In these very difficult times, if we are to endure the trials, temptations and challenges that come our way and ultimately return home to our Heavenly Father, it is vital that we go forward with faith.”[i]
The Saviour is the perfect example of going forward with faith. As the enormity of the atonement sank upon Him, He cried to His Father “Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me: nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.” In response Heavenly Father sent “an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.”[ii]
At this point, as the full weight of the suffering caused the Son of God to be in agony of body and spirit and to tremble because of pain,[iii] Jesus did not shrink from the task and decide to postpone, minimise or even permanently cancel the required effort. No, He did the exact opposite. “he prayed more earnestly: and he sweat as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.”[iv]
Having this kind of faith often like Christ, requires intense pleading to strengthen us during our trial.[v] As part of this process we learn to reconcile our will to God’s,[vi] take Christ as our helper along the way and trust Him that in His time, all will work out.
Marie was a single sister with five children who battled financially to support her family. Years ago, she came to me as her Bishop seeking counsel on how she could be of more help to others. I asked her to increase her fast offering. Without a word of complaint, she did so and month after month would report how the Lord was blessing her family financially and blessing her to help others. This continued for decades until her health incapacitated her. Even then, Marie was constantly on the telephone seeing how others were doing, giving encouragement and sharing her testimony. She always believed things would work out, and they always did. She never missed paying her tithing. She read her scriptures faithfully and loved serving as compassionate service leader in Relief Society. Hers was a life full of faithfulness.[vii] Marie recently passed on to the other side, but her faith lives on in her family and in those who knew her. My desire to go forward with faith is increased because of her.
Our beloved Prophet, President Russel M Nelson has taught best how we move forward with faith in Christ; “As we speak of temples old and new, may each of us signify by our actions that we are true disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ. May we renovate our lives through faith and trust in Him. May we access the power of His atonement by our repentance each day. And may we dedicate and rededicate our lives to serving God and His children-on both sides of the veil.”[viii]
I testify that going forward with faith is the very process of becoming like Heavenly Father and His Son Jesus Christ. As we do so, I know that Christ’s infinite love as expressed in His atonement, gives us peace and hope and the assurance that all will work out.
[i] Going forward with faith is about enduring to the end. And how is this done? By following the example of the Son of the Living God - 2 Nephi 31:16
[ii] Luke 22:42-43
[iii] D&C 19:18
[iv] JST Luke 22:44
[v] Mosiah 24 teaches how Alma and his people cried mightily unto God to deliver them out of the hands of the wicked priest Amulon and his brethren. The Lord answered their prayers by strengthening them that their burdens felt light. Eventually, they were miraculously delivered out of bondage.
[vi] See Mosiah 15:7 how Christ reconciled His will to the Father’s will and 2 Nephi 10:24 how we should do the same.
[vii] 1 Nephi 7:12 teaches how we best exercise faith in God….by being faithful to Him. This means doing the things He requires of us with a willing heart and mind.
[viii] President Russel M Nelson, General Conference April 2019 closing remarks