Monday, December 30, 2013

Where is your Faith?

I was listening to Saturday afternoon session of conference and one of the brethren shared a story about a young married couple who were debating about not having a family until he had finished medical school.  

He wound up sitting in President Kimball’s office and found himself visiting with the Prophet about the decision he and his wife were in the process of making.  
President Kimball listened and then softly made this comment, 
“Would the Lord want you to break one of His commandments, so that you can become a doctor?...Where is your Faith?”

What a powerful question which would require one to dig deep into the depths of their soul to answer.  What is faith?  “Faith is to hope for things which are not seen but which are true. 
(Hebrews 11:1, Alma 32:21) and most be centered in Jesus Christ in order to produce salvation.”

What are the requirements of Faith?  “To have faith is to have confidence in something or someone.  The Lord has revealed himself and His perfect character possessing in their fullness all the attributes of love, knowledge, justice, mercy, unchangeableness, power and every needful thing, so as to enable the mind of men to place confidence in Him without reservation.”  (Bible Dictionary)
Many years ago I was told that I would never be able to bear children. 
I become pregnant and lost our babies each time.  It was quite an emotional roller coaster.  
There was a period of peace where I felt I was finally starting to heal from the heartache of that roller coaster.  During that period I once again found myself sitting in my doctor’s office awaiting results.  The results had come back uncertain so my doctor was explaining to me what possibly could be wrong.  
The first thing was pregnancy.  
I felt that knife piercing my heart as my mind started screaming, “I can’t do this again.”  
Then he patted my knee and said or it could be cancer.  
I felt my blood slowly start to drain to my feet and I felt the icy fingers of fear penetrating my very being.  Just as I felt I was going to pass out, this great strength started flowing over me and  I heard a soft voice say, “not mine will but thine be done.”  I then felt loving arms wrap around me and I knew whatever the outcome I would be okay.

In 2003 after mom had been called home my husband was involved in an accident that left us without income for three months.  Once again panic set in, “How are we going to get through.”  Again those loving arms reached for me and that familiar voice whispered, “All will be well.”  I knew without a doubt His promises are sure.

Now here I am facing that uncertain future.  As He promised, my knee is healing rapidly and through all the changes and uncertainty at work I have a job and I will be able to work; yet we will be reduced to one income for the month of November.  He has assured me that our financial obligations will be met, but here I am already doubting and questioning. 

There is an internal struggle within me as a part of me is so amazed that even a part of me could question.  After all He and I have been through not one time has He broke a promise to me. Hence that powerful question, “Where Is Your Faith?” 

"Facing the Storms of Life


When trials come, don’t forget there is someone who can bring you peace.
After a long day of teaching, Jesus Christ boarded a ship with His Apostles. They were going across the Sea of Galilee to teach the people on the other side. Christ was asleep when a storm came upon them.
The Apostles began to fear the storm as they were tossed by the winds and water filled their boat. They awoke Jesus, crying, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” (Mark 4:38).
Christ arose and calmed the winds and waves with His power, saying“Peace, be still” (Mark 4:39). He turned to His Apostles and asked, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25). Christ gently chastised them for being fearful and not remembering that He can calm the tossing seas during a storm.
I recently heard a friend say that “life is a storm sometimes.” How true that is! Life can be tempestuous, tossing us with winds of misfortune, grief, shame, or stress.
In a hymn based on the experience on the Sea of Galilee, we sing:
Master, with anguish of spirit
I bow in my grief today.
The depths of my sad heart are troubled.
Oh, waken and save, I pray!
Torrents of sin and of anguish
Sweep o’er my sinking soul,
And I perish! I perish! dear Master.
Oh, hasten and take control!
(“Master, the Tempest Is Raging,” Hymns, no. 105)
Christ not only calms the physical seas, but He can also calm the seas within our minds and souls.
Christ not only calms the physical seas, but He can also calm the seas within our minds and souls. Do we call on Heavenly Father and His Son when the waters of anguish begin to fill our ship? Do we have the faith to trust in Christ?
It’s hard to remember there is someone who can bring peace when we are being tossed so hard that we feel like we can barely hang on. Sometimes in life we just try to outlast the storm, forgetting to call on the One who can calm it.
Peace may not always come as it did that long-ago day on Galilee—the storms and winds may not be replaced by perfect calm. Instead, when we hasten to call on the Master and allow Him to bear our burdens, our peace may come in small reminders of His love and care, giving us strength to get through the storm.
That is what happened to me one April. The end of another school year was fast approaching—and with it came the cares, worries, and work I had experienced during the past nine months. I was exhausted, emotional, and lonely. I felt like I was being tossed by the storms of life. General conference was coming up, and I looked forward to hearing the prophets of God speak to me, hoping to feel a calmness enter my “sinking soul.”
A closing hymn brought great peace. As the choir sang the third verse, I felt the Spirit calm the seas inside me:
Fear not, I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand, …
Upheld by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
(“How Firm a Foundation,” Hymns, no. 85)
It is our faith in Christ’s calming power and our hastening to call for His help that allows Him to calm our hearts during life’s storms.
My storm may not have been as tempestuous as the storms others face, but it is not the velocity of the storm that makes our Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ willing to help us. It is our faith in Christ’s calming power and our hastening to call for His help that allows Him to calm our hearts during life’s storms.

Joy Can Be Ours

“My brothers and sisters, however dark conditions may seem in this world today, whatever the storms we are facing personally, in our homes and our families, this joy can be ours now. …
“… Our faith in Him and obedience to His commandments will bring ‘a perfect brightness of hope’ [2 Nephi 31:20] and dispel the darkness and gloom of despair in these troubled times. The One who had power to calm the elements of earth has power to calm our souls, to give us refuge from the storm” (Robert D. Hales, “Faith through Tribulation Brings Peace and Joy,”

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