What Is Faith?

“What Is Faith?” Ensign, August 2018

At the Pulpit

What Is Faith?

What is Faith

Illustration by Dan Burr

As faith is the first principle of the gospel, it is necessary to inquire, What is faith? The scriptures tell us that “faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” [Joseph Smith Translation, Hebrews 11:1]. … Thus it is when we obey the gospel, certain blessings follow; but if we say we believe and do not obey, then is our faith vain. It is like the body without the spirit, dead. It was this living faith, my young sisters, which caused your fathers and mothers to obey the gospel in their native lands and homes; in the midst of scorn and persecution, through faith they left homes and kindred and all they held dear and embarked on the mighty ocean, … trusting in the arm of Jehovah to bring them safely to a haven of rest; and many of them had never known the trials and hardships of life. … Think of it, my young sisters: your fathers and mothers traveling over a thousand miles (1,609 km) drawing a handcart, with their rations and bedding, cooking utensils, clothing and etc., many of them with little children; fording rivers up to their waists and toiling through miles of heavy sand, and yet by the campfire at night their songs of praise resounded to God, for the principles of faith were planted in their bosoms; they had an assurance of things not seen; by faith they arrived in these valleys; they were not then the rich fertile valleys you now see. By faith they subdued the sterile, barren soil and through the blessings of God succeeded in making the wilderness blossom as the rose. …

Time would fail me to tell you of the trials of our faith caused by crickets, grasshoppers, droughts, floods, and also by the persecution of our enemies; but in all we are an exceedingly blessed and happy people; and through faith we intend to grow and increase and spread abroad till, like Abraham of old, of our increase there shall be no end.

Now, my dear young friends, you need not think that because we have done so much there is nothing for you to do; you have got to spread abroad. You need not think that the territory of Utah is going to hold the children of Zion. You will have to build up new colonies. …

Therefore, contend earnestly for the faith delivered in these last days to your fathers, that you may be enabled through faith to help bring to pass the purposes of Jehovah; and may the quickening influence of the Spirit of God rest upon the children of Zion, that it may be as a living fire within them, bringing forth much fruit unto righteousness.