Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Help thou mine unbelief

I've been thinking a lot about faith lately. When it comes to the gospel, I really appreciate practicality. As great as it is to have a testimony of a certain principle, I feel like it can't change us very much until we do something about it, and I suspect that many people feel the same way.

So when it comes to the principle of faith, I find myself a little stumped at times. I know what it is. It's the "substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). I know that it's important and that we need it. But what am I supposed to do about it? What does it mean to have faith or exercise faith?

There's a man in our ward who, over a year ago, was diagnosed with cancer, and was told he had only months to live. Despite this grim prediction, his family went ahead with treatment, while our ward prayed for him in meetings and privately at home. They have spent days and weeks and months doing test after test and treatment after treatment. I can't even fathom what that was like for them. But they trusted in the Lord, and they continued to do good even through this hard time (he was in the bishopric), and today, every trace of cancer is gone. The doctors are amazed, and so am I.

I know it's a simple example. I also know that there's no way that I can sum up what faith is or how it works. I really think that faith can mean a lot of things. Maybe it means that you keep doing what God has asked of you, even though things are hard. Maybe it's about choosing to be positive instead of being overcome by discouragement. Maybe it's even about overcoming your fears step by step, trusting that the Lord will be with you the whole way. Maybe it's trusting that one day, the Lord will make everything right.

P.S. This post isn't meant to be melancholy; more musing. Also, I found this talk on faith, and I thought it was a pretty good read.

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