- We live in a day in which misinformation about our beliefs abounds. In times such as these, a failure to protect and deepen our spiritual roots is an invitation to have them gnawed at by those who seek to destroy our faith in Christ and our belief in His restored Church.
Questions cause us to question our foundation of faith. Although questions are what lead Joseph Smith to the First Vision, we need to make sure we are seeking answers from the right sources. Seeking answers from the right sources will increase our faith and strengthen our testimonies.
- Unless we are spiritually vigilant and build a sure foundation on our Redeemer, we may find ourselves bound with Satan’s chains and being led carefully down the forbidden paths spoken of in the Book of Mormon.
- We must do all we can to fortify ourselves spiritually against words of opposition and deception.
Our modern day prophets have recently been emphasizing the need to keep the sabbath day holy. This along with temple attendance and family history work will increase of spirituality and help us to be more prepared the handle the world we live in.
- The increase in Sabbath day observance is but one example of members spiritually fortifying themselves by heeding prophetic invitations. Further strengthening is evidenced in the increase in temple and family history work as families gather their ancestors through temple ordinances. Our spiritual roots go deeper as sincere personal and family prayer become bastions of our faith and as we repent daily, seek the companionship of the Holy Ghost, and learn of our Savior and His attributes and strive to become like Him.
All of the good things we do in our lives to lift ourselves can still be undone by a few simple moments. Elder Ardern encourages us to turn from the world distractions and keep on the right path.
- Should the pointed fingers “from the other side of the river of water, [where] a great and spacious building [stands]” (1 Nephi 8:26) appear to be directed at you in the attitude of mocking, demeaning, and beckoning, I ask that you immediately turn away so that you are not persuaded by cunning and devious means to separate yourself from truth and its blessings.
To be spiritually strong we have to act. We must make Christ a part of our everyday lives.
- Our desire to follow Christ, who is the Light of the World, means we must act on His teachings. We are spiritually strengthened, fortified, and protected as we act on the word of God.
Elder Ardern talks about questions that arise in our lives and especially questions about church history. He encourages us to turn to God for answers instead of the world.
- Questions about our Church history and beliefs do arise. Where we turn to find the correct answers requires great care. There is nothing to be gained in exploring the views and opinions of the less informed or disenchanted. The best counsel was given by the Apostle James: “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.”
He concludes with his testimony that questions in our lives are invitations to build our faith.
- With all our prayer, study, and pondering, there may still remain some yet-to-be-answered questions, but we must not let that extinguish the flame of faith that flickers within us. Such questions are an invitation to build our faith and should not fuel a passing moment of deceiving doubt. It is the very essence of religion not to have a sure answer to every question, for this is one of the purposes of faith.
I love how Elder Ardern talks about invitations to build our faith. We all have moments that we can reflect on that increased our faith in the Savior. There are moments we know that the gospel is true. But as the Book of Mormon talks about, we need to ask ourselves if we can feel those reassuring moments today. Sometimes we need spiritual confirmation over and over as those experiences make us stronger in our faith. Today, I am going to look for things that the Lord has done to help strengthen my faith. I hope you will do the same.