During the Savior’s mortal ministry, He frequently urged His disciples to develop greater faith. He asked the terrified disciples on the ship In the storm, “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8:25) When Peter began to sink after walking on the water, He asked, “Wherefore didst thou doubt?” (Matthew 14:31) He told his disciples how pleased He was with a non-Jewish centurion, saying, “I have not found so great faith, no, not in Israel” (Matthew 8:10).
We find the same pattern in the Book of Mormon. After Enos’s sins were forgiven, he asked, “Lord, how is it done?” The answer: “Because of thy faith in Christ, whom thou hast never before heard nor seen…. Thy faith hath made thee whole” (Enos 1:8). Both Moroni and the Apostle Paul both gave us lists of people who received blessings only after they had faith (Ether 12:10-22, Hebrews 11).
Why must we exercise faith before receiving some blessings? The prophet Joseph Smith taught: “There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—and when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated” (Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21).
The Bible Dictionary teaches us that “blessings require some work or effort on our part before we can obtain them” (“Prayer,” Bible Dictionary). For some blessings, that effort is faith. Faith is a form of work, and when we exercise faith, we invite the power of God into our lives.
There are many different ways to exercise our faith. For example:
- Obeying a commandment from God, even when it is unpopular or difficult.
- Continuing to fulfill an assignment over time, even when the apparent return on our investment is negligible.
- Choosing not to panic or give up when we face challenges beyond our abilities.
- Patiently waiting for an outcome when there is nothing more we can do to help achieve it.
Each of these actions requires a proactive decision on our part and sustained effort over a period of time. That effort may be visible (through action) or invisible (in our thoughts and feelings). But either way, it is real.
Today, I will exercise my faith. I will remember that acting in faith will open blessings to me that I can receive in no other way.