The Liahona Magazine

Resetting Our Spiritual Circuit Breakers

Faith in Jesus Christ brings us power and strength.

person with a lantern resetting a circuit breaker

In February 2021, Texas faced record low temperatures. The freeze impacted millions of people, resulting in broken pipes, power outages, and loss of heat. My daughter’s family, like so many others, experienced a complete loss of electrical power. She bundled up her little children in coats and blankets so they could stay warm.

After several days surviving arctic-like conditions, my daughter noticed lights on in a neighboring apartment. She was grateful to learn that power had been restored. But she was shocked to discover that it had actually been restored days before. She had failed to notice that a circuit breaker had been tripped. The power was already there. She simply needed to flip the breaker back on!

As I thought about my daughter’s experience, I realized that each of us also has what we could call a “spiritual circuit breaker.”

Light of the World, painting of Jesus Christ

portrait of Jesus Christ

Light of the World, by Brent Borup

Perfect Power

Exercising faith in Jesus Christ provides immense power from God. Day by day, that power can flow into our lives. We may become so used to it that we don’t even notice. His power is always there for us. Then, sometimes we hit a spiritual crisis and wonder if the power has been lost. At such times we must choose to exercise faith so that we can continue to receive His promised power. By doing this, we might say, we are resetting our spiritual circuit breaker.

“It is our faith that unlocks the power of God in our lives,” President Russell M. Nelson said. He also taught: “The Lord does not require perfect faith for us to have access to His perfect power. But He does ask us to believe.”1 Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue—it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know.”2

“The Lord does not require perfect faith for us to have access to His perfect power.”—President Russell M. Nelson

Whatever level of faith we might have, when we choose to believe in Christ, we can count on His power to help us.

Diagnosed with bone cancer at age 14, Mason (above and at right with his family) met the challenge with faith. His mother relates, “Mason still battled with fear, but he chose to not let it limit his faith and love.”Diagnosed with bone cancer at age 14, Mason met the challenge with faith. His mother relates, “Mason still battled with fear, but he chose to not let it limit his faith and love.”

Photographs courtesy of Mason’s familyPhotograph courtesy of Mason’s family

A Choice to Face Fear with Faith

In August of 2021 my wife and I met a dear couple whose friendship we have come to cherish. Their son, Mason, had just been diagnosed with a rare bone cancer known as osteosarcoma. Prior to the diagnosis, he was by all appearances a healthy 14-year-old with a sore leg and stained baseball uniform from sliding into home plate.

Soon, however, Mason’s life seemed to capsize. He was abruptly launched into daunting discussions with medical professionals about chemotherapy, radiation, surgery, possible amputation, and life expectancy. His mom describes what happened when doctors asked if he would like to know the probability of survival: “After a long silence of processing new and overwhelming emotion, tears silently fell to the floor. He boldly answered, ‘No, thank you! I’m good!’ With those few words, he resolutely began choosing how he would face his trial.”

Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said, “Faith never demands an answer to every question but seeks the assurance and courage to move forward, sometimes acknowledging, ‘I don’t know everything, but I do know enough to continue on the path of discipleship.’”3 Faith manifests itself when we choose to move forward, not knowing what comes next.

Mason’s cancer was aggressive. His body rebelled against each life-extending treatment. His mother shares, “We felt an overwhelming desire to freeze time, but time moved forward and we experienced the loss of everything we had known as normal.” She continues, “Alongside the crushing fear of the future, we also witnessed the creation of strength, power, and peace beyond our earthly capabilities. We had no other explanation than this: God amplified our capacities. We received miracles, though different than those we wanted at the onset.”

Not Shrinking

Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles once asked Elder Neal A. Maxwell (1926–2004) what lessons he had learned while suffering from leukemia. Elder Maxwell responded, “I have learned that not shrinking is more important than surviving.”4 Choosing not to shrink requires action even in the face of fear. But it invokes power beyond mortal capacity.

Isaiah teaches, “He giveth power to the faint; and to them that have no might he increaseth strength” (Isaiah 40:29). When the people of Alma were faced with seemingly insurmountable suffering, the Lord comforted them because of their faith in Him. They submitted to His will and received power to bear the burdens placed upon them. (See Mosiah 24:13–16.)

Strength within Sorrow

Mason’s mother recounts, “One night Mason walked by the bedroom where I was saying prayers with his eight-year-old sister. Through her tears she voiced her worries about her brother. I held her tightly, and we cried together. Mason kneeled beside us and wrapped us both in his weakening arms. He chose to wade deep into uncomfortable emotions and set aside his personal fear so he could help his sister and me. He strengthened us to face our sorrow by joining us in our sorrow.”

Mason with his family

Photograph courtesy of Mason’s family

The scriptures say the sons of Helaman “did think more upon the liberty of their fathers than they did upon their lives” (Alma 56:47). They focused more on their love for their family than on their own circumstances. Mason, too, found strength beyond his own by prioritizing his love for his family above his own emotions, fear, and doubt.

“Mason realized he didn’t need to wait to be cured before his faith was strengthened,” his mother says. “He was able to trust in God, and this enabled him to loosen his grip on his own vulnerability. I watched miracles unfold within our family and even within the community as God helped us see that love was—and is—more powerful than fear. Mason still battled with fear, but he chose to not let it limit his faith and love.”

Having faith is not a onetime event. Daily decisions to trust in God, made over and over again, bind us to Him and His power.

Just six months after his initial diagnosis, Mason courageously graduated from mortality. He repeatedly chose to let God prevail and was delivered from all his fears.

Faith to Move Mountains

Those who choose faith in Christ can anticipate this great welcome from our Savior: “Well done, good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord” (Matthew 25:23).

President Nelson has lovingly warned us that in the days ahead we are going to need God’s power.5 That power is available to all who press forward with faith in Christ. No matter what our trials may be, the answer is to switch on our spiritual circuit breaker and rely on His power.

“Through your faith,” President Nelson said, “Jesus Christ will increase your ability to move the mountains in your life, even though your personal challenges may loom as large as Mount Everest.

“Your mountains may be loneliness, doubt, illness, or other personal problems. Your mountains will vary, and yet the answer to each of your challenges is to increase your faith.”6


1. Russell M. Nelson, “Christ Is Risen; Faith in Him Will Move Mountains,” Liahona, May 2021, 102.
2. Jeffrey R. Holland, “Lord, I Believe,” Liahona, May 2013, 94.
3. Neil L. Andersen, “Faith Is Not by Chance, but by Choice,” Liahona, Nov. 2015, 66; see also Joseph Smith Translation, Hebrews 11:1.
4. See David A. Bednar, “Accepting the Lord’s Will and Timing,” Liahona, Aug. 2016, 17.
5. See Russell M. Nelson, “The Temple and Your Spiritual Foundation,” Liahona, Nov. 2021, 93–96.
6. Russell M. Nelson, “Christ Is Risen; Faith in Him Will Move Mountains,” 102–3.

Sean Douglas
Sean Douglas was sustained as a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints on April 3, 2021.