Over the years I have been asked many questions about faith. Such as “how can I develop greater faith? I have faith, so why did the Lord not answer my prayers the way I would like? “
Description of Faith
As a description of faith, the Apostle Paul said, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11: 1 in the Bible)
Another ancient prophet declared, “…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.” (Alma 32: 21 in the Book of Mormon). Truth must be the basis of our faith.
The First Principle of the Gospel is Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
What should be the foundation of our faith?
- He is the creator of the earth. (John 1: 3 in the Bible, 3 Nephi 9: 15 in the Book of Mormon)
- He is the Son of God, Savior of the world and the author of our salvation. (John 1: 14 in the Bible, 2 Nephi 31: 21 in the Book of Mormon)
- The Savior’s Atonement paid for the sins of mankind and broke the bands of death. (Romans 5: 8-11 in the Bible, 2 Nephi 9: 21-22 in the Book of Mormon)
- Agency to choose has been granted to all God’s children, both the righteous and the wicked. Bad things can happen to good people through no fault of their own, but eventually God’s blessings will come to the righteous and wrongs will be dealt with by the Lord, either in this life or the life to come.
- He is all knowing and all powerful and will bring about His great plan of salvation for the benefit of mankind. (Matthew 28: 18-20 in the Bible, 1 Nephi 9: 6 in the Book of Mormon)
Why do I have to Suffer so Much in Life?
The Savior suffered more than any person who ever lived on the earth. Some of the most righteous sons and daughters of God have suffered greatly in this life. A good example is Job in the Old Testament. The Lord does not bring evil upon us, but He does permit it to happen (because of the agency of man) and will use it to benefit us if we trust in Him.
We Show and Strengthen Our Faith by Keeping God’s Commandments
“He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him.” (1 John 2: 3 in the Bible)
If Our Faith is Strong Enough, Will all Our Righteous Desires be Granted?
Some people feel that if they have enough faith, all their righteous or good desires will be granted. We must realize that our desires will not be granted if it is not the will of the Lord. In this life we live by faith not always knowing the will of the Lord; therefore what we ask of God in prayer should always contain the statement “not as I will, but thy will be done”. Our faith in the Lord should be firm whether He grants our prayers or not. We can learn from what Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego said to the King when their lives were threatened, “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace … But if not, be it known unto thee, O King, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up.” (Daniel 3: 17-18 in the Bible). These three ancient righteous men knew that they could trust God, even if their prayers were not answered the way they would like.
We Should Also Say as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego Said
God will deliver us from sickness, disease and suffering, but if not…
God will remove the suffering and spare the life of our loved one, but if not…
We still will have faith in the Lord Jesus Christknowing that all His righteous purposes and promises will be fulfilled and we will eventually receive all the blessings in store for us in the great Plan of Happiness.
In this life we should exercise our faith by trusting in the Lord Jesus Christ and submitting ourselves to His will in all things and doing the best we can in keeping His commandments.