- In your calling you touch lives. The life you touch in your service will be as valuable to God as any other life. And so how you touch a life is as serious a matter for you as it would be for any other servant of God. Your responsibility is to touch people so that they will make the choices that will take them toward eternal life.
Inspiring someone to exercise their faith to follow Christ requires us to be examples of how a faithful life following Christ looks. Alma described the faith needed when he compared faith to a seed.
- The first thing to know about how faith in him increases is to think of its growth like that of a tree.
- Just as soil needs preparation for a seed, so does a human heart for the word of God to take root.
As you work with people, it will not be enough for them to see your faith, they must act on their own faith. Acting on their own faith means that they need to actively make steps to follow Christ and keep His commandments.
- It won’t be enough for them simply to listen to the word of God. They must choose to keep commandments because they feel at least a beginning desire to know the will of our Heavenly Father and submit to it. That feeling of surrender is not likely to come unless they experience some feeling of being loved and some value in their being meek and lowly of heart. You can help with your example. If you love them because you feel God’s love for them, they will feel that. If you are meek and humble because you feel your dependence on God, they will sense that, too.
- But they must do more than hear the word of God; they must plant it in their hearts by trying it. You can make that more likely if you talk with them about it in a way that helps them feel how much God loves them and how much they need God.
- You will try to help them feel that God loves them by the way you treat them. You will be humble so that they are more likely to choose to be meek and lowly of heart. You will teach the word of God, when the Spirit prompts you, in a way that testifies of God’s love for them and their need for the atonement of Jesus Christ. And you will teach them commandments they can keep.
The greatest inspiration for a person to want to follow the Savior is when they feel the love of the Savior. They can feel a piece of that love in the way that you treat them. Expressing love for our fellowman will help inspire them to want to feel more of the love of the Savior.
- You know that when they keep commandments they plant the seed. And you know that it will grow, their souls will be expanded, and that when that happens their faith will increase. The times people will be most likely to choose to try the word of God, to repent, will be when they feel at least the beginnings of his love for them and their dependence on him.
He speaks that some moments in our lives encourage us to look to Christ. Funerals are a good time for this as people have a feeling of loss and are looking to Christ to fill that void they feel inside. But that is not the only time. Many people ask if there is more to life and we need to be ready to share with them that there truly is more to our lives.
- Your opportunities won’t come only at times of great tragedy or overwhelming need. Life has in it moments of challenge that will bring even the people most hardened to spiritual things to say to themselves, “Isn’t there more than this?” If you have been a constant friend, if you have proved your love by service and so become trusted, they may turn to you with that question. When they do, you can say, knowing that their hearts are prepared, “Yes, there is, and I can tell you where it is and what you can do to find it.”
Exercising faith is needed. Acting on the desire to have Christ's love and presence in your life has great power.
- Faith when exercised increases. And that increase in faith will give greater power to hear and to obey.
Finally, he gives us a warning. When blessings come so much, when we see the windows of heaven open to us, when we recognize such amazing blessings, we need to make sure we continue to recognize that these blessings come from God and they are not the result of us. We need to keep our pride in check and make sure we are not boasting of ourselves and keep that dependence on God for our happiness.
- Blessings when they are no longer seen as coming from our Heavenly Father can lead to pride. The peace of forgiveness can lead to overconfidence, forgetting to pray always lest we be overcome. Even some who have exercised faith enough to have great spiritual experiences have later been deceived into apostasy or overcome with the trials of life. All of them need your help in nurturing faith, in learning to put all their trust in God.
I am thinking of my calling right now. I have opportunities to visit people each week that need encouragement to follow the Savior. That desire to seek more of God's spirit in their lives can be enhances when they feel my love for them and see my desire to do as the Savior would ask. I should never underestimate the power of someone seeing how my life has changed as I follow the Savior.