Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
Paul said, “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Hebrews 11:6). Without faith, we cannot be saved and hence cannot please God, who desires that all be saved. Faith means to know that God lives, but it also means to trust in Him. As Paul says, we must believe that “he is a reward of them that diligently seek him.” Unless we trust that God will fulfill His promises to us, and unless we trust God enough to keep His commandments, we do not truly have faith.
Mormons believe that our faith should be centered in Jesus Christ. Faith is more than believing Jesus exists, it means believing Him when He says that you will be forgiven of your sins and saved in His Kingdom. It means trusting in Him enough to keep the commandments or fulfill one’s promises to God. Faith in Jesus Christ consists in trusting that He has all power and can fulfill His promises to resurrect all mankind and save from sin those who repent and follow Him as their leader. Those who have faith in God will have the courage to keep His commandments, even when obedience is difficult.
Having faith means that you will act on your beliefs. Merely believing or thinking that there is a God or that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world is not sufficient. In His masterful Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said that, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 7:21). The Apostle James said of those who merely believe, but do not act on that belief: “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:19-20).
Faith is a gift from God to those who diligently seek Him. We develop faith over time by opening ourselves to the influence of the Holy Spirit. The first step is to be humble and teachable. If we are arrogant, then the Spirit of God cannot work within us. We must desire to believe. Even if we cannot at first believe, we should desire to believe. The Book of Mormon compares this to planting a seed and watering it. For example, if a person wanted to know if the Book of Mormon was true, he or she would read it and ponder its teachings through sincere prayer and meditation. This is planting the seed.
Next, the seed must be nourished. A person nurtures the seed through prayer, scripture study, service to others, and keeping the commandments. So, a person praying about the Book of Mormon would begin applying its teachings to his or her life. The Book of Mormon compares this to planting and watering a seed or exercising a particle of faith (see Alma 32:18-43, pgs 289-291). The Holy Sprit will enter a person’s heart and confirm that what they are studying and doing is correct. If we do not experiment with our faith by keeping the commandments, praying, and attending church, the Spirit will not tell us whether the scriptures are true. Therefore, faith comes as we try following and studying the scriptures. We must ask ourselves: “could this be true?” As we live hoping and desiring to know if something is true, we will over time come know for sure by the Holy Spirit.
Mormons strive to develop their faith through study, prayer, service, and obedience to God’s commandments. Faith is a form of spiritual work and character-shaping, in conjunction with the miracle of Christ’s Atonement. Mormons often refer to their personal faith as their testimony and refer to telling others about their faith as “bearing testimony.”