During times of uncertainty and testing, the Lord freely gives His sustaining power of faith, said Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve.
"God has given us the capacity to exercise faith that we may find peace, joy and purpose in life," Elder Scott said Sunday morning. "However, to employ its power, faith must be founded on something. There is no more solid foundation than faith in the love Father in Heaven has for you, faith in His plan of happiness and faith in the capacity and willingness of Jesus Christ to fulfill all of His promises."
For some, faith is not understood and not used to full advantage, he added. Those who have tried to exercise faith but felt no benefit have likely not understood the principles upon which faith is founded. Elder Scott outlined several such principles:
- Trust in God and in His willingness to provide help when needed no matter how challenging the circumstances.
- Obey His commandments and live to demonstrate that He can trust you.
- Be sensitive to the quiet prompting of the Spirit.
- Act courageously on the prompting.
- Be patient and understanding when God lets you struggle to grow. Answers come a piece at a time over an extended period.
"Every time you 'try your faith,' that is, act in worthiness on an impression, you will receive the confirming evidence of the Spirit," Elder Scott said. "Those feelings will fortify your faith. As you repeat the pattern your faith will become stronger."
God will not always immediately reward His followers according to their desires, he said.
"Sincere faith gives understanding and strength to accept the will of our Heavenly Father when it differs from our own. We can accept His will with peace and assurance, confident that His infinite wisdom surpasses our own ability to comprehend fully His plan as it unfolds a piece at a time," Elder Scott said.
The Church leader said faith is not simply a button one pushes for answers. He said he personally has experienced "the grueling, anguishing struggle that precedes a confirming answer," adding such experiences have been edifying.
The Lord uses faith to mold one's character.
"Strong moral character results from consistent correct choices in the trials and testing of life," Elder Scott said. "Your faith can guide you to those correct choices."
Faith can also forge "strength of character" that can be available in times of urgent need, he added.
"The bedrock of character is integrity. Worthy character will strengthen your capacity to obediently respond to the direction of the Spirit."
The axiom "You get what you pay for" is true for spiritual rewards, he noted.
"You get what you pay for in obedience, in faith in Jesus Christ, in diligent application of the truths that you learn," Elder Scott said. "What you get is the molding of your character, with growth in capacity, and the successful completion of your purpose here on earth to grow through being proven."