Updated: Aug 18, 2020
Today was fast and testimony meeting in my ward. I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and once a month we hold a fast. We fast for 2 meals, and donate that money to help others in need.
Our Sunday service on this particular Sunday looks like members from the congregation going up to bear their knowledge and testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ on this earth.
I haven’t born my testimony in a fast and testimony meeting since I was 12 years old.
I wanted to get up there, believe me. I can’t tell you how many Sundays I would sit in my seat, telling myself over and over to get up, to just stand and tell everyone what I know. But that is the problem, I don’t know if it‘s true. It felt like I would just be a liar, up there telling everyone what I know to be true, when I didn’t actually know. I felt so much shame around this. So I sat in my seat. I would watch person after person get up, and tell their truth. But, not me.
I realized something today though. I don’t have to ”know.” I just need to believe. And I wholeheartedly believe it to be true. I’ve witnessed many miracles that I believe to be from God. I have received many blessings and opportunities in my life, and I thank my Heavenly Father for them, because I believe it is because of Him.
I move forward.
Matthew 7:20 says, “...by their fruits ye shall know them.” I do know their fruits to be good. I do know how I feel as I follow the path laid out by prophets, as I pray, as I follow commandments, as I read scripture, as I listen to modern prophets and apostles, and as I attend church and fulfill callings within my ward. I feel peace. I feel joy. I feel love. I know walking this path leads to good fruit. I’ve seen it, I’ve felt it. And so, I move forward. I believe.
I believe God is looking over me and my family, and that His hand is on this earth through modern prophets and living angels. I believe that as I continue to follow what I believe to be true, I will be blessed and continue to see miracles. I will continue to find peace, joy, and love within the walls of my belief.
Mark 9:23 “...If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.”
Jesus promises us here that even if you don’t have the knowledge yet, belief will bring you all things. All things are possible if we just believe. This scripture passage is of a father who wants Jesus to heal his ailing son. Jesus asked if he believed, and the father said in verse 24, “...Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”
Even with Jesus Christ himself standing next to him ready to heal his son, this father asked for help in believing that Jesus could perform the miracle of healing. Even he struggled to know if Jesus could heal his son, but he asked for help. So, how can we ask the Savior for help even to just believe, and maybe one day to know? We ask. We pray.
We can all ask our Savior Jesus Christ for help in our belief. We may not know yet, but we can believe. And that’s ok. We are always on the exact right path we were always supposed to be on, and God will bless us with knowledge and belief along our journey here in mortality. Nothing has gone wrong because we don’t know.
And if we have even yet to believe? A desire is enough. Alma 32:27 says, “But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your facilities, even to an experiment upon my words,and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.”
A desire. We don’t even have to believe! And If we can’t even believe, just a desire to believe is more than enough. What a wonderful thing, not only do we not need to know, not only do we not need to believe, but we can have only a desire to believe. Just this desire alone, can move us forward in our testimony of God and His church. In Matthew 17:20 Jesus says, “Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, 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.“
Faith the size of a mustard seed. Truly remarkable. And all this time I thought I was a liar, sitting in my chair not knowing. That thought was the lie. All I needed was faith, faith the size of a mustard seed. Everyone walks by faith. All of us.
One of my favorite resources is a talk given by Jeffrey R. Holland called, “Lord I believe,” given in the April 2013 General Conference for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. He talks of a young 14 year-old boy who came up to him and declared, “’Brother Holland, I can’t say yet that I know the Church is true, but I believe it is.’ I hugged that boy until his eyes bulged out. I told him with all the fervor of my soul that belief is a precious word, and an even more precious act, and he need never apologize for only believing.... I told this boy that belief was always the first step toward conviction.... And I told him how very proud I was of him for the honesty of his quest.”
Elder Holland goes on to say, “...if your faith is a little tested in this or any season, I invite you to lean on mine.... Hope on. Journey on. Honestly acknowledge your questions and concerns, but first and forever fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe.”
So, hope on.
All things are possible to them that believe.