Sunday, January 2, 2022

Elder Neil L. Andersen on choosing to nurture and grow in faith

Elder Neil L. Andersen (1951- ) served as a Seventy beginning in 1993, and was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 2009.
"Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is not something ethereal, floating loosely in the air. Faith does not fall upon us by chance or stay with us by birthright. It is, as the scriptures say, 'substance..., the evidence of things not seen' (Hebrews 11:1). Faith emits a spiritual light, and that light is discernible (see Alma 32:35). Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift from heaven that comes as we choose to believe and as we seek it and hold on to it. Your faith is either growing stronger or becoming weaker. Faith is a principle of power, important not only in this life but also in our progression beyond the veil (LoF 3). By the grace of Christ, we will one day be saved through faith on His name (Ephesians 2:8). The future of your faith is not by chance, but by choice....
"How we live our lives increases or diminishes our faith. Prayer, obedience, honesty, purity of thought and deed, and unselfishness increase faith. Without these, faith diminishes. Why did the Savior say to Peter, 'I have prayed for thee, that thy faith fail not' (Luke 22:32)? Because there is an adversary who delights in destroying our faith! Be relentless in protecting your faith....
"Although your beginning fire of faith may be small, righteous choices bring greater confidence in God, and your faith grows. The difficulties of mortality blow against you, and evil forces lurk in the darkness, hoping to extinguish your faith. But as you continue to make good choices, trust in God, and follow His Son, the Lord sends increased light and knowledge, and your faith becomes settled and unwavering."
- Neil L. Andersen, "Faith Is Not by Chance, but by Choice," General Conference, October 2015, Priesthood session
Click here to read the full talk

Elder Andersen's instructions on what faith is, and how to nurture and grow in faith, gave good reminders of this all-encompassing principle. He reminds us that "faith does not fall upon us by chance or stay with us by birthright" — each of us must choose to do the things that bring faith into our lives and then the things that help us retain it.

Obtaining and retaining the gift of faith depends on eternal principles: "Prayer, obedience, honesty, purity of thought and deed, and unselfishness increase faith." But we have to be on guard from an adversary who "delights in destroying our faith"; we must "be relentless in protecting [our] faith." The goal is to have faith that is "settled and unwavering."

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2021)
October 20, 2015

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