From the Life of Gordon B. Hinckley
In October 1971 General Conference Elder Gordon B Hinckley told the story related in the lesson manual.
1. Faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ can become the wellspring of purposeful living.
When we have faith in the Saviour it means relying completely on Him—trusting in His infinite power, intelligence, and love. In today’s uncertain world, we may not know what tomorrow will bring, but faith in Jesus Christ can give us spiritual peace, even in the face of calamity and heartbreak.
‘As you study Christ’s life and teachings in a myriad of ways, your faith in Him will increase. You will come to know that He loves you individually and understands you perfectly. In His 33 years of mortality, He suffered rejection; persecution; bodily hunger, thirst, and fatigue; loneliness; verbal and physical abuse; and finally, an excruciating death at the hands of sinful men. In the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross of Calvary, He felt all of our pains, afflictions, temptations, sicknesses, and infirmities.’ (Jean B Bingham, General Conference, October 2017)
From the manual:
When I discuss faith, I do not mean it in an abstract sense. I mean it as a living, vital force that comes with recognition of God as our Father and Jesus Christ as our Savior. …
… Faith in a Divine Being, in the Almighty, is the great moving power that can change our lives.
What experiences have helped you learn about the power of faith?
2. Faith is the basis of testimony and the strength of the Lord’s work on the earth.
“Faith is not only the principle of action, but of power also, in all intelligent beings, whether in heaven or on earth. …
“… It was by faith that the worlds were framed. God spake, chaos heard, and worlds came into order by reason of the faith there was in Him. So with man also; he spake by faith in the name of God, and the sun stood still, the moon obeyed, mountains removed, prisons fell, lions’ mouths were closed, the human heart lost its enmity, fire its violence, armies their power, the sword its terror, and death its dominion; and all this by reason of the faith which was in him” (Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith).
“…faith makes us confident of what we hope for and convinced of what we do not see. The scientist does not see molecules, atoms, or electrons, yet he knows they exist. He does not see electricity, radiation, or magnetism, but he knows these are unseen realities. In like manner, those who earnestly seek for God do not see him, but they know of his reality by faith. It is more than hope. Faith makes it a conviction-an evidence of things not seen.” (Howard W Hunter, “To Know God,” Ensign, Nov. 1974, 97)
From the manual:
Let us not be afraid. Jesus is our leader, our strength, and our king.
This is an age of pessimism. Ours is a mission of faith. To my brethren and sisters everywhere, I call upon you to reaffirm your faith, to move this work forward across the world.
How can we reaffirm our faith and move this work forward?
3. With faith, we can rise above fear and any obstacle or challenge in our lives.
When we go and do the things the Lord has commanded, even when we are weary, trusting that He will help us to do exactly as He asks, the Lord helps our unbelief, and our faith becomes powerful, vibrant, and unshakeable.
Watch: Reunited by Faith
A young man exercises faith, and is instrumental in bringing his mother back into full Church activity. (3:25)
Watch: Seek the Higher Ground
Learn how to find safety from life’s temporal and spiritual storms by following the Savior’s example and seeking higher spiritual ground. (3:45)
“Mine has been the opportunity to meet many wonderful men and women in various parts of the world. A few of them have left an indelible impression upon me. One such was a naval officer from Asia, a brilliant young man who had been brought to the United States for advanced training. Some of his associates in the United States Navy, whose behavior had attracted him, shared with him at his request their religious beliefs. He was not a Christian, but he was interested. They told him of the Savior of the world, of Jesus born in Bethlehem, who gave his life for all mankind. They told him of the appearance of God, the Eternal Father, and the resurrected Lord to the boy Joseph Smith. They spoke of modern prophets. They taught him the gospel of the Master. The Spirit touched his heart, and he was baptized.
“He was introduced to me just before he was to return to his native land. We spoke of these things, and then I said, ‘Your people are not Christians. You come from a land where Christians have had a difficult time. What will happen when you return home a Christian and, more particularly, a Mormon Christian?’
“His face clouded, and he replied, ‘My family will be disappointed. I suppose they will cast me out. They will regard me as dead. As for my future and my career, I assume that all opportunity will be foreclosed against me.’
“I asked, ‘Are you willing to pay so great a price for the gospel?’
“His dark eyes, moistened by tears, shone from his handsome brown face as he answered, ‘It’s true, isn’t it?’
“Ashamed at having asked the question, I responded, ‘Yes, it’s true.’
“To which he replied, ‘Then what else matters?’ ”
(Gordon B Hinckley, In Conference Report, Apr. 1973, p. 72; or Ensign, July 1973, p. 48.)
From the manual:
Who among us can say that he or she has not felt fear? I know of no one who has been entirely spared. Some, of course, experience fear to a greater degree than do others. Some are able to rise above it quickly, but others are trapped and pulled down by it and even driven to defeat. We suffer from the fear of ridicule, the fear of failure, the fear of loneliness, the fear of ignorance. Some fear the present, some the future. Some carry the burden of sin and would give almost anything to unshackle themselves from those burdens but fear to change their lives. Let us recognize that fear comes not of God, but rather that this gnawing, destructive element comes from the adversary of truth and righteousness. Fear is the antithesis of faith. It is corrosive in its effects, even deadly.
When has faith helped you rise above fear?
4. As we exercise our faith, the Lord will help it increase.
Faith comes from hearing the word of God and is a spiritual gift. It increases when we not only hear, but act on the word of God as well. Faith is like a muscle. If exercised, it grows strong. If it is not used, it becomes weak and flabby.
From the manual:
This is my prayer for all of us—“Lord, increase our faith” [see Luke 17:5]. Increase our faith to bridge the chasms of uncertainty and doubt. …
… Lord, increase our faith to rise above the feeble detractors of this Thy great and holy work. Strengthen our will. Help us to build and expand Thy kingdom according to Thy great mandate, that this gospel may be preached in all the world as a witness unto all nations. …
… Grant us faith to look beyond the problems of the moment to the miracles of the future. Give us faith to pay our tithes and offerings and put our trust in Thee, the Almighty, to open the windows of heaven as Thou hast promised. Give us faith to do what is right and let the consequence follow.
Grant us faith when storms of adversity beat us down and drive us to the ground. In seasons of sickness may our confidence wax strong in the powers of the priesthood. May we follow the counsel of James:
“Is any sick among you? let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord:
“And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up” (James 5:14–15; italics added). …
Lord, when we walk in the valley of the shadow of death, give us faith to smile through our tears, knowing that it is all part of the eternal plan of a loving Father, that as we cross the threshold from this life we enter another more glorious, and that through the atonement of the Son of God all shall rise from the grave and the faithful shall go on to exaltation.
Give us faith to pursue the work of redemption of the dead that Thine eternal purposes may be fulfilled in behalf of Thy sons and daughters of all generations.
Father, grant us faith to follow counsel in the little things that can mean so very much. …
Lord, increase our faith in one another, and in ourselves, and in our capacity to do good and great things. …
Father, increase our faith. Of all our needs, I think the greatest is an increase in faith. And so, dear Father, increase our faith in Thee, and in Thy Beloved Son, in Thy great eternal work, in ourselves as Thy children, and in our capacity to go and do according to Thy will, and Thy precepts, I humbly pray in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.
What words in this prayer have special meaning for you?