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Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Of Our Misplaced Faith

A couple days ago I picked up my Book or Mormon, and chose a random scripture to read during my lunch break, What I read was eye opening. It showed me that my faith in missionary work has been misplaced. Heck, maybe my faith as a whole has been misplaced, and maybe I need to make that self-evaluation.

The scripture I read is Ether 12:14: 

"Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost."

We are all guilty of it to some degree. We ponder the faith of our friends, and our family. We say to ourselves, and to the missionaries at our dinner table that "They're not ready." "Oh, she would never listen to the discussions." "He wouldn't be interested right now." "They're a great family, but they both drink, and smoke." etc. etc. etc.

When we ponder the individuals and families we want to share the gospel with, we often place our faith (or lack of faith) in them. After all, it is up to them whether or not they join the church, right? It's not that they don't have faith, many of them do, but its not their faith that will bring them to the waters of baptism. No, it is our faith in them and their ability to change, our faith in ourselves to take the first step toward their conversion, our faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to guide our hands, and to affect change in the hearts and minds of his children. We too can be as Nephi and Lehi to change the hearts of the people, but we must first realize that it is our part to have the faith to do so.

Sometimes I look at this city I live in, Portland, Oregon, and I wonder how can we teach and baptize the people here? It's quite the strange city, where coffee, microbreweries, and strip clubs are as much a part of the culture as church buildings, Temples, and Diet Coke are in Provo, Utah. It is not their lack of faith that blinds their eyes, so much as our lack of faith in them that gives them nothing to see. It is not their inability to change that prevents them from repenting, so much as our lack of faith in their ability to change that gives them nothing to change for. It is OUR responsibility to be the catalyst for change in their hearts, not their own.

Brothers and sisters, look into your hearts and ask yourselves:

Do I have faith that those I love can be changed? 

Do I have faith that they will see the light of the Gospel?

Do I have faith that they are capable of 

Do I have faith that if I deliver the message of the gospel to my friends that the Holy Ghost will testify to them of the truth of all things? 

Do I have faith that through the Atonement, those I love can find peace, fulfillment, and the ability to change into the sons and daughters of God?

If you can't answer yes, then it is time to plant the seed of your faith, and nurture it until you can.