22 August 2013

"When the Spirit touches the heart, hearts are changed." -Elder M. Russell Ballard

 

It is so interesting to me that the closer one becomes to God - the more one's actions are aligned with God's - essentially the better one becomes - the more humble one becomes. The better we are, the lesser we see of ourselves, and the more we see of God. It is only by good works, only by our best behavior, that we begin to think of ourselves less; realize our necessary dependance on the grace of our Savior, and truly begin to see our "nothingness". 

I genuinely believe the first step to gaining faith is by humility. There are times I get so impatient with my Heavenly Father, yet in my Father's perfection and glory He will never get impatient with me. In my vain imagination I think my plan makes more sense than His plan. I want to know His will for me and why it is His will for me, but having faith does not include knowing the things I so desperately want to know. The faith I have developed began with the overwhelming assurance that my Heavenly Father and Savior love me. They know me personally. My Savior atoned for me. The assurance of those things, that I know with my whole heart to be true, is what planted the seed of faith in my heart.

"There are two kinds of faith. One of them functions ordinarily in the life of every soul. It is the kind of faith born by experience; it gives us certainty that a new day will dawn... There is another kind of faith. This is the kind of faith that causes things to happen. It is the kind of faith that is worthy and prepared and unyielding... It is the kind of faith that moves people... the kind of faith that sometimes moves things... It is a marvelous, even a transcendent power, a power as real and as invisible as electricity...

Faith, to be faith, must center around something that is not known... Faith, to be faith, must go into the unknown. Faith, to be faith, must walk into the light, and then a few steps into darkness..." 
-Elder Boyd K. Packer

That kind of faith does not come without great effort on our part, and I believe the first step to gaining that type of faith is by seeing our nothingness. It is by seeing that our Heavenly Father and Savior are the only real source of light. It is by seeing that we need grace and mercy more than we would like to admit. It is by separating the sin from the sinner. It is by admitting that we are not any better than anyone else. As President James E. Faust says, "Faith... is planted in the fertile ground of a soft heart." And a soft heart comes from humility, meekness, and a complete submission to our Father's will.

I'm so grateful to Alma, and I'm grateful for the stories of his goodness and strength. I'm particularly grateful to the brethren in poverty, for the "lowly in heart" that come to Alma and his brethren, who have been cast away by the Zoramites. I'm grateful for their example of humility. I'm grateful for Alma's words, "because ye are compelled to be humble, blessed are ye." I'm grateful for The Lord's patience with me. I'm grateful for the grace and mercy He extends to me - heaven knows I need it. I am so grateful for The Book of Mormon, and I know that it is true.