The Prophet Joseph Smith taught, “Had it not been for the principle of faith the worlds would never have been framed, neither would man have been formed of the dust. It is the principle by which Jehovah works, and through which he exercises power over all temporal as well as eternal things” (Lectures on Faith , 3).
If we want Jesus Christ to exercise power in our lives, we must exercise faith in him. The Savior promised that if we do, we “shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.” The Holy Ghost will have place in our hearts, and the Father will be able to bring to pass the covenants he has made with us (see Moro. 7:32–34).
Faith in Jesus Christ is a divine gift that grows when nourished by belief in the word of God, obedience to truth, and diligence in doing good works (see Alma 32:27–43). President Brigham Young taught: “When [we] believe the principles of the Gospel and attain unto faith, which is a gift of God, he adds more faith, adding faith to faith. … But [we] must believe the truth, obey the truth, and practice the truth, to obtain the power of God called faith” (Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Brigham Young , 56).
In talking one day with her young daughter Elaine, Jean Shaw shared a personal insight. Jean told Elaine that she would not discover that “your faith is your own” until her parents died. Years later, when her mother passed away, Elaine recalled those words. Even in her grief, she realized she did indeed have her own faith in the Lord. Through believing the truth as it was taught her, receiving the ordinances of the gospel, and striving to keep her covenants, she had nourished her faith in the Savior. Her faith had grown gradually until now it could guide, comfort, and sustain her in the absence of her parents.
As we grow in faith, Jesus Christ is better able to work through us to bless others. Abish was a Lamanite woman “converted unto the Lord for many years” in the court of King Lamoni. Because of her faith, she was able to recognize the power of God and become an instrument in his hands. When Ammon taught Lamoni and those with him the gospel, they were so overcome by the Spirit that they all fell to the ground unconscious. “When [Abish] saw that all the servants of Lamoni had fallen to the earth, and also her mistress, the queen, and the king, and Ammon lay prostrate upon the earth, she knew that it was the power of God.” Wanting others to witness this power, she gathered the people to the house of the king and so helped initiate the work of the Lord among the Lamanites (see Alma 19:16–17, 28–36).
Those who have faith in the Savior not only have power to receive his blessings but also power to share those blessings with others. Ultimately, the Atonement and our faith in obeying all the principles and ordinances of the gospel will bring us into God’s presence, there to participate in his work of bringing to pass the eternal life of his faithful children (see Moses 1:39).
What can we do to increase our faith in Jesus Christ?
How does our faith encourage us to do good?