With the world becoming increasingly dark, let’s answer President Nelson’s call to increase our faith.
This is an edited version of a devotional address given at Brigham Young University–Idaho on September 21, 2021. For the full address, visit byui.edu/devotionals.

In the April 2021 general conference, President Russell M. Nelson said, “My dear brothers and sisters, my call to you … is to start today to increase your faith.”1 How have you accepted that call? I have felt to help you continue to accept and magnify it.

Do you know and love someone who once had a testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ who abandoned his or her faith in Christ and left the Church? Why do some of God’s children turn their backs on Him, especially after once being enlightened? And how can we increase our faith in Christ and help others do the same, such that leaving the covenant path is never an option for us?

Today I will share a vital principle of faith in Christ from the teachings of the prophets and the scriptures. I promise that if you listen carefully, believe, and humbly apply it, you will be armed with increased faith in Christ, having further answered the prophet’s call today.

I’ll then share three major areas to which you can apply your increased faith to make a powerful difference in the world. These subjects are the gathering of Israel, race relations, and successful marriage.

Looking Forward with an Eye of Faith

All our dear ones who have strayed have this in common: at some point, with their beginning faith, they bore witness to others of the truthfulness of the restored gospel and Church of Jesus Christ. Sadly, their faith never reached the next level. What is this next level? It is to look forward with an eye of faith and see the Lord’s promise of eternal life as already fulfilled in our lives.

President Nelson has taught us to “begin with the end in mind.”2 I’ll never forget what I told myself sometime around my baptism. Although I had no knowledge of this principle of faith, I said that I would die an old man in this Church. (You may be thinking I already qualify!)

President Henry B. Eyring, Second Counselor in the First Presidency, taught: “The way is a simple one, clearly marked. It is to keep our eyes and hearts fixed on that which is unchangeable. We must have an eye of faith fixed on eternal life. That life, the greatest of all the gifts of God, is to live in glory forever in families in the presence of our loving Heavenly Father. It takes a focused eye.”3 I know of no more powerful expression of “fixed” faith in God’s promises and His inability to lie than to look forward and see His promise as already fulfilled and act accordingly.

Increasing Our Ability to “Hear Him”

Seeing and imagining God’s promised blessings will increase your faith. It will also increase revelation in your life and your ability to “hear Him.”4 As you see, imagine, and envision the Lord’s promises fulfilled in your lives and work diligently and patiently toward their fulfillment, you invite the Comforter to confirm what you are experiencing.

Jesus Christ looked forward with an eye of faith and saw true promises fulfilled about His own mission and destiny. Approximately a day before His atoning sacrifice, He seemed to assure His Apostles by modeling this powerful faith: “Be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

Perhaps in case there was doubt in anyone’s mind about His exceedingly great faith—that in His mind and heart the promise of His Atonement was already fulfilled even before He performed it—He then prayed, “Father, … I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do” (John 17:1, 4).5

If we are to “follow [Jesus Christ], and do the things which [we] have seen [Him] do” (2 Nephi 31:12), surely the way He Himself lived the very first principle of His own gospel and doctrine (faith in the Lord Jesus Christ) ought to be among His primary examples to follow.

Well, how can we apply this principle of powerful faith in Christ and His promises to the gathering of Israel, racial harmony, and marital success?

The Gathering of Israel

In the 2014 new mission leaders’ seminar, President Nelson taught us to teach our missionaries to begin with the end in mind. He shared a personal example where, after meeting a couple not of our faith, he envisioned them dressed in baptismal and temple clothing. Years later, he attended this couple’s baptisms and performed their temple sealing. He “saw with [his] eyes the things which [he] had beheld with an eye of faith, and [he was] glad” (Ether 12:19). President Nelson instructed us as mission leaders to teach our missionaries to also envision those they contacted or taught in this way.6

This reminded me that we had looked forward with an eye of faith in the premortal world and “overcame [Satan] by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of [our] testimony” (Revelation 12:11).

These teachings lit a fire of faith in Christ and His promises throughout our mission! Let them light that same fire of faith in Christ in you as you look forward with an eye of faith and view, imagine, and envision God’s children—including yourselves—in this wonderful way.

Sister Michelle D. Craig, First Counselor in the Young Women General Presidency, taught, “Through the power of the Holy Ghost, Christ will enable us to see ourselves and see others as He does.”7 Sister Corbitt and I saw our missionaries in this way, and we saw our mission transformed as they rediscovered and re-exercised their exceeding faith in Christ and His promises.

