I have heard some say that faith is as simple as to know that the sun will come up in the morning. I never did care for that definition of faith.
You can lie in bed and do nothing and know the sun is up there, even when there are clouds and rain. Faith in Jesus Christ is much more than lying on your back and supposing that the sun is up there.
Humanitarian Glen L. Rudd explained: “Faith is the first principle of the gospel. It is a gift from our Heavenly Father. No one seems to have enough faith; the faith of most of us seems to come and go. We all need a little bit more. Faith is simply knowing that the Lord is there and that He will keep His promises to those who humbly approach Him.”
Faith is a principle. It is hard to visualize a principle, except as we see it in action in the life of a person.
The Apostle Paul, in his letter to the Hebrews, told of people who demonstrated their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; people like Noah, Abraham and Moses, who lived long before Jesus was even born.
Paul said Moses esteemed “the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt,” so he forsook Egypt and its sinful pleasures and chose instead to “suffer affliction with the people of God” (Hebrews 11:24-27).
During a recent school year, each morning at 6 a.m., four mornings a week, I greeted about 70 high school students who arrived at my Gig Harbor church building as they came to study scriptures before they went to their regular high school classes. Some of them arrived at Seminary class looking like they were “suffering affliction with the people of God,” or some kind of affliction involving lack of sleep.
Still, to me, it was marvelous to see young people gathered to study the scriptures. I loved their teachers, and I loved these young people for the example they set, showing their faith by the way they lived, trusting that the Lord would bless them for their efforts to learn of Him while they were young.
By the way, they looked much happier at the end of each Seminary class than at the beginning.
“Learn of me,” said Jesus Christ, “and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.”
There is peace in righteous living, and starting the day in Seminary class seemed to strengthen these young men and women to the challenges of high school, whatever they might be.
Now, two years later, I have seen many of these youth go on to serve missions of 18 to 24 months throughout the world. They will return to marry in holy temples, raise beautiful families and continue to serve God and their fellow man.
I understand that, while it is common for young people to lose faith in God during their college years, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints actually grow stronger in their faith as they attain knowledge and degrees.
That shouldn’t surprise me, considering my own experience.
I was a Mormon kid. Not one who could find many particular verses in the scriptures, but I had found out for myself by the Spirit that the Bible and the Book of Mormon were true, by reading them and praying about them.
After two years of college, I was off to serve a mission for the Lord in Brazil, and I shared the joyful message of the gospel of Jesus Christ. I served and ministered wherever my companions and I could.
In Brazil, I saw faith grow in the fertile soil of humble hearts, and I learned lessons that aren’t taught in college. There, God forged in my own soul an indelible testimony of the truths that have blessed my life to this day.
This coming school year will see the sun come up on another group of high school students in Gig Harbor, and they will demonstrate their faith as they arrive at the church at 6 a.m.
I want to be there to greet them.On Faith columnist Alfred Gunn, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints at Gig Harbor, can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information visit, www.mormon.org.