Faith: First Requirement

I personally have always struggled with faith. The simple idea of faith. Faith in people, faith in marriage, faith in life working out. I know most of these come from past experiences and they each have helped  me learn and grow. When I was about 18, I went through something extremely hard for me to understand, to work through and have faith in… anything really. I felt lost and I didn’t know what I wanted in life or who I really was. In an attempt to know myself, I rummaged through old keepsakes and journals to try to find myself. I came across my personal progress that I had completed in high school. I remember mostly rushing though everything to check it off as another accomplishment I had earned.  I decided to rework through it, starting with faith. Faith was something I had to relearn.

One of the lights of my life and one of the people that held me together was my would be husband, we were friends all during the drama and he actually still wanted to stick around and even asked to stay with me forever. We married the June before I turned 20, which looking back was fast and soon but the way things were meant to be for us.

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“When Life is hard, remember – we are not the first ones to ask, ‘is there no other way?'” -Jeffery R Holland

Later when I had been married for about a year, I found out I was pregnant. Unplanned and upsetting at the time, I felt like I was losing myself again. I felt as though I would lose my potential singing/songwriting career, that I would never attain that worldly success I’ve craved since birth and having taken on a heavy load at home while growing up, I already felt resentful and overwhelmed. Apparently I’m nostalgic and a creature of habit because I again went rummaging through my journals and memorabilia and decided to restart my personal progress.

020(Here’s the cute little man)

Both times I had very different perspectives and both times I grew in very different ways.

Soon after little man was born we moved to Dothan, AL for my husband’s medical school at ACOM. We bought our first house, a HUGE deal for me and a world changer.


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Alabama College of Osteopathic Medicine

When my little man was about a year and a half I felt like he needed a friend and quickly became pregnant with my little lady. She was my little turkey and perfect! Her birth was a bit complicated and I had a few side-effects (Diastasis Recti and Hypothyroidism) that I have definitely learned and grown from.

Why Start a Blog?

Pregnant with Little Lady

Now I have a new calling in the Young Women’s program in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. I now have two kids and a husband finishing up medical school out in Huntsville, AL. Of course life still has struggles and I am so grateful to have this calling. It gave me a chance to go through personal progress all over again without rummaging though packed boxes. HA! Seriously though, my life needs some growth and God knew I was struggling with feeling like I’ve lost my identity in my kids’ lives and supporting a home with a medical student wife life.

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Family Photo 2015

To be unique this time, I will do a project after each Value Experience.

Here goes!

Personal Progress:

Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true (Alma 32:21).

