Trusting Lord brings true security

The first principle of the gospel is not faith - "it is faith in the Lord Jesus Christ," declared Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Council of the Twelve at the General Young Women Meeting March 26.

"Without this faith," Elder Oaks explained, "the prophet Mormon said, we `are not fit to be numbered among the people of his church.' " (see Moro. 7:39.)Elder Oaks presided and was the final speaker during the meeting, held in the Tabernacle on Temple Square. Other speakers were Janette C. Hales, Young Women general president, who conducted the meeting; and her counselors, Virginia H. Pearce and Patricia P. Pinegar. (Please see related stories on page 4.) Each spoke on the meeting's theme, "Young Women of Faith."

Also attending the meeting were Elder Charles Didier of the Presidency of the Seventy, executive director of the Priesthood Department; and Elder W. Mack Lawrence of the Seventy, assistant executive director. In addition, the general presidencies of the Relief Society and Primary attended, along with two past general presidents of the Young Women, Elaine Cannon and Ruth Funk; and several past counselors.

The Young Women meeting was telecast live over the Church's satellite network to more than 3,000 meetinghouses in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Haiti, West Indies and Puerto Rico.

In previous years, young women, ages 12 to 18, attended the General Women's Meeting, held just before October general conference. Last year, however, the format was changed. A General Relief Society Meeting is now held before October conference, and a General Young Women Meeting before April general conference.

During the General Young Women Meeting, Elder Oaks explained: "Faith does not exist by itself. Faith requires an object. It must be faith in something or someone.

"In that respect, faith is like love," he explained. "Love is meaningless unless it is directed toward something or someone. We love our parents. We love our brothers and sisters. We love the Lord.

"Faith is the same. If we think we have faith, we should ask, faith in whom or faith in what? For some, faith is nothing more than faith in themselves. That is only self-confidence or self-centeredness.

"Others have faith in faith, which is something like relying on the power of positive thinking or betting on the proposition that we can get what we want by manipulating the powers within us."

Concerning faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, Elder Oaks explained that the scriptures teach that faith comes by hearing the word of God. "That word, which comes to us by scripture, by prophetic teaching and by personal revelation, teaches us that we are children of God, the Eternal Father. It teaches us about the identity and mission of Jesus Christ, His only begotten Son, our Savior and Redeemer."

Continuing, he said: "Faith must include trust. When we have faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, we must have trust in Him. We must trust Him enough that we are content to accept His will, knowing that He knows what is best for us.

"The kind of faith that includes trust in the Lord stands in contrast to many imitations. Some people trust no one but themselves. Some put their highest trust in a friend or another family member, perhaps because they feel that person is more righteous or more wise than they. But that is not the Lord's way. He told us to put our faith and our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ."

Elder Oaks said that the Savior was the model for this kind of faith and trust. "Remember how He prayed to the Father in the agony of Gethsemane? `Father, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.' (JST Luke 22:42.)

"Here we see the Savior's absolute faith and trust in the Father. Though the Son's request was denied, His prayer was answered. `And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him.' (JST Luke 22:43.) Strengthened from heaven to do the will of the Father, the Savior fulfilled His mission."

Elder Oaks explained that faith, no matter how strong it is, cannot produce a result contrary to the will of Him whose power it is. "The exercise of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is always subject to the order of heaven, to the goodness and will and wisdom and timing of the Lord. That is why we cannot have true faith in the Lord without also having complete trust in the Lord's will and in the Lord's timing.

"When we have that kind of faith and trust in the Lord, we have true security in our lives.

"My beloved young sisters," Elder Oaks exhorted, "each of you needs to build a reservoir of faith so you can draw upon it when someone you love or respect betrays you, when some scientific discovery seems to cast doubt on a gospel principle, or when someone makes light of sacred things, such as the name of God or the sacred ceremonies of the temple. You need to draw on your reservoir of faith when you are weak or when someone else calls on you to strengthen them. You also need to draw on your reservoir of faith when some requirement of Church membership or service interferes with your personal preferences.

"Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ prepares you for whatever life brings. This kind of faith prepares you to deal with life's opportunities - to take advantage of those that are received and to persist through the disappointments of those that are lost.

"Most importantly, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ opens the door of salvation and exaltation, `for no [oneT can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name.' (Moro. 7:38)."

Providing music for the meeting was a choir of young women from the Ben Lomond Utah, Ogden Utah Bay View and Ogden Utah Cliffview regions, under the direction of Evelyn Harris, with Linda Margetts accompanying. The choir included a violinist, Tamara Johnson; a flutist, Kristin Nilsen; and a vocal soloist, Merrilee Lloyd. Offering the invocation was Kelly Rowland of the Oak Hills 6th Ward, Provo Utah Oak Hills Stake, and the benediction was given by Sharon Larsen of the Young Women General Board.

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