Faith in Jesus Christ Gives Us Power to Provide for Ourselves and Others

The Gospel and the Productive Life Teacher Manual Religion 150, (2004), 21–24


Introduction

Faith in Jesus Christ is a principle of power and action that can guide us in improving our lives and helping others. Help your students understand that as they exercise faith in Christ and actively seek to improve their station in life, the Lord will help them provide for their physical and spiritual needs.

Family learning of Jesus at the Statue of the Christus

Principles to Understand

  • Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ brings power to grow spiritually and deal with temporal affairs.

  • The Lord promised that He will help provide for us.

  • The Lord will not command us in all things. We must be anxiously engaged in doing much good.

  • When we faithfully turn to the Lord, He will help us understand how we can improve our lives and help others.

Teaching Suggestions

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ brings power to grow spiritually and deal with temporal affairs.

Ask if any student can quote Proverbs 3:5–6 (Scripture Mastery). If so, give a student the opportunity to do so; then have the class recite it together once or twice.

Ask:

  • What do you think it means to “trust in the Lord with all thine heart”?

  • Does trusting the Lord lessen our need to develop understanding? Why?

Write on the board Faith is a principle of power. Ask students what they think it means.

Share the following statement from Elder Bruce R. McConkie, who was a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles:

“Faith in its true signification is more than the moving cause pursuant to which men and angels act. It is also a principle of power. Faith is power. And where there is power, there is faith; and where there is no power, there is no faith. Thus, Joseph Smith continues: ‘Faith is not only the principle of action, but of power also, in all intelligent beings, whether in heaven or on earth.’ Faith applies in all spheres. All intelligent beings—be they gods, angels, spirits, or men—all operate by its power” (A New Witness for the Articles of Faith [1985], 164).

Ask:

  • What are some examples from the scriptures that illustrate that faith is power? (For example, see Ether 12:7–22.)

  • How do these examples increase your understanding of faith?

Invite students to share some experiences when faith has blessed their lives.

Read the following explanation of faith:

“To have faith in Jesus Christ means to have such trust in him that we obey whatever he commands. There is no faith where there is no obedience. Likewise, there is true obedience only where there is faith. As we place our faith in Jesus Christ, becoming his obedient disciples, Heavenly Father will forgive our sins and prepare us to return to him” (Gospel Principles [1997], 118).

Ask:

  • What does this teach you about how to increase your faith?

  • In what ways would greater faith give you power to improve your temporal circumstances?

Write the following words across the top of the board: Education, Employment, and Family.

Ask: How can increasing our faith in Jesus Christ help us improve in each of these areas?

List student responses on the board. (Help your students understand that as we obey God’s commandments we gain a greater abundance of the Spirit in our lives to guide us in our temporal pursuits. The Lord can provide opportunities for us to learn and increase our skills, talents, and abilities.)

Have your students write in the “Notes and Impressions” section of their student manual a brief statement about how they feel faith and obedience can enable them to improve both spiritually and temporally. Invite a few students to share what they write.

Share your testimony that as they strive to live the gospel to the best of their abilities, the Lord will bless them in their spiritual and temporal affairs.

The Lord promised that He will help provide for us.

Write on the board: Praying for Help in Spiritual and Temporal Affairs. Under that title, in a single column, list the following scripture references:

Have students read and give a modern application for each verse. Invite them to list in their student manuals what they would like to pray for during the next few weeks.

Display pictures of the earth and some of its animals (if available, use Gospel Art Picture Kit [item 34735] pictures no. 100, “Creation—Living Creatures,” and no. 600, “The World”). Read with students Doctrine and Covenants 104:14–18 and ask:

  • What do these verses teach about the relationship between the Lord and the earth?

  • What do they teach about the Lord’s ability to provide for His children?

  • What is our responsibility in qualifying for the Lord’s help?

Invite two or three students to share examples from their lives when faith combined with work led to blessings, such as employment or education opportunities.

The Lord will not command us in all things. We must be anxiously engaged in doing much good.

Ask students to think of the last time they did a kind act for someone without being asked to do it. Then ask:

  • Why did you do it?

  • How did you feel after you did it?

Have students write in their own words the teaching in Doctrine and Covenants 58:26–27 (Scripture Mastery). Ask two or three to read what they wrote.

Ask:

  • What does it mean to be “anxiously engaged”?

  • What are some good causes in your life that will bless you, your family, and others?

  • What good temporal causes are you working on?

Refer to Elder Bruce R. McConkie’s statement on page 34 of the student manual.

Ask: What guidelines would you give for determining the balance between our faith and our works?

Remind students that in the early days of the Restoration, the Lord gave Oliver Cowdery permission to translate from the gold plates. Read with students Doctrine and Covenants 9:7–8.

Ask:

  • According to the first half of verse 8, instead of simply asking the Lord for help, what else should Oliver Cowdery have done?

  • What can we learn from Oliver Cowdery’s experience when seeking the Lord’s help?

When we faithfully turn to the Lord, He will help us understand how we can improve our lives and help others.

Share the following statement from Elder Joseph B. Wirthlin, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, which illustrates the Lord’s compassion for others:

“I can easily imagine the deformed legs of a man unable to walk since birth or the tears flowing down a widow’s cheek as she follows the body of her only son as it is carried to its tomb. I see the empty eyes of the hungry, the trembling hands of the sick, the pleading voice of the condemned, the disconsolate eye of the outcast. All of them are reaching toward a solitary man, a man without wealth, without home, without position.

“I see this man, the Son of the living God, look on each of them with infinite compassion. With a touch of His holy hand, He brings comfort to the downcast, healing to the sick, liberation to the condemned. With a word the dead man rises from his bier and the widow embraces her enlivened son” (in Conference Report, Apr. 1999, 98–99; or Ensign, May 1999, 76).

Ask: What evidence do you see in the Church that shows that the Lord is concerned today about our temporal needs?

Use the “Points to Ponder” questions on page 36 of the student manual for a class discussion.

President Gordon B. Hinckley explained the principle upon which the Perpetual Education Fund is based. Have students read his first statement on page 35 of the student manual and look for how the Perpetual Education Fund may bless their lives and the lives of others.

Suggested Student Assignments

  • Invite students to interview one or two people in their community who have improved their education or their career by additional training. Students should then write a paragraph about each person interviewed, summarizing how the person has progressed since completing his or her education and how the person’s ability to assist others both in and out of the Church has changed.

  • Discuss with students specific ways they feel that being trained and gainfully employed will improve their ability to serve in the Lord’s Church, as well as care for their family.

  • Discuss how the use of our time relates to the principle of being anxiously engaged in good causes.