I was baptized less then a year ago over Thanksgiving break and have truly enjoyed learning about the scriptures so far in a way that I never imagined possible. This is my first time reading through the entire Book of Mormon and I have been so surprised to see the messages of our Heavenly Father coming to us through the scriptures. Before I was introduced to the church I had been an atheist for 18 years of my life. One of the hardest things to learn when investigation the gospel was to have unconditional faith in the Lord and so I want to write this first blog about faith and how it can bring happiness into our lives and how it has brought happiness and hope to me.
As I read 1 Nephi 2:9-10, I liked what Lehi said to his two sons about what he hoped for them in their lives and about living righteously. He said to Laman “O that thou mightest be like unto this river, continually running into the fountain of all righteousness!” This is how we should all live our lives, by constantly trying to be righteous and do the right thing. Although Laman and Lemuel struggle with this at times I don’t think they want to be bad people. In our lives I think we all try to live a life of righteousness but sometimes stray from the path. Lehi then said to Lemuel, “O that thou mightest be like unto this valley, firm and steadfast, and immovable in keeping the commandments of the Lord!” This scripture means so much to me in that we must have faith that is strong enough to withstand the pressures and temptations of the world around us. For members there are constantly the temptations of alcohol, complacency or indecency. Through our strong faith in the gospel and scriptures we can feel confident and happy with our lifestyle.
In 1 Nephi 3:15 Nephi and his brothers fail to get the plates from Laban and Laman and Lemuel become discouraged and doubt that their task that has been given to them by the Lord is even possible. Nephi tells them “As the Lord liveth, and as we live, we will not go down unto our father in the wilderness until we have accomplished that thing which the Lord hath commanded us.” Nephi demonstrates that even though their task seems impossible, he has unwavering faith that the Lord would not ask them to do something if he didn’t give them a way. This scripture reiterates the fact that the Lord wants us to be happy and successful and even though our path may not make sense at the time, we must have faith that Heavenly Father has a plan for us that will make us happy. There are times in my life when I think that it is too hard and there is no way this could be the right path, but I remember to have faith that everything will work out in the end.
1 Nephi 8:9-10 Lehi has a vision and says “after I had prayed unto the Lord I beheld a large and spacious field. And it came to pass that I beheld a tree, whose fruit was desirable to make one happy.” To me the open field symbolizes the fact that in our lives if we follow a path of faith, a whole world of opportunities will open up to us. The field he describes is a wonderful and inviting place that is full of fruit that brings us happiness. The Lord wants us to have choices and through those choices happiness. When we partake of the fruit we bring happiness into our lives and it gives us the opportunity to share it with others. Later on in verse 12 he expresses his feelings to share the fruit with his family. Through our faith we have the opportunity to share the gifts in our lives with the people around us.
Later on in the vision in verses 20, 23, and 24 Lehi explains the rod of ion and how it is the path we can follow to the Lord. This iron rod represents the strength of our faith in the path that we choose to follow in our lives. But with faith comes lack of faith which is described by Lehi, “And it came to pass that there arose a mist of darkness; yea, even an exceedingly great mist of darkness, insomuch that they who had commenced in the path did lose their way, that they wandered off and were lost.” Without faith in our lives we can find ourselves in a similar mist. Before I joined the church I had no idea that I was lost. Having steadfast faith and belief in something brings hope and direction into our lives. Where there was once darkness, light and hope no reign.
Knowing these things and having a testimony of faith gives me confidence in my life and in the church. I know that anything is possible through faith and diligence and that I will be happy by following the messages of the scriptures. 1 Nephi 9:6 states “But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men; for behold, he hath all power unto the fulfilling of all his words.” The Lord will give us a way to accomplish our dreams and desires even if we don’t see the path right away. All we need is a little faith.
The Book of Mormon Another Testament of Jesus Christ