandparents lived to their mid-late eighties and died long after I was married with my own family. I remember just feeling that if I prayed about something Heavenly Father would hear me.
Over the years, my faith has been tested. One of my daughters was born with an infection. The doctors thought it was meningitis which, at her age, would’ve been fatal. I prayed and prayed for her and it seemed as though whatever I prayed for wasn’t answered. In fact, it seemed like the opposite occurred. I remember feeling completely broken, thinking that for some reason Heavenly Father wasn’t answering my prayers. Yet, at the moment when I most needed a confirmation of my faith, I received it. From this experience I learned I must trust in Heavenly Father and that he knows more than I do. In the end, my daughter was fine and has suffered no ill effects from her infection, but the refining of the experience strengthened my faith and taught me that, sometimes, we do have to have our faith tested.
In order for our faith to grow we must feed it. One of my favorite Primary songs is Faith. In this song we sing about how faith is like a seed. Faith is often compared to a mustard seed, the tiniest of seeds. Yet, when it’s properly fed and nourished it grows into an enormous plant.
We must continually feed and nourish our faith. We do this by attending our meetings, serving in our callings, magnifying those callings, saying our prayers, attending the temple, and doing all in our power to keep the commandments that we understand. Each time we pay our tithing we are exhibiting our faith and it is growing. Every time we do our visiting teaching or home teaching we are showing our faith and allowing it to grow. Sometimes, our faith grows most when our prayers are not answered the way we want them to be answered.
My niece lost her mother, my sister-in-law, to cancer last year. Of course, we all prayed that her mother would be healed, but that didn’t happen. Not long ago, this niece bore such a sweet and strong testimony and I marveled at her incredible faith to endure such a trial.
Faith is the foremost principle of the gospel. When we have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, everything else will fall into place.
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