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Exercising Faith in Jesus Christ

Under Faith in Jesus Christ in the Topics and Questions section of the Gospel Library it says, “Faith is a gift from God, but we must nurture our faith to keep it strong. Faith is like a muscle. If exercised, it grows strong. If left immobile, it becomes weak.” Basically, like everything else in this life, if we want to be good at something it takes effort and practice. In an October 2015 General Conference address Elder Neil L. Andersen said, "Faith does not fall upon us by chance or stay with us by birthright…your faith will grow not by chance, but by choice. How we live our lives increases or diminishes our faith."

So, how do we practice or exercise our faith in order for it to increase? The answer is no surprise. We increase our faith by keeping the commandments, studying the scriptures and words of latter-day prophets, and by seeking to know Jesus Christ and following His example.    

Continually seeking to increase our faith does not mean that we are going to have a sure knowledge of all things in this life. There will be times when it will be necessary to simply have faith. “Having faith in Jesus Christ means relying completely on Him – trusting in His infinite power, intelligence, and love” (Gospel Library).   When we don’t fully understand or we have questions that arise, it is in those moments that we can rely on our faith in Christ and the knowledge that we have a perfect Heavenly Father who is just and loves us and wants what is best for us.

When I think about faith I remember what Alma taught about faith when he compared “the word” to a seed. It must be planted in our hearts and if it is good, it will begin to grow, as it begins to grow, it will need to be nourished with great care so that it will take root and bear fruit (Alma 32). I do not have a green thumb or talent for growing plants, so I easily compare this to the effort it takes for me to have a green lawn. For me, it is no small effort to fertilize, water, remove weeds, keep grubs and other insects at bay, and mow. If even a week is neglected the effort to catch up is increased. The lesson for me in this is that nurturing my faith requires the same constant effort and attention. If I’m not intentional or negligent in exercising my faith as described above, the amount of effort to get things back on track is increased.  

Spring is a wonderful time of year with the re-birth or blooming that takes place and more specifically as we celebrate the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that Christ lives and that it is only in Him and through Him that we can find peace and joy in this life and be able to return to our heavenly parents after this life.

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