Anna, a faithful woman “of a great age” and a widow in Jerusalem, served in the temple with fasting and daily prayer. After many years, her faith was rewarded when she saw the infant Jesus in the temple and recognized him as the Redeemer (see Luke 2:36–38).
Faith is not perfect knowledge (see Alma 32:26). As Elder Boyd K. Packer has stated, “Faith, to be faith, … must go beyond that for which there is confirming evidence … must go into the unknown … must walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness” (in Faith, Salt Lake City: Deseret Book Company, 1983, page 42).
One woman endured a time of darkness when her eight-year-old son was killed in an accident. “My once-faithful testimony of Jesus Christ and life after death was seriously challenged,” she recalls. “My faith in him seemed shattered. But my doubt was not a rejection of eternal truths, only fear of the unknown. Like the father who beseeched the Savior to heal his child and cried, ‘Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief’ (Mark 9:24), I too cried out in anxious prayers.
“That was the beginning of a renewed faith that eventually led to a comforting trust. I was finally able to give my son to God’s care, looking forward with faith in my Savior with my own ‘brightness of hope’ (2 Ne. 31:20).”
Scripture tells of a woman who endured 12 years of illness, trying every known treatment but growing worse (see Mark 5:26). One day she saw Jesus in a crowd of people. Believing that she would be healed if she could only touch the Savior’s clothes, she pressed toward him and touched his robe. “And straightway,” the scriptures tell us, “she felt in her body that she was healed” (Mark 5:29). The Savior himself assured her that her faith had made her whole (see Mark 5:34).
Elder Dallin H. Oaks has explained that there are many imitations of this kind of faith, or trust. Some people trust only themselves. Others put their trust in a friend. But only trust in the Lord Jesus Christ can secure enduring strength and everlasting life (see Ensign, May 1994, pages 99–100).
Trusting in temporal sources of power, such as education or money, can lead to confusion and disappointed hopes. “There will always be distractions,” observed Patricia P. Pinegar, second counselor in the Young Women General Presidency. “But if we choose to turn to the Lord, to believe in Him, to follow Him, we can increase our faith. … What can we do to turn to the Savior? What can we do to increase our faith in Him? …
“We can choose to believe. We can ask for help, then listen. We can practice turning to Him” (Ensign, May 1994, page 95).
• How can our doubts and fears be transformed into faith and trust in Jesus Christ?
• In what ways can we practice or apply our faith in our Savior?