Practicing Faith
August 2019

“Practicing Faith,” Friend, August 2019

Practicing Faith

“Stand fast in the faith, … be strong” (1 Corinthians 16:13).

team of girls playing basketball

Illustrations by Elizabet Vukovic

Klarie dribbled hard and fast down the court. This is it, she thought. The tallest, fastest girl on the team had been guarding Klarie the whole game. But now she was guarding someone else. This was Klarie’s chance!

She quickly spun away from another player and set her feet. Then she jumped and took her shot. The ball sailed through the air as Klarie held her breath. Please go in.

The ball swished through the net.

Klarie’s team members gave her high fives. Then Coach Garcia looked down at the timer and blew her whistle. “And that’s the end of practice! Good job, everyone! I’ll see you all tomorrow. Make sure to rest up because we’ll be doing a lot of sprints.”

Klarie groaned and walked over to gather her stuff. Then she saw Coach Garcia waving her over.

“Hey, Klarie,” she said. “Good job today. I know you work really hard in practice, and I’m proud of you.”

“Thank you,” Klarie said with a big smile.

She was still smiling as she walked out to her mom’s car. As they drove home, she replayed her last shot in her head. Especially the swish of the ball through the net. She hardly even noticed the conference talk Mom was listening to.

But then something caught her attention. The speaker said, “We must take time to actively exercise our faith.”* The words “actively exercise” sounded like something she would hear at basketball practice. How do you exercise faith? she thought. Do you run with faith? Or dribble faith like a ball?

Klarie turned to Mom. “How do you exercise faith?” she asked.

Mom smiled. “How do you get better at basketball?”

“I practice,” Klarie said. “My coach tells me how to get better. And when we do drills, I try really hard to do them right.”

“Is it easy?”

“No!” Klarie said, remembering how tired her legs felt after sprints. “I have to practice a lot.

Mom nodded. “Heavenly Father wants us to have faith in Him, but we have to work on it. He gave us ways to practice and get better.”

“Like what?”

“He asks us to talk to Him in prayer. He’s kind of like our coach. He gives us scriptures. They’re like His playbook. And He gives us families to help us. Our family is like—”

“Like our team!” Klarie interrupted.

“Exactly! Our family team works and practices together,” Mom said. “And what happens when you go to practice, Klarie?”

“I get better,” she said. She thought of how good it felt to make her final shot after working hard in practice for weeks.

“That’s right. When we practice spiritual habits, like prayer, we’re exercising our faith. That helps our testimonies get stronger. And it makes us happier.”

Klarie had never thought of faith like that. She had heard faith was like a seed. But she’d never known it could be like playing basketball! She thought about how her coach made practice plans for their team. Maybe I can make a practice plan too, she thought, but for faith! As soon as she got home, she found a big notepad and started writing:

My Practice Plan

  • Prayer—morning and night

  • Scripture study—every day

  • Church—every Sunday

Maybe exercising faith wasn’t exactly like practicing basketball. But practice was practice. She felt warm and happy inside as she looked at her plan. She trusted Heavenly Father and knew He would help her!

  • Richard G. Scott, “Make the Exercise of Faith Your First Priority,” Ensign, Nov. 2014, 92–95.