Today a visitor stood up to share his testimony, and talked about how he had been searching for the truth since he was a boy. He'd been a member of another church, but when he read the Book of Mormon he knew it was true, and after much prayer he joined the LDS church. He went on to talk about all the positive changes that had come to his life.
He also mentioned how wonderful it was to visit our ward/congregation, and how he felt right at home just walking through the door -- that the members were as open and welcoming as those in his own ward.
It's always good to have those reminders of the blessings we already enjoy.
FaithTo me there always seemed to be two sides of faith. The first is believing that God exists without physical evidence. The second, the "principle of action" part, is believing that something good will come of your righteous efforts without having seen the results beforehand.
The first side is still hard to explain to non-believers, and I don't understand why God requires it*. But there's a lot of "why" questions I still don't understand.
The second side, however, makes much more sense to me. Discussing Alma 32 in Sunday School today, we talked about how seeds are planted, what they take to grow, how they grow, and how our faith starts out just like a seed.
Indeed it does take faith to take something that looks almost like a rock, press it down into prepared dirt mixed with dung, and water it until it sprouts. We believe that it will grow if we do those things, even though we've never seen that seed sprout before. Once we've seen it, our faith turns to knowledge.
But our faith in the Lord is like a seed that is planted. We're not sure if we believe or not, but we'd like to believe, so we put a little work into it. Prepare the ground and plant the seed, and see if it starts to grow into something good.
This works for almost everything in life -- put some effort in and try it out. Give it some time to see if it grows, and remember that although the plant is growing, the fruit almost never comes right away.
Also interesting is that seeds grow the best when planted in well-dunged soil -- the poor little seed must push through a relatively long stretch of dung before it ever sees the light. Drop a seed on rock gravel and it won't grow well.
I love fruit.