Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Faith in Jesus Christ

My name is Zachary Lindstrom, I'm Jeremy's brother, and I will be contributing to this blog also. Recently I returned from serving as a full time missionary for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in North Carolina. I was gone from home for two years, teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ to the wonderful people there and helping them live the teachings of our Savior. I saw miracles in peoples’ lives when they chose to live the gospel. I know that living these teachings every day of our lives can bring us happiness in this life and eternal life in the life to come.

I will be making this a five part post on some things I learned about the gospel of Jesus Christ while in North Carolina, the first post being about faith.

What exactly is faith? Faith is trusting in the Lord and accepting His will in all things. Proverbs 3:5-6 catches this truth so well, “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.” The moment we “lean unto our own understanding” is the moment we fall. We cannot always see the path in front of us, but He will always give us just enough light to take a step into the dark.

I was blessed with the opportunity of teaching a woman named Tammy on my full time mission. She was a great example of someone with great faith in Jesus Christ. We began teaching her in the Summer of 2007. She was working, attending school, and striving to make ends meet. She had been living with a man for nine years. She grew up as a Christian, attending church and believing in God. One day, a member of our church (and her co-worker) gave her a copy of The Book of Mormon and asked her if she'd be willing to learn about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints through the full time missionaries. I'll never forget what I felt the first time we taught her about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. I knew that she felt the same Holy Ghost teaching her the truth. She was moved upon by the Spirit to follow the Lord's commandments.

With that kind of faith, Tammy knew that she must act. The Savior taught us in John 14:12: “He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also.” It’s not enough to merely believe, we must do. Living Christ's gospel is not easy. We have been commanded by Him to be baptized by immersion and do so under proper authority. After several lessons, we invited her to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized. Not knowing exactly how the Lord would work things out, she chose to be baptized. She showed great faith, not knowing how everything would work, but knowing that it would according to the Lord's plan.

Things didn’t get easy for her once she decided to live the standards in The Church of Jesus Christ. She had smoked for almost 25 years, and she had to give that up in order to be baptized. Nevertheless, she knew she had to quit in order to have the blessings from living and following the example of Jesus Christ. She had been living with a man for nine years. She had to move out before she could be baptized. Tammy really had nowhere to go, and most of the money she made went to paying for medical bills, so she couldn't afford a place on her own. She trusted in the Lord and moved out anyway, for she knew it was the right thing to do. She ended up living with a brother. I was transferred to a new area and didn’t hear much from her for about a year. One morning I received a phone call. It was Tammy, telling me she was getting baptized later that day.

Moroni, a Book of Mormon prophet, teaches us how God works by power, according to our faith: “I would exhort you that you would deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men.” (Moroni 10:7) In order to access the blessings that come from such faith in Christ, our faith must lead us to action. We will not see miracles until after we show our faith. That same Moroni teaches us that “ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.” (Ether 12:6) Tammy’s faith was tried, she trusted in her God, and now she is a member of the Church of Jesus Christ. She enjoys many rich blessings, including the constant companionship of the Holy Ghost and many friends who share her same faith in our Savior. She truly saw miracles because of her faith.

I know that faith in Jesus Christ is possible, it only takes a small desire to believe. (Alma 32) I have been to the edge of my faith, and I have seen the hand of God because of it. I know that we are all children of a loving Heavenly Father, and because of that simple truth, we can make righteous decisions and increase our faith, no matter where we are in life. I know that through the Atonement of Christ, we have the power to live His glorious gospel and partake of His eternal blessings of peace and joy.