Leap of Faith


(Based on an actual event)

“I went a little farther that time!” Lewis exclaimed, marking where he had landed with a stick. A new house was being built next door, and six-year-old Lewis loved playing in the big piles of dirt. He and his brother especially liked to jump off the top of a dirt pile to see who could go the farthest. Jumping was the next best thing to flying, and Lewis wanted more than anything to be able to fly. Not just to ride in a plane—he’d done that lots of times with his dad in a little four-seat airplane. He wanted to fly like a bird. He thought about it all the time.

Last Sunday, Sister Jones had taught a lesson in Primary about faith. She had said if you have enough faith, you can do anything—even move mountains! Lewis didn’t want to move a mountain—he wanted to fly over one. He believed Heavenly Father could help him do that just as easily.

Lewis didn’t hear the rest of the lesson that day because he was dreaming about his first flight. He knew exactly how it would be. He would jump off something very high and dive to the earth. Just before he hit the ground, he would spread his arms and glide above the earth, rising higher and higher. He could almost feel the wind in his hair and see the look of surprise on his brother’s face as he flew effortlessly over his head. Yes, it was going to be wonderful!

“Lewis,” Mom called from the house.

“Yes, Mom?” he replied from the top of the dirt pile.

“Grandma is here and wants to see you.”

Lewis jumped one more time, marked the spot where he landed, and rushed to the house. “Hi, Grandma. How was your trip?”

“Oh, it was great fun. I brought you something.” She held up a small wing-shaped pin she had received on her flight home.

“Wow! Thanks, Grandma!” He had wings! Now he knew he could fly. He pinned them to his shirt and ran outside to the dirt pile. Sure enough, he seemed to jump a little farther and a little higher. The problem, he thought, is that this hill is too small. If I could find something higher, I’m sure I could start to fly before I hit the ground.

The next day, Dad took Lewis to look at some new playground equipment, and Lewis saw the biggest jungle gym he’d ever seen. He grinned. Today was the day he was going to fly!

While his dad was busy talking to someone, Lewis pulled his pin out of his pocket and pinned the wings to his shirt. Then he raced over to the jungle gym. He climbed to the very top bar—about five meters from the ground—and yelled, “Watch this, Dad!” He jumped off, completely unafraid. On the way down, his leg caught on a bar and he crashed to the ground.

Lewis’s leg was broken, and his body was bruised and scratched.

“Are you feeling better now?” Dad asked on the way home from the hospital.

“Dad,” Lewis sobbed, “I don’t understand. My Primary teacher said if I have enough faith, I can do anything.”

“Lewis, you need to understand something about faith. The scriptures say that faith must be based in something that is true. If I believed with all my heart that the oceans were filled with spaghetti, it still wouldn’t be true. We can have faith in Jesus Christ because He really did come and die for us and He really does love you. We can have faith in the scriptures because the Lord really commanded the prophets to write them so we could learn about Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ and the scriptures are true. Can you see the difference?”

“I guess so.”

Dad continued, “There are also natural laws, like gravity, that are true. You will be able to fly someday, Lewis, but you have to do it using the natural laws of the earth. When you get a little older, you can learn how to fly an airplane. Now let’s go home and let that leg heal.”

Today Lewis is grown-up, and he flies high in the sky—as an airplane pilot.

[illustration] Illustrated by Mark Robison