  1. The first principle of the gospel is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Learn about faith from the scriptures and living prophets.
    1. Read Hebrews 11;This chapter of Hebrews recounts the stories of those who were faithful. Who, by their faith in God, did many hard and unimaginable things without giving in and sometimes even allowing pain and death. I have not moved a physical mountain, I have not birthed a baby in my old age, and I have not wandered in the wilderness nor lived in caves to live my faith. I struggle with living my faith in commandments like keeping the Sabbath day holy and coveting. If I can commit to live my faith, keeping the Sabbath Day would “be a delight” (Nelson). For all I know, that is my wandering in the desert or living in a cave by cutting myself off from the world for just a day and focus on the Lord’s will. Coveting is defined as: to desire wrongfully, inordinately, or without due regard for the rights of others, to wish for, especially eagerly, and finally it could also mean to have an inordinate or wrongful desire. For myself, I am often in the second definition, “to wish for, especially eagerly”. If I had faith in the Lord’s plan, would I wish so eagerly? I think not, I would ask earnestly at first and then trust in His plan while I acted without knowing the outcome versus sitting and wishing eagerly for the outcome. One day I hope to live a life of complete faith. It sounds so splendidly stress-free! Heaven knows mama needs some stress-free in house of two toddlers. HA!
    2.  Alma 32:17–43;I think this passage is most known for the seed analogy for explaining Faith. What struck me most this time was “Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart” I find with my busy life and the walls I’ve put up from previous trials I find it a little hard to “give place” because I refuse to even give things a thought let alone room to figure out how I feel about  them. Even on a person to person level, for so long I resist to let people in and be friends or have a lasting relationship. I think for a small step for me would be to have faith in people but starting with one person.
    3. Ether 12:6–22;Sum-up: these are examples of those who received a witness after a trial of their faith. Key word is AFTER. I have found that I am one of those who need a sign to hold me over during my trial. I waiver. I don’t have death hanging over my head, I am not waiting for Christ to appear as a resurrected being, nor am I imprisoned (unless you call a rainy day with two toddlers being imprisoned). I want to be a Brother of Jared, one who cannot be “kept from within the veil” but I can’t even make it though a rough day with toddlers without a cry out for some divine intervention. Faith, I’m learning is a huge first step. One that needs to be taken a little bit at a time.
    4.  Joseph Smith—History 1:11–20.Joseph Smith’s experience is something I tried to reproduce as a child in my backyard in GA. We had tons of land behind our house and I would wander far enough to be out of sight and I would pray about many things. I never expected anything but some peace and inner guidance.
    5. Read two general conference talks on faith.
FACE THE FUTURE WITH FAITH BY RUSSELL M. NELSON:
  • “Start with your children. You parents bear the primary responsibility to strengthen their faith. Let them feel your faith, even when sore trials come upon you. Let your faith be focused on our loving Heavenly Father and His Beloved Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. Teach that faith with deep conviction. Teach each precious boy or girl that he or she is a child of God, created in His image, with a sacred purpose and potential. Each is born with challenges to overcome and faith to be developed.”
  • “Why do we need such resilient faith? Because difficult days are ahead. Rarely in the future will it be easy or popular to be a faithful Latter-day Saint. Each of us will be tested. The Apostle Paul warned that in the latter days, those who diligently follow the Lord “shall suffer persecution.”12 That very persecution can either crush you into silent weakness or motivate you to be more exemplary and courageous in your daily lives.”
  • “How you deal with life’s trials is part of the development of your faith. Strength comes when you remember that you have a divine nature, an inheritance of infinite worth. The Lord has reminded you, your children, and your grandchildren that you are lawful heirs, that you have been reserved in heaven for your specific time and place to be born, to grow and become His standard bearers and covenant people. As you walk in the Lord’s path of righteousness, you will be blessed to continue in His goodness and be a light and a savior unto His people”
FAITH IS NOT BY CHANCE, BUT BY CHOICE BY NEIL L. ANDERSEN
  • “The Savior perceived the strength or weakness in the faith of those around Him. To one, He said approvingly, “Great is thy faith.”1 He lamented to another, “O ye of little faith.”2 He questioned others, “Where is your faith?”3 And Jesus distinguished yet another with, “[In all Israel] I have not found so great faith.”4
  • “How we live our lives increases or diminishes our faith. Prayer, obedience, honesty, purity of thought and deed, and unselfishness increase faith. Without these, faith diminishes. Why did the Savior say to Peter, “I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not”?12 Because there is an adversary who delights in destroying our faith! Be relentless in protecting your faith.”
  • Addressing honest questions is an important part of building faith, and we use both our intellect and our feelings. The Lord said, “I will tell you in your mind and in your heart.”13 Not all answers will come immediately, but most questions can be resolved through sincere study and seeking answers from God. Using our mind without our heart will not bring spiritual answers. “The things of God knoweth no man, but [through] the Spirit of God.”14 And to help us, Jesus promised us “another Comforter” and called Him “even the Spirit of truth.”15
    1. Exercise your own faith by establishing a habit of prayer in your life. Begin by regularly saying your morning and evening prayers.
      1. After three weeks of following this pattern, discuss with a parent or leader what you have learned about faith
      2. how daily personal prayer has strengthened your faith.
      3. In your journal express your feelings about faith and prayer.

Project!

I FIND THE BEST WAY TO REALLY LEARN SOMETHING AND BE ABLE TO FULLY APPLY IT TO YOUR LIFE YOU TEACH THE CONCEPT TO SOMEONE ELSE. TO SEE WHAT I’VE DONE FOR MY PROJECT CHECK OUT NEXT WEEK’S BLOG POST!

“Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies.”-Mother Teresa

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