Nine-year-old Shelby gave the opening prayer in family home evening. “Shelby,” Mother said, “I think you are almost done with one of the Faith in God activities. You said the closing prayer for family home evening just a few weeks ago. Now you need to share your feelings about how prayer protects us and helps us stay close to Heavenly Father and the Savior.”
Shelby left the room and returned with her journal. She read how a few days earlier she had prayed in the backseat of the family car for help when the car would not start. Almost immediately a neighbor had arrived to help fix the problem. Shelby remembered to pray because she had been thinking about the Faith in God activity.
Like children all over the world, Shelby found that Faith in God is more than a program. It is a way to build faith as you practice living the gospel of Jesus Christ.
When the Faith in God program was introduced in 2003, President Gordon B. Hinckley, President Thomas S. Monson, and President James E. Faust said in a letter, “It is our desire that boys and girls will develop greater faith and courage by learning and living the gospel, serving others, and developing their talents” (First Presidency letter, Apr. 2, 2003).
In today’s world you will need great faith and courage. You can develop these qualities by praying every day, reading your scriptures regularly, and keeping the commandments. These and other ways of living the gospel are part of the basic requirements listed in the guidebook. When you turn eight, you will receive the Faith in God guidebook.
In some areas of the world, children gather together twice a month with an activity-day leader to build friendships, practice living the gospel, and have fun. In other parts of the world where there are few members of the Church or large distances between members, children work on Faith in God with their family or by themselves. Whatever your situation, the most important thing is that you find a way to practice living the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Primary leaders can help you. Primary presidency members can encourage you and give you a chance to report on completed activities. Teachers can help you memorize the Articles of Faith. For boys living in the United States and Canada, den leaders can coordinate Scouting activities with Faith in God goals.
Faith in God is also a way to strengthen your family. Lindsey had just turned eight and received her copy of the Faith in God guidebook. Her parents reviewed the guidebook with her. Lindsey volunteered to give the lesson for family home evening. She chose one of the topics in her Faith in God guidebook. With the help of her family, Lindsey presented family home evening and also completed an activity.
Other families have also used Faith in God to help them with family home evening. One family chose a different article of faith to study and memorize each week. Another family let their children choose an activity from the guidebook when it was the child’s turn to give the lesson.
For a parent-child service project (see guidebook, p. 9), Michael’s family decided to make apple pies that each family member could take to someone. Michael asked if he could take his pie to a family who had been unfriendly. Although his mother was concerned, Michael persisted. Michael’s family delivered the pie. They discovered that the family was having hard times and that the unfriendliness was not directed at them. The two families became great friends because Michael wanted to live the gospel of Jesus Christ.
When you complete the requirements, you will receive the certificate at the back of the guidebook. Your Primary president and the bishop or branch president will sign it. But the greatest blessing is that you will have practiced doing the things that can help you live the gospel and be strong and courageous.
When you complete the requirements for Faith in God, you will also be better prepared to receive the Aaronic Priesthood or to become a righteous young woman. You will have established patterns for righteous living and will have had opportunities to live the gospel, serve others, and develop your talents. Best of all, you will have strengthened your testimony of Jesus Christ.