Saturday, September 26, 2015

The Gift of Faith

What is the greatest gift that I can give 

to myself and to my children?

The greatest gift that I can give is my faith in Jesus Christ. Why is this such a great gift?

Jesus Christ gave us life, and when we believe in Him, He gives us life even more abundantly. It is through Him that we all have life, the ability to think, and move, and do. And it is because of Him that we have the right to choose to believe or to not believe in His gracious gift and His never-ending love.

He is The Light of the World, and His light is manifest in all of His creations. Through Him we have life and without Him we do not. Even when we deny Him, He causes His sun to shine and his rain to fall on both the righteous and the unrighteous, the believers and the non-believers, because He is good and He loves us all.

To reap the blessings of His goodness while refusing to recognize His gifts shows lack of knowledge and absence of faith. To lay claim on the goodness within ourselves while denying Him shows an attitude of arrogance with misdirected praise.

The world teaches that people can be good in and of themselves whether they believe in God or not. But this reasoning is faulty. While people may believe that they are good on their own, they cannot even exist on their own. We all need God. The goodness that is inside us is from God even if we don't recognize it or Him.

Why is my faith in Jesus Christ important to me and why do I think that it is important to you? Jesus Christ wants our success. He loves us. He created this beautiful world in which we live, and He allows us experiences that build our character and bring us joy. More than that! He has our backs. He has paid the ultimate price, so that each time we fall, He is personally there to catch us and lift us back up. My faith in Jesus Christ is important, because I know He loves me and that He has redeemed me and that He will continue to redeem me; and He has and will do the same for you. His love knows no limits, even when ours is shaky at best. His power, His mercy, His love, and His glory are everlasting.

The hope that I have for happiness in my life stems from the faith I have in Jesus Christ and His promises. The hope that I have in my family and our happiness now and in our relationships in eternity are founded in His glorious gospel and the covenants and ordinances that He has provided to me for my safety and eternal progression.

We may think that we don’t need God and that we don’t need God’s Son. But do we need the air that we breathe? Because if we do, then we need Him. King Benjamin’s words are words of pleading, because He too knew that the greatest gift that He could give His people was His faith in Jesus Christ:

“Believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend.

“And again, believe that ye must repent of your sins and forsake them, and humble yourselves before God; and ask in sincerity of heart that he would forgive you; and now, if you believe all these things see that ye do them” (Mosiah 4:9-10).

Our good works are nothing without the goodness that He has poured into us through His creation and His sustaining power. Our haughty and our sincere efforts pale in comparison to the work of His atoning sacrifice for us, which gives us the power to be able to be good.

“I say unto you, my brethren, that if you should render all the thanks and praise which your whole soul has power to possess, to that God who has created you, and has kept and preserved you, and has caused that ye should rejoice, and has granted that ye should live in peace one with another—

"I say unto you that if ye should serve him who has created you from the beginning, and is preserving you from day to day, by lending you breath, that ye may live and move and do according to your own will, and even supporting you from one moment to another—I say, if ye should serve him with all your whole souls yet ye would be unprofitable servants.

“And behold, all that he requires of you is to keep his commandments; and he has promised you that if ye would keep his commandments ye should prosper in the land; and he never doth vary from that which he hath said; therefore, if ye do keep his commandments he doth bless you and prosper you.

“And now, in the first place, he hath created you, and granted unto you your lives, for which ye are indebted unto him.

“And secondly, he doth require that ye should do as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you; and therefore he hath paid you. And ye are still indebted unto him, and are, and will be, forever and ever; therefore, of what have ye to boast?

“And now I ask, can ye say aught of yourselves? I answer you, Nay. Ye cannot say that ye are even as much as the dust of the earth; yet ye were created of the dust of the earth; but behold, it belongeth to him who created you” (Mosiah 2:20-26).

I love Jesus, and the best gift that I can give myself and others is my faith in Him. King Benjamin was not emphasizing the unimportance of men, but the importance of Jesus Christ in our daily lives. Even though He makes His sun to rise and His rain to fall to bless us, we cannot count on Him giving us the gift of peace in this life and eternal life with Him and with our families in the next life if we do not love Him and keep His commandments. And that takes faith. Holding on to my faith and living my belief in Jesus Christ is the most important thing I can do and the very best gift that I have to give.

I am thankful for the many gifts God has given me: life, agency, family, friends, peace, faith, resurrection, and the prospect of eternal happiness and joy. 
I love my family; I love my friends; I love my Heavenly Father; and I love His Son, my Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.It is because of Him that I am able to enjoy everything else. 

When we are sad and feel alone, we just need to listen for our Father's voice. He loves us, and it will be all right.

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