How to Build Faith and Find Joy

Adapted from an October 2010 general conference address.


Richard G. Scott

When faith is properly understood and used, it has dramatically far-reaching effects. Such faith can transform an individual’s life from common everyday activities to a symphony of joy and happiness.

The exercise of faith is vital to Father in Heaven’s plan of happiness. But true faith, faith unto salvation, is centered on the Lord Jesus Christ, faith in His doctrines and teachings, faith in the prophetic guidance of the Lord’s anointed, faith in the capacity to discover hidden characteristics and traits that can transform life. Truly, faith in the Savior is a principle of action and power.

Faith and character are intimately related. Faith in the power of obedience to the commandments of God will forge strength of character available to you in times of urgent need. Such character is not developed in moments of great challenge or temptation. That is when it is intended to be used.

Your exercise of faith in true principles builds character; fortified character expands your capacity to exercise more faith. As a result, your capacity and confidence to conquer the trials of life is enhanced. The more your character is fortified, the more enabled you are to benefit from exercising the power of faith. You will discover how faith and character interact to strengthen one another. Character is woven patiently from threads of applied principles, doctrine, and obedience.

We exercise faith by doing. We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day.

Neither Satan nor any other power can destroy or undermine your growing character. Only you could do that through disobedience. Strong moral character results from consistent correct choices in the trials and testing of life. Such choices are made with trust in things that are believed and when acted upon are confirmed.

What are some of the empowering principles upon which faith is based?

  • Trust in God and in His willingness to provide help when needed, no matter how challenging the circumstance.

  • Obedience to His commandments and a life that demonstrates that He can trust you.

  • Sensitivity to the quiet promptings of the Holy Spirit.

  • Courageous implementation of that prompting.

  • Patience and understanding when God lets you struggle to grow and when answers come a piece at a time over an extended period.

Your consistent exercise of faith builds strong character. A secure foundation for your growing character is laid by making Jesus Christ and His teachings the center of your life. A consistent, righteous life produces an inner power and strength that can be permanently resistant to the eroding influence of sin and transgression.

If you have determined to live righteously, don’t become discouraged. Life may seem difficult now, but hold on tightly to that iron rod of truth. You are making better progress than you realize. Your struggles are defining character, discipline, and confidence in the promises of your Father in Heaven and the Savior as you consistently obey Their commandments. May the Holy Ghost prompt you to always make decisions that fortify your character and yield much joy and happiness.

Share Your Experiences

Share your experiences in applying this principle and read the experiences of other youth by going to lds.org/go/93Faith.