Gift of Faith

“Gift of Faith,” Friend, Nov. 1987, inside front cover

Gift of Faith

(Adapted from an October 1966 general conference address.)

The gift of faith at times takes the form of miraculous healings of body and mind. However, faith is usually expressed in the simple trust and calm assurance that God will provide.

On my first visit to the fabled village of Sauniatu in Samoa, so loved by President McKay, my wife and I met with a large gathering of small children. At the end of our messages to these shy, beautiful youngsters, I suggested to the native Samoan teacher that we go ahead with the closing exercises. As he announced the final hymn, I suddenly felt compelled to greet personally each of the 247 children. But the time was too short for such a privilege, so I ignored the impression. Before the benediction, however, I again felt this strong impression to shake the hand of each child. I told the teacher that I wanted to shake the hand of each child. He displayed a broad Samoan smile before relaying my intentions in Samoan to the children. They all beamed when they heard his translation.

The teacher then told me the special reason for their joy. He said, “When we learned that President McKay had assigned a member of the Quorum of the Twelve to visit us in faraway Samoa, I told the children that if each one would earnestly and sincerely pray and exert faith like in the Bible accounts of old, the Apostle would visit our tiny village at Sauniatu, and through their faith, he would be impressed to greet each child with a personal handclasp.” Tears flowed as each of those precious boys and girls walked by and whispered softly to us a sweet talofa lava (hello). The gift of faith had been evidenced.

Illustrated by Robert T. Barrett