A Lesson on Faith

Yesterday at church a young father told us how he planned to chat with his 5 year old daughter and teach her about the meaning of faith. It turned out that she taught her daddy how strong the faith of a child can be.

He asked her, “Do you know Jesus?”

She replied, “Yes daddy, I know Jesus.”

At this point, he was tempted to ask, “How do you know Jesus?”, but the look on her face said, “Sure, don’t you?”

This caused the dad to reflect on his own faith in the Savior. He said that this short conversation with his daughter strengthened his faith that Jesus lives, and that he loves His children unconditionally.

On matters of faith, children can teach we adults some eternal lessons. When they believe, it is without reservation or condition. As we get older, gain more experience in the world, and become more educated, we have an inherent tendency to doubt the things we cannot see. In other words, we begin to hold more faith in the natural world than the spiritual world.

As a man with a science background, I am all too familiar with the premise that if you can’t prove something in the physical world, it may not be true. That makes believing in God a bit difficult. But then I began to ask questions about the physical world. How does this exist? How did this develop without direction? Why am I here? What come next? If there is a God, why does He love me? If there is a devil, why does he hate me?

And then there are the scriptures. About the Bible, I wondered how it could have been preserved for so long without some type of intervention? When I was introduced to the Book of Mormon, I wondered how a poorly educated young man could have written or translated it without divine assistance? I felt very frustrated that, for me, reading scriptures was an exercise in futility! It was like reading an incomprehensible foreign language. I had difficulty understanding even the basics of what was in these books.

One day, knowing of my frustration, a loving bishop gave me some insight that changed my life. Here it is: all scriptures were written by divine revelation, so doesn’t it make sense that understanding them can only be accomplished with revelation? That made perfect sense to me! Then he gave me the “key” to understanding. “Shep, before you read your scriptures, say a personal prayer asking for personal revelation to understand what you are about to read. After that, start asking in prayer for answers to concerns or questions you may be dealing with before reading.”

Ever since that day, my understanding and comprehension of the scriptures have increased manyfold. Essentially, as I exercised faith, I gained knowledge. Faith is the foundation of knowing what is true. I’m sure I knew that when I was a small child, but along the way I forgot the basic foundation of knowing God. Children have so much to teach us!

With knowledge comes responsibility. Knowing that God lives, that Jesus is the Christ, and that He loves us, is not enough. If we know it, it is our responsibility to share it. True, I can’t prove all this in the physical world, but I testify that I have had personal experiences that have proven to me that this is true.

I discovered that once we gain faith, we will receive personal revelation and experiences that confirm that God is real, and that the scriptures are true. Faith and prayer are very powerful teachers. They bring us back to see things as that sweet little five year old girl. I know Jesus. Don’t you?

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