- You are a son or daughter of a loving Father in Heaven and that His love remains constant. I know that such reassuring feelings of love are difficult to recall when you are in the midst of personal struggles or trials, disappointments, or broken dreams.
He shares that one thing that can get in our way of feeling the spirit is sin. He assures us that no mistake we make will change the way that God loves us.
- No mistake, sin, or choice will change God’s love for us. That does not mean sinful conduct is condoned, nor does it remove our obligation to repent when sins are committed. But do not forget, Heavenly Father knows and loves each of you, and He is always ready to help.
He encourages us to remember the things that have built our spiritual foundation. He also encourages us to avoid those things that do not strengthen our foundation. Your testimony will be harder to build when you are reading and participating in things that tear down the church and the mission of the Savior. Stay away from these things.
- Remember the spiritual foundations you have built. I promise that if you will do this, avoiding things that do not build and strengthen your testimony or that mock your beliefs, those precious times when your testimony prospered will return again to your memory through humble prayer and fasting. I assure you that you will once again feel the safety and warmth of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
We cannot be in a position to strengthen others when we are not strong ourselves. Elder Rasband tells us several things we can to to strengthen ourselves so we can be in a good position to help and strengthen others. No matter what we have done in our lives, God can use us to bless and strengthen others if we make ourselves available to Him.
- Each of us must first strengthen ourselves spiritually and then strengthen those around us. Ponder the scriptures regularly, and remember the thoughts and feelings you experience as you read them. Seek other sources of truth as well, but heed this caution from the scriptures: “But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.” Attend Church meetings, especially sacrament meeting, and partake of the sacrament and renew covenants, including the promise to always remember the Savior, that His Spirit may ever be with you.
- No matter what mistakes we have made or how imperfect we feel we are, we can always bless and lift others. Reaching out to them in Christlike service can help us feel the love of God deep within our hearts.
He speaks of the negative effects on generations into the future if we walk away from the truth.
- Generations are affected by the choices we make. Share your testimony with your family; encourage them to remember how they felt when they recognized the Spirit in their lives and to record those feelings in journals and personal histories so that their own words may, when needed, bring to their remembrance how good the Lord has been to them.
Elder Rasband encourages us to remember the sacred spiritual experiences we have had in our lives. Remembering these tender mercies from the Lord will bless us and strengthen us in our times of crisis.
- Never forget, question, or ignore personal, sacred spiritual experiences. The adversary’s design is to distract us from spiritual witnesses, while the Lord’s desire is to enlighten and engage us in His work.
Perhaps the greatest thing we can do when crisis of faith come upon us is to remain faithful to the covenants we have made. When we remain faithful, the Holy Ghost can descend upon us and bring spiritual experiences back to our remembrance. Even through we have questions and concerns about our faith, if we remain worthy of the presence of the Holy Ghost, we will be blessed with greater light an knowledge in our lives.
- To my friend, and to all who wish to bolster their faith, I give you this promise: as you faithfully live the gospel of Jesus Christ and abide by its teachings, your testimony will be protected and it will grow. Keep the covenants you have made, regardless of the actions of those around you. Be diligent parents, brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and friends who strengthen loved ones with personal testimony and who share spiritual experiences. Remain faithful and steadfast, even if storms of doubt invade your lives through the actions of others. Seek that which will edify and fortify you spiritually. Avoid counterfeit offerings of so-called “truths” which are so pervasive, and remember to record your feelings of “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, [and] temperance.”
Finally, he shares that God has a plan for us now and through eternity. We need to remember that God's plan is for us to return to Him again and He will do all He can to help us along that path.
- In the midst of life’s greatest storms, do not forget your divine heritage as a son or daughter of God or your eternal destiny to one day return to live with Him, which will surpass anything the world has to offer.
I have several friends that are having a "crisis of faith" in their lives. They have sought help from me on getting through the feelings they are experiencing. I have shared with them some of the things that Elder Rasband points out here. I have shared that they need to remember how great the blessings of God are in their life. They need to remember how good God has been to them personally. I have encouraged them that no matter how uncomfortable they feel, they need to take time each day to pray. I have also encouraged them to be a faithful Sabbath Day observer. As you and I do these things, we will be reminded of how good God has been to us. We will recognize that we are part of a divine plan of our Heavenly Father. As we experience the love that God has for us, the questions resolve themselves as we gain the assurance that God knows us, loves us, and wants us to make and keep sacred covenants with Him. If we remain faithful when we have doubts, we will be able to work through the difficult questions with the strength of the Holy Ghost on our side.