Countless scriptures in the Book of Mormon teach a person how to develop and nurture faith. The prophet Moroni explained that "faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."
In a Fort Collins ward sacrament meeting today, this topic of faith was presented plainly. The apostle Joseph B. Wirthlin was quoted, who taught that faith exists when absolute confidence in that which we cannot see combines with action that is in absolute conformity to the will of our Heavenly Father.
- First, we must have confidence in that which we cannot see. When Thomas finally felt the prints of the nails and thrust his hand into the side of the resurrected Savior, he confessed that he, at last, believed.
- Second, for our faith to make a difference, we must act. We must do all that is in our power to change passive belief into active faith, for truly, “faith, if it hath not works, is dead.” James 2:17
- Third, one’s faith should be consistent with the will of our Heavenly Father, including His laws of nature. The sparrow flying into a hurricane may believe that he can successfully navigate the storm, but the unforgiving natural law will convince him otherwise in the end.
Elder Wirthlin summarized that without these three imperatives of faith, "all we have is a counterfeit, a weak and watered-down faith" (Shall He Find Faith on the Earth?, Ensign, Nov 2002, 82).
As you develop your own faith and testimony of truth, there will be times when you must sacrifice your own desires and interests to follow the path to your Heavenly Father. The prophet Joseph Smith taught that “a religion that does not require the sacrifice of all things never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation” (Lectures on Faith , 69).