A religion’s greatest monument is not its structures, but the example of its people. I’m sad for the loss, but I know the people of Paris and those of the Catholic faith are resilient. I look forward as their examples of faith will impact our lives for the better.
I love messages that encourage us to change our perspective. This is a great one. It talks about how in order to move a mountain one need merely climb it. The hike isn’t always easy, but it works. When you start hiking up a mountain it’s in front of you. By the time you get to the top the mountain is beneath you.
Sure, you could say that you moved over the mountain, but when you describe where it is, you’ll have to say it’s underneath you.
A mountain that’s underneath you is in a much different spot than a mountain that’s in front of you.
For some reason Cherie Call’s songs aren’t on my streaming app ;-( but I hope they’re on yours. I think the way her licensing works out, it’s only available on iTunes. So here’s the link to buy this lovely song. Hopefully who ever is managing the royalties will work to allow her music to be released on other platforms and generate more royalties for this lovely artist.
Faith is compared to a seed in both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. In the Bible we see Christ’s description showing us the power of faith
verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.Matthew 17:20
In the Book of Mormon we see the Prophet Alma delivering some additional knowledge on faith through the metaphor of a seed.
Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.Alma 32:28
Certainly the metaphor of the seed was powerful to each of these audiences in part because their familiarity with the process of growing. Our society today is significantly less agricultural. Yet as we approach spring our minds similarly shift to the growing seasons in each of our areas. But there is something about the way seeds grow that has direct application to these verses on faith.
Please take a minute to watch how it really happens. Notice the first 6 days of this time lapse video of a seed germinating:
For someone observing the soil and not the roots it would appear that nothing happened for five days. For those of us with the benefit of seeing the cross section (thank you youtube) we can see that during that time period the roots growing deep and wide.
It would be unwise to plow your soil because you haven’t seen any growth. Yet often times our anxieties cause us to do just that after we plant our seeds of faith.
When we enter into the moments where our faith is challenged we may not immediately see a response. Not everyone is shown a sign the moment we ask a question.
Slow down and avoid plowing under the soil of your faith.
If you’re patient you can see miracles.
I’ve come to appreciate that some answers take time for us to see them.
When the seed of our faith is germinating. The roots are growing. The challenging experiences one might face in that window are driving the roots deeper. Even once our faith has sprouted and is actively visible it does not remove us from the benefits of adversity.
We need to be patient within ourselves.
Anxiety is a form of fear. Perfect love casteth out all fear.
The Savior is patient with us. We need to follow his example and be patient with ourselves.
Recognize that on some things our seeds are growing roots and that our faith is not yet visible.
Recognize that the opposition we face isn’t to weaken our faith, but to strengthen it. The atonement is complete enough and powerful enough to extend to everyone on the earth and give them the strength through repentance to overcome and grow into the person who our Heavenly Father sees in us.
The mountains between who we are now and who He sees can be overcome, with faith as small as a mustard seed.
One doesn’t have to be religious to consider how powerful the message of a loving Heavenly Father is to those who subscribe to the belief. Recently in our family scripture study we discussed the question,
If you were asked to to describe what Jesus Christ was sent to earth to do, what would you say?
It was a pretty powerful question as we then heard several thoughtful responses from each of our children. I did my best to summarize and consolidate their responses. Here’s what I came up with.
He’s here to help us be the person our Heavenly Father sees.
This is why John 3:16 says
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
And Moses 1:39 says
For behold, this is my work and my glory–to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
The work and the purpose of the Savior is to help us be the person our Heavenly Father sees.
It’s not uncommon in different faiths to have a lay clergy, but I don’t know if any other religion that does this on the scale of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. That religion with more than 15 million members has no paid clergy in any congregation.
As a practical matter it’s safe to say that none of those serving are perfect at what they do, but those imperfections give us added opportunities to exercise faith.
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is a tenant of the church and is generally seen as an action verb. Faith isn’t something you passively have. It’s something you do.
We iterate on most of the things we do in life and that extends to the things we practice in our church.
We know that it requires repetitive practice to become good at anything. Whether it’s playing the clarinet, kicking a ball into a net, repairing a car, or even flying an airplane, it is through practicing that we may become better and better.
The organization our Savior created on earth–The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints–helps us to do just that. It offers a place to practice living the way He taught and blessing others the way He did.
As Church members, we are given callings, responsibilities, and opportunities to reach out in compassion and minister to others.
It’s not just good manners to be patient with others, but our patience is a sign of us exercising our faith in the organization He established here on the earth.
And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them. Ether 12:27In this section not only do we have an explanation of the purpose of our weaknesses that often lead us to fall short, but we also have a description of the pathway to improve and the promise that our weaknesses will be turned into strengths if we are humble enough to involve God’s help. Fail forward is a great phrase in many, but not all, settings professionally. It also has some application in our lives from a spiritual stand point. If we exercise humility and allow ourselves to rely upon the mercies and merits of Jesus Christ, we can become strong in the thing where we are weak.
Sometimes we can learn and study and know, and sometimes we have to believe, trust, and hope. –M. Russell Ballard