A New Year with Faith in Christ

Area Leadership Message

Elder Axel H. Leimer
Elder Axel H. Leimer Area Seventy

We live in times of great commotion.  The daily news and our own personal challenges could make our courage fail and cause fear to overtake us.[1]  But prophets have taught that faith dispels fear and brings a brightness of hope.[2] The scriptures define faith as a confidence and trust in Jesus Christ. We trust that He is the Son of God and that through the atonement He has the power to save us.

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is the first principle of the gospel.[3] It gives us the power to:

  • please God;[4]
  • receive help and direction from Him;[5]
  • receive answer to prayer and have the truth manifested unto us;[6]
  • have our hearts changed;[7]
  • repent and be baptized;[8]
  • receive forgiveness;[9]
  • witness mighty miracles;[10]
  • give us strength;[11]
  • be healed;[12]
  • be saved; [13]
  • look upon God and live;[14]
  • cleave unto good things;[15]
  • to help parents teach their children;[16] and
  • endure to the end.[17]

Faith is a great positive power that can lift us above the clouds of worry and help us become whole in Christ.  Access to faith is not limited to those who are already strong, nor does it depend on outward profession or position.  Instead, it is accessible to all who choose to follow Christ and His simple doctrine: repent and be baptized.[18]  Once we have chosen to embrace that gospel and to act in that doctrine[19], even the weakest of us are made strong.[20]  “Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift from heaven that comes as we choose to believe and as we seek it and hold on to it.”[21]  “When we choose to follow Christ in faith rather than choosing another path out of fear, we are blessed with a consequence that is consistent with our choice.”[22]

If you choose a renewal of your faith in this new year, you can follow some simple steps.  First, get to know and love the Savior. You can start by hearing or reading His word.[23]  Resolve to not miss out on attending Church or reading the scriptures; in particular the Book of Mormon.  Read the Book of Mormon with the intent of getting to know the Savior better.  You may want to underline any reference that relates to His attributes and teachings.  Second, as your faith grows, resolve to live by His teachings.  “When we have faith in Christ, we accept and apply His Atonement and His teachings. We trust Him and what He says. . . . We believe in Christ, and we believe that He wants us to keep all His commandments. We want to show our faith by obeying Him.”[24]

Once we come to know Him, we will have an increased desire to keep his commandments.[25]  The Savior simply taught: “If ye love me, keep my commandments.”[26]  This teaching is as powerful as it is simple.  We should keep the commandments, not out of fear, but motivated by love.  The Lord is inviting us to keep His commandments and to value His law as the apple of our eye and to write them upon the tablets of our hearts.[27]  In foretelling the new covenant in the latter days, the Lord said: I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.[28]

As the world continues to change and men’s hearts fail them, there is strength and peace to be found in faith in Jesus Christ.  Christ offers to make our burden light.[29]  May we, as the weakest of the weak, take hold of that source of strength and experience a new year with increased faith and an increased confidence in our own salvation.[30]

[1] D&C 88:89-91

[2] 2 Nephi 31:20

[3] Articles of Faith 1:4

[4] Hebrews 11:6

[5] 1 Nephi 7:12; 1 Nephi 16:28; Moroni 7:26

[6] D&C 10:47,52; Mosiah 27:14; Moroni 10:4

[7] Mosiah 5:7

[8] 2 Nephi 9:23

[9] Enos 1:3-8

[10] 2 Nephi 26:13; Ether 12:12; Moroni 7:27-29, 34-38

[11] Alma 14:26; Ether 12:27-28, 37

[12] 3 Nephi 17:8

[13] Mosiah 3:12; Ephesians 2:8; 2 Nephi 25:23

[14] Helaman 8:15

[15] Moroni 7:28

[16] D&C 68:25

[17] D&C 20:25,29

[18] D&C 10:67

[19] D&C 101:78

[20] Ether 12:27; D&C 1:19; D&C 133:58

[21] Faith Is Not by Chance, but by Choice By Elder Neil L. Andersen Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, October 2015 General Conference

[22] Live by Faith and Not by Fear; Quentin L. Cook. November 2007

[23] Romans 10:17

[24] Preach My Gospel: A Guide to Missionary Service [2004], 61–62

[25] 1 John 2:3

[26] John 14:15; John 15:10; D&C 46:9; D&C 124:87; Mosiah 13:14,

[27] Proverbs 7:2-3

[28] Jeremiah 31:33

[29] Matthew 11:30