Moving Mountains

Jesus offered the following words of assurance to a group of frustrated apostles who had tried and failed to cast a devil out of a young man:

If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Matthew 17:20; see also Matthew 21:21, Mark 11:23, Luke 17:6

The imagery is dramatic: A mustard seed is very small. A mountain is huge and apparently immovable. Jesus clearly wanted His apostles to know that even with a small amount of faith in Him, they could accomplish seemingly impossible things.

The apostle Paul referenced this imagery in his first epistle to the Corinthians: “Though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains,” he said, “and have not charity, I am nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:2).

Book of Mormon prophets used this imagery to illustrate the power of faith. Jacob wanted his descendants to know that he and his people had enjoyed great spiritual blessings:

We search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.

Jacob 4:6

And Moroni praised the faith of earlier generations of his people in this way:

In his name could they remove mountains; and in his name could they cause the earth to shake; and by the power of his word did they cause prisons to tumble to the earth; yea, even the fiery furnace could not harm them, neither wild beasts nor poisonous serpents, because of the power of his word.

Mormon 8:24

Moroni even recorded a literal instance of a person moving a mountain:

For the brother of Jared said unto the mountain Zerin, Remove—and it was removed. And if he had not had faith it would not have moved.

Ether 12:30

President Russell M. Nelson has encouraged us to think of the mountains in these passages as a metaphor for the challenges we each face:

Through your faith, Jesus Christ will increase your ability to move the mountains in your life, even though your personal challenges may loom as large as Mount Everest.

Your mountains may be loneliness, doubt, illness, or other personal problems. Your mountains will vary, and yet the answer to each of your challenges is to increase your faith. That takes work. Lazy learners and lax disciples will always struggle to muster even a particle of faith….

Faith in Jesus Christ is the greatest power available to us in this life. All things are possible to them that believe.

Your growing faith in Him will move mountains—not the mountains of rock that beautify the earth but the mountains of misery in your lives. Your flourishing faith will help you turn challenges into unparalleled growth and opportunity.

Christ Is Risen; Faith in Him Will Move Mountains,” General Conference, April 2021, italics in original

Today, I will strive to increase my faith in Jesus Christ. I will remember that with even a small amount of faith, the Savior can help me move the mountains in my life.

2 thoughts on “Moving Mountains

Add yours

  1. More wonderful insights!! Thank you Brother Anderson.
    You may want to remove Moroni and put in the mountain of Mormon:)
    Very much grow from your regular mountain moving inspirations!!
    Thank you!


    1. Thank you for the correction! I had incorrectly labeled the quote as “Moroni 8:24” instead of “Mormon 8:24.” I just fixed it. I’m glad you noticed that mistake and let me know. Thank you for your kind comments about the blog!


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