- Brothers and sisters, the prophecies of Christ’s first coming were fulfilled, “every whit.” As a result, many throughout the world believe that the Savior did come and did live in the meridian of time. But there are still many prophecies yet to be fulfilled! In this and other conferences, we hear living prophets prophesy and testify of Christ’s Second Coming. They also witness of the signs and wonders all about us, telling us that Christ will surely come again. Are we choosing to believe their words? Or despite their witnesses and warnings, are we waiting for evidence—are we “walking in darkness at noon-day,” refusing to see by the light of modern prophecy, and denying that the Light of the World will return to rule and reign among us?
He shares with us that the first step is to learn of Christ through the testimonies that have been given by His servants.
- The first step to finding faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is to let His word—spoken by the mouth of His servants, the prophets—touch your heart. But it is not enough merely to let those words wash over you, as if they alone could transform you. We must do our part. Or as the Savior Himself said, “He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” In other words, hearing requires an active effort. “Faith without works is dead.” It means taking seriously what is taught, considering it carefully, studying it out in our minds. As the prophet Enos learned, it means letting others’ testimonies of the gospel “[sink] deep into [our] heart[s].”
He discusses the story of Enos in the Book of Mormon and uses his example as a way for us to gain faith.
- We cannot find Enos-like faith without our own wrestle before God in prayer. I testify that the reward is worth the effort. Remember the pattern: (1) hear the word of God, spoken and written by His servants; (2) let that word sink deep into your heart; (3) hunger in your soul for righteousness; (4) obediently follow gospel laws, ordinances, and covenants; and (5) raise your voice in mighty prayer and supplication, asking in faith to know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. I promise that if you do these things sincerely and unceasingly, the words Christ spoke to His disciples will be fulfilled in your life: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you.”
Our faith grows through experiences. Sometimes these are good experiences and sometime these experiences come to us by way of trials and adversity. However it comes, we need to pray for understanding and an increase of faith to live by the things we learn.
- Once we find the beginnings of our faith in Jesus, our Heavenly Father allows our faith to be strengthened. This occurs in many ways, including through the experience of adversity.
- Our faith is acquired through prayer with a sincere desire to draw close to God and trust in Him to bear our burdens and give us answers to life’s unexplained mysteries of the purpose of life.
Elder Hales knows that once we gain faith, it is hard to continue to believe through the trials of our faith. We can find strength in the Saviors atonement throughout these experiences.
- When the challenges of mortality come, and they come for all of us, it may seem hard to have faith and hard to believe. At these times only faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His Atonement can bring us peace, hope, and understanding. Only faith that He suffered for our sakes will give us the strength to endure to the end. When we gain this faith, we experience a mighty change of heart, and like Enos, we become stronger and begin to feel a desire for the welfare of our brothers and sisters. We pray for them, that they too will be lifted and strengthened through faith on the Atonement of our Savior Jesus Christ.
Elder Hales concludes by inviting each of us to learn about the Savior and increase our own faith in Him.
- I invite you “to seek this Jesus of whom the prophets and apostles have written.” Let their witness that the Savior gave His life for you sink deep into your heart. Seek a witness of the truth through the Holy Ghost in prayer, and then see your faith strengthened as you joyfully meet the challenges of this mortal life and prepare for eternal life.
Faith is essential to our discipleship. We need to have a purpose for the actions and decisions we make. When we center those decisions and actions on the Savior, we find direction. Once we exercise our faith into action, it grows and allows us to gain even more faith. Once we have that increase in faith, we can be instruments in God's hands to help strengthen others as they come to Christ. It is my prayer that we will find out own faith and then strengthen those around us that need our help.