One of the first principles of the gospel is faith. Faith in God our Heavenly Father and in His Son Jesus Christ.
What is faith? I believe there are two elements in the principle of faith: belief and works.
Let me clarify.
The first element of faith is belief.
In the book of Hebrews it tells us: “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he that cometh to God must believe that he is.” (Hebrews 11:1, 6)
Basically faith is believing or having a hope for or in something that we know is true and that exists, but we cannot see. Belief, trust, and loyalty to a person or persons or thing.
Imagine a unit of soldiers under heavy enemy fire. They are told by their superiors to hold their position, even in the face of overwhelming firepower.
The soldiers are being told that reinforcements are on the way, and that thought alone gives them the hope and courage to continue fighting.
The soldiers put their hopes and trust in something that they know is true, but cannot see.
By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s command, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)
If we believe this scripture to be true, then in our minds and hearts all what follows this verse is true.
Now remember faith is having confidence in what we hope for and an assurance of what we do not see.
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The second element of faith is works or action.
In the book of James it teaches us: “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.” (James 2:14,26)
There is a misconception sometimes that faith is all you need for you to receive God’s blessings.
If the soldiers in our example earlier had ceased to continue to engage with the enemy and just waited for the reinforcements to come, the outcome could be disastrous. In order for their hopes to be realised, they had to continue to defend themselves till the reinforcements arrived, however long that would take.
By faith Noah, when warned that it would rain and that it would flood the earth, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. He built the ark while it was not raining.
He by his faith condemned his accusers and mockers and became heir of the righteousness that is in keeping with faith.
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I have learned through personal experience that belief and works are essential in developing your faith.
There is a simple but powerful recipe associated with keeping our faith. The ingredients include, combined fervent and sincere prayer and fasting, consistent study of the scriptures and word of God, obedience to God’s commandments and a strong desire to do good to others, and the humility to follow God’s will.
“We live in a time of turmoil,” says Russell M Nelson, president of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “Earthquakes and tsunamis wreak devastation, governments collapse, economic stresses are severe, the family is under attack, and divorce rates are rising. We have great cause for concern. But we do not need to let our fears displace our faith. We can combat those fears by strengthening our faith.”
We can continue to defend the faith, even when under heavy enemy fire.
Put your faith and trust in our God who loves us all, that He gave His only begotten Son Jesus Christ, so that our faith may be whol