Racial Harmony

Speaking of seeing ourselves and others as Christ does, how can we apply our faith to establishing a national culture of unity and harmony that is devoid of racism8 and racial contention?

Jesus prayed:

“Neither pray I for these alone [those who were with Him], but for them also which shall believe on me through their word [for us!];

“That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us” (John 17:20–21).

Why?

“That the world may believe that thou hast sent me” (John 17:21).

Our unity as a people will be evidence for the country and the world that Jesus Christ is really the Son of God and that He has the power to unify God’s willing children of all backgrounds.

What must we do?

President Nelson said:

“The gospel of Jesus Christ is exactly what is needed in this confused, contentious, and weary world.

“… No other message can eliminate contention in our society.”9

And President Dallin H. Oaks, First Counselor in the First Presidency, stated, “Only the gospel of Jesus Christ can unite and bring peace to people of all races and nationalities.”10 And it is never too late.

Let us “look forward with one eye [or vision], having one faith and one baptism, having [our] hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another” (Mosiah 18:21). Let us avoid negativity and division and work toward perfect peace and harmony “with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof” (Alma 32:41).

Marital Harmony and Success

Finally, how can you apply the principle of looking forward with an eye of faith in Christ and His promises to marital harmony and success? One of the greatest promises God makes to His children is also the greatest of all His gifts to us, eternal life (see Doctrine and Covenants 14:7). This is exaltation, or the life He Himself lives in marriage and family.

President M. Russell Ballard, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, taught: “The precise time and manner in which the blessings of exaltation are bestowed have not all been revealed, but they are nonetheless assured.”11 I see such hope and power in this teaching. It enables all the faithful to look forward with an eye of faith and see ourselves exalted in the presence of our Heavenly Father and our Savior. These glorious promises will be fulfilled for all the faithful in the highest degree of the celestial kingdom.

Brethren, do we who are married each look forward and see his wife as an exalted and glorious woman, according to the promise? Do you wives see your husbands as exalted and glorious men? What can we do to treat them more according to the eye of faith? If we are not married, how should we look forward with an eye of faith toward our promised exaltation? How should we all act toward our Father in Heaven and our Savior, who have secured for each of us—married and single—these sure eternal blessings and promises at great personal sacrifice?

Let us go and help others begin with the end in mind and see the end from the beginning. Let us help “nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow” (Alma 32:41) by “looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof” (Alma 32:40). I testify that Jesus Christ is our Savior. He was “with us in the beginning, He is with us to the end.”12

Discover More

You can find more devotionals from Church leaders filled with counsel specifically for you in YA Weekly, located in the Gospel Library under Magazines or Adults > Young Adults

You can submit your own articles, ideas, or feedback at liahona.ChurchofJesusChrist.org. We can’t wait to hear from you!

Notes

1. Russell M. Nelson, “Christ Is Risen; Faith in Him Will Move Mountains,” Liahona, May 2021, 102; emphasis in original.
2. Russell M. Nelson, “Begin with the End in Mind” (address given at the seminar for new mission presidents, June 22, 2014)
3. Henry B. Eyring, “A Steady, Upward Course” (Brigham Young University–Idaho devotional, Sept. 18, 2001), byui.edu/devotionals.
4. Russell M. Nelson, “Hear Him,” Liahona, May 2020, 88–92.
5. Note also that perhaps the most remarkable display of Jesus’s great ability to look forward with an eye of faith and see the Father’s promises fulfilled in His own life was this wondrous declaration to Nicodemus: “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man which is in heaven” (John 3:13).
6. See Russell M. Nelson, “Begin with the End in Mind.”
7. Michelle D. Craig, “Eyes to See,” Liahona, Nov. 2020, 17; emphasis in original.
8. See Dallin H. Oaks, “Racism and Other Challenges” (Brigham Young University devotional, Oct. 27, 2020), 4, speeches.byu.edu: “Dictionaries typically define racism as ‘involving the idea that one’s own race is superior [to others] and has the right to rule [over them].’”
9. Russell M. Nelson, “Christ Is Risen; Faith in Him Will Move Mountains,” 102.
10. Dallin H. Oaks, “Racism and Other Challenges,” 6.
11. M. Russell Ballard, “Hope in Christ,” Liahona, May 2021, 55.
12. Gerrit W. Gong, “Christ the Lord Is Risen Today,” Liahona, May 2018, 98.


Ahmad S. Corbitt
Ahmad S. Corbitt
Ahmad S. Corbitt was sustained as first counselor in the Young Men General Presidency on April 4, 2020.
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