Hand in Hand: Faith

{this post is second in a series of nine about how the Young Women’s theme and values have helped me prepare for a mission. You can find the first post here.}

Faith is definitely the first of the values in the Young Women’s theme for a reason. It is the foundation of all of the other values, and indeed, the foundation of testimony itself. Faith is what is spurring me towards serving a mission. One of my favorite scriptures has always been Hebrews 11, where the apostle Paul gives in his epistle a series of examples of the faithful throughout history. Each exemplar has a verse or two – not much when you think about what you read of them in the Bible – but it is short, sweet, and to the point. Paul points to Abel, Noah, Abraham and Isaac, Moses, Gideon, Joseph, and Samson, among others. He does not name Mary and Martha, the sisters of Lazarus, but they are there in those verses.

Faith in the Savior Leads to Action

The Personal Progress chapter on faith talks about how faith is required to live the Gospel. Living the Gospel faithfully has brought me personally to the path of serving a mission.  My personal faith requires me to act – to be constantly progressing towards my Savior, and to help others along the way feel His love for them. As my faith grows, so does my desire to be active in the gospel.

What do I have faith in?

I have faith that my Heavenly Father loves me, and wants the best for me.

I have faith that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true.

I have faith that no matter what happens in the mission field, that God will be my guide and protector.

I have faith that I will teach, and more importantly, I will learn, by the spirit of God.

I have faith in the Lord’s plan for me and for my life, but also for the plans He has for my family.

I was in an Institute class once where we were discussing the subject. One of my classmates noted that, “you have to have faith to take that leap of faith.”

Serving a mission for me is a huge leap of faith. It requires all I have to trust in the Lord. It’s terrifying to me – to go somewhere I’ve never been, to teach people who won’t necessarily like me or like what I have to share, to be entrusted with a message from the LORD. It’s a huge responsibility – one of the greatest I will ever be called to bear.Faith in Christ

But that’s the thing about faith. You have to push yourself beyond your comfort zone and believe that the Lord will be there every step of the way, no matter how dark or terrifying things might seem. You have to have faith in the fact that the Atonement is for more than sin. It’s for sorrow and discouragement, for pain and for suffering. The Atonement is a source of strength, no matter how dark the journey seems or how long the storm seems to blow.

Faith helps me to live the gospel principles key to missionary preparation – prayer, fasting, repentance. Without faith in these principles and what they mean, they are empty motions and don’t do you any good.

I think about faith, and I think about the missionaries who taught me over the years. In order to teach the principle of faith, they themselves needed to have it. For a long time, I thought the Articles of Faith merely outlined what we as Latter-day Saints believed. While that is true, I realized that it also outlines what we have faith in. These points are key not only to what we believe, but what I have faith in, and what I want to share with others. My faith drives me.

My faith drives me closer to my Heavenly Father, and to my Savior. My faith drives me closer to my family. My faith drives me closer to my friends and loved ones. My faith drives me share what it is that I love, and so, it drives me to serve a mission.

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