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Finding Faith in a Secular World

It is sometimes challenging to find faith amidst the cacophony of voices and ideas in society today. Attention is easily diverted by a modern lifestyle, especially with the swipe of a finger. Careless choices are constantly being made, which can slowly erode or redefine the values held most dear, contributing to the loss of faith. Amongst all the noise, members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints choose to listen to the still, small voice of the Spirit. This personal guidance anchors the faithful soul in an increasingly secular world.

Through the prophet Joseph Smith, Jesus Christ said, “Draw near unto me and I will draw near unto you” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:63). Choosing to draw near to Jesus Christ is to choose to have faith and to lead a religious life. Three key doctrines of Christ anchor the soul to those things of most worth.

Recognize Him. Mormons believe in a loving Heavenly Father who cares about the lives of His children. Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles spoke of a time when his prayer asking for comfort was answered through a specific hymn being sung during a church meeting. The words of this hymn were the message he needed to hear at that exact moment, yet the hymn had been pre-selected many months in advance.

“Some may count this experience as simply a nice coincidence,” he noted, “but I testify that the tender mercies of the Lord are real and that they do not occur randomly or merely by coincidence. … We should not underestimate or overlook the power of the Lord’s tender mercies. The simpleness, the sweetness, and the constancy of the tender mercies … will do much to fortify and protect us in the troubled times in which we do now … live” (“The Tender Mercies of the Lord,” Apr. 2005 general conference).

Thank Him. A Mormon hymn encourages, “Count your many blessings; name them one by one, and it will surprise you what the Lord has done” (“Count Your Blessings,” Hymns, no. 241). Additionally, Thomas S. Monson, former president of the Church, once asked Church members to “cultivate … an attitude of gratitude” (“An Attitude of Gratitude,” Apr. 1992 general conference). Thankfulness to the Lord for His blessings is an antidote to skepticism and doubt. Life becomes more organized and purposeful when God is acknowledged.

President Henry B. Eyring of the First Presidency once spoke to the Church about keeping a long-time journal. For many years he noted in his journal each day how his family’s life was touched by the hand of the Lord. He shared: “As I would cast my mind over the day, I would see evidence of what God had done for one of us that I had not recognized in the busy moments of the day. As that happened … I realized that trying to remember had allowed God to show me what He had done. More than gratitude began to grow in my heart. Testimony grew. I became ever more certain that our Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers” (“O Remember, Remember,” Oct. 2007 general conference).

Serve Him. Faith is more than just a feeling or belief. Faith is action. Through reaching out to others and forming deep relationships, faith develops and fights apathy, loneliness and isolation. When faith seems to waver, we can look around, see the needs of others and get to work.

Sister Jean Bingham, president of the Relief Society (the Church’s women’s organization), commented: “When our hearts are open and willing to love and include, encourage and comfort, the power of our ministering will be irresistible. With love as the motivation, miracles will happen” (“Ministering as the Savior Does,” Apr. 2018 general conference).

Faith can flourish in today’s world. Hearts can find God, lives can be changed, apathy can be overcome and doubts can be silenced. We can shore up our own faith by exercising these principles regularly.

Contributed by Janine Thompson

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