Monday, January 11, 2010
This year for my father-in-law's birthday, he asked each of his children and their spouses to write their testimonies - one each week, Christlike attributes that Preach my Gospel invites us to develop. This week was faith. I thought I would share some of these things that are so close to my heart that I have sent to him, so that I may have a recorded record of them also.
It is interesting that this week we have been asked us to ponder faith. This week, once again my faith has been tested. On Thursday of this week Joseph went in for his annual scans and they detected yet another brain tumor that will once again need to be surgically removed. Needless to say, it has been very trying and many questions have run through my mind. As I have experienced some of these tear-filled moments I have also been reminded of the love our father in Heaven has for us. So as I reflect on this and my faith, a few things have particularly stood out to me.
President Hinckley said that "if there is one thing you and I need, it is faith". I believe this to be so true. I also believe that faith begins as hope but as it grows it becomes something more, something real, almost tangible. It becomes something real, as if you could reach inside, pull it out and show someone else what it looks like. As it grows it begins to become more a part of you than not.
This may be silly or a little bit juvenile but I like to think of faith in comparison to this: Nighttime on a camping trip in the mountain. Now, I'm not talking the trailer park camping, but the camping where no lights exist. Where when it's dark, it's really dark.....When it’s dark you see only a small perimeter around you. But because of your past experiences, maybe from earlier in the day; because of what you have been taught, you know that although you can not see when you take the next step, there will be ground and you will see the next little perimeter. It is not until the sun comes up that you can see the whole mountain, in all its majesty and see where it was that you were stepping and how it has to do with the whole scene.
My faith, can be compared to this. In situations where I need to move forward, and am searching for that path, I can only see the area around me, or what I know at the time. But because of my past experiences, because I know, not just hope that Christ is there, I trust and I take another step forward in faith. And then that area is lit up for me. And I am able to take yet another step in faith, hoping that what I am doing is in accordance with His will and that he will take care of me. It is not until the big picture, in all its majesty, in the grand spectrum, when the sun or Son comes up and I am able to see where it was that I was, where faith led me, where I hoped for that footing, and in turn I now know, I do not just hope.
So this week I have been asking myself, what happens when your faith does not produce the results you want?
Elder Dennis E. Simmons of the Seventy recently taught us the importance of this matter, He said, “Our God will deliver us from ridicule and persecution, but if not…Our God will deliver us from sickness and disease, but if not…He will deliver us from loneliness, depression or fear, but if not…Our God will deliver us from threats, accusations and insecurity, but if not…He will deliver us from death or impairment of loved ones, but if not….we will trust in the Lord.
"Our God will see that we receive justice and fairness, but if not…He will make sure that we are loved and recognized, but if not…We will receive a perfect companion and righteous and obedient children, but if not….we will have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, knowing that if we do all we can, we will, in his time and in His way, be delivered and receive all that he has.”
In these times it becomes especially hard to keep the faith. But these are the times when that continued faith needs to stay strong. Sometimes we are faced with decisions which both are right, and we don’t know which way to choose. Which path to have faith in, both are good. Another analogy, maybe just as silly, but oh well. Imagine you are walking down a path and you come to a fork. Neither way is wrong, you know that. Both signs indicate that is will lead you to the same destination. So, how do you know, with your faith guiding you, that you are taking the right path? How do you know that you are using your faith to make the right decision, how do you know that you shouldn’t use your faith to help with the other road?
So you take the path, with all faith, that leads you to the right. It takes a sharp turn, and before you, you see rocks and what seems to be a dead end. You’re confused because you had faith and you used that faith to make this decision. As you begin to turn back, you see a small opening, through some trees, up a very large hill. You take it, and it eventually leads you out.
Later on you are able to take a plane ride over this area and you notice that the path you took, the path you had faith in was the harder path. When we walk by faith we are only looking towards the Savior, towards the destination. Sometimes it’s the harder path that we need, the path the shapes us.
Some things I know for sure about faith: Faith chases pessimism away and replaces it with hope or knowledge. Faith brings peace. Through faith we understand. Faith enables us to endure trials, sufferings and afflictions.
at 10:02 PM