My dear brothers and sisters, I am grateful for the privilege of speaking with you on this Easter Sunday.1 The atoning sacrifice and Resurrection of Jesus Christ changed each of our lives forever. We love Him and gratefully worship Him and our Heavenly Father.
During the past six months, we have continued to grapple with a global pandemic. I marvel at your resilience and spiritual strength in the face of illness, loss, and isolation. I pray constantly that, through it all, you will feel the Lord’s unfailing love for you. If you have responded to your trials with a stronger discipleship, this past year will not have been in vain.
This morning, we have heard from Church leaders who come from every populated continent on earth. Truly, the blessings of the gospel are for every race, language, and people. The Church of Jesus Christ is a global church. Jesus Christ is our leader.
Thankfully, even a pandemic has not been able to slow the onward march of His truth. The gospel of Jesus Christ is exactly what is needed in this confused, contentious, and weary world.
Each of God’s children deserves the opportunity to hear and accept the healing, redeeming message of Jesus Christ. No other message is more vital to our happiness—now and forever.2 No other message is more filled with hope. No other message can eliminate contention in our society.
Faith in Jesus Christ is the foundation of all belief and the conduit of divine power. According to the Apostle Paul, “Without faith it is impossible to please [God]: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”3
Everything good in life—every potential blessing of eternal significance—begins with faith. Allowing God to prevail in our lives begins with faith that He is willing to guide us. True repentance begins with faith that Jesus Christ has the power to cleanse, heal, and strengthen us.4
“Deny not the power of God,” the prophet Moroni declared, “for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men.”5 It is our faith that unlocks the power of God in our lives.
And yet, exercising faith can seem overwhelming. At times we may wonder if we can possibly muster enough faith to receive the blessings that we so desperately need. However, the Lord put those fears to rest through the words of the Book of Mormon prophet Alma.
Alma asks us simply to experiment upon the word and “exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if [we] can no more than desire to believe.”6 The phrase “particle of faith” reminds me of the Lord’s biblical promise that if we “have faith as a grain of mustard seed,” we shall be able to “say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto [us].”7
The Lord understands our mortal weakness. We all falter at times. But He also knows of our great potential. The mustard seed starts small but grows into a tree large enough for birds to nest in its branches. The mustard seed represents a small but growing faith.8
The Lord does not require perfect faith for us to have access to His perfect power. But He does ask us to believe.
My dear brothers and sisters, my call to you this Easter morning is to start today to increase your faith. Through your faith, Jesus Christ will increase your ability to move the mountains in your life,9 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. That takes work. Lazy learners and lax disciples will always struggle to muster even a particle of faith.
To do anything well requires effort. Becoming a true disciple of Jesus Christ is no exception. Increasing your faith and trust in Him takes effort. May I offer five suggestions to help you develop that faith and trust.
First, study. Become an engaged learner. Immerse yourself in the scriptures to understand better Christ’s mission and ministry. Know the doctrine of Christ so that you understand its power for your life. Internalize the truth that the Atonement of Jesus Christ applies to you. He took upon Himself your misery, your mistakes, your weakness, and your sins. He paid the compensatory price and provided the power for you to move every mountain you will ever face. You obtain that power with your faith, trust, and willingness to follow Him.
Moving your mountains may require a miracle. Learn about miracles. Miracles come according to your faith in the Lord. Central to that faith is trusting His will and timetable—how and when He will bless you with the miraculous help you desire. Only your unbelief will keep God from blessing you with miracles to move the mountains in your life.10
The more you learn about the Savior, the easier it will be to trust in His mercy, His infinite love, and His strengthening, healing, and redeeming power. The Savior is never closer to you than when you are facing or climbing a mountain with faith.
Second, choose to believe in Jesus Christ. If you have doubts about God the Father and His Beloved Son or the validity of the Restoration or the veracity of Joseph Smith’s divine calling as a prophet, choose to believe11 and stay faithful. Take your questions to the Lord and to other faithful sources. Study with the desire to believe rather than with the hope that you can find a flaw in the fabric of a prophet’s life or a discrepancy in the scriptures. Stop increasing your doubts by rehearsing them with other doubters. Allow the Lord to lead you on your journey of spiritual discovery.
Third, act in faith. What would you do if you had more faith? Think about it. Write about it. Then receive more faith by doing something that requires more faith.
Fourth, partake of sacred ordinances worthily. Ordinances unlock the power of God for your life.12
And fifth, ask your Heavenly Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, for help.
Faith takes work. Receiving revelation takes work. But “every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.”13 God knows what will help your faith grow. Ask, and then ask again.
A nonbeliever might say that faith is for the weak. But this assertion overlooks the power of faith. Would the Savior’s Apostles have continued to teach His doctrine after His death, at the peril of their lives, if they had doubted Him?14 Would Joseph and Hyrum Smith have suffered martyrs’ deaths defending the Restoration of the Lord’s Church unless they had a sure witness that it was true? Would nearly 2,000 Saints have died along the pioneer trail15 if they did not have faith that the gospel of Jesus Christ had been restored? Truly, faith is the power that enables the unlikely to accomplish the impossible.
Do not minimize the faith you already have. It takes faith to join the Church and remain faithful. It takes faith to follow prophets rather than pundits and popular opinion. It takes faith to serve a mission during a pandemic. It takes faith to live a chaste life when the world shouts that God’s law of chastity is now outmoded. It takes faith to teach the gospel to children in a secular world. It takes faith to plead for the life of a loved one and even more faith to accept a disappointing answer.
Two years ago, Sister Nelson and I visited Samoa, Tonga, Fiji, and Tahiti. Each of those island nations had experienced heavy rains for days. Members had fasted and prayed that their outdoor meetings would be protected from the rain.
In Samoa, Fiji, and Tahiti, just as the meetings began, the rain stopped. But in Tonga, the rain did not stop. Yet 13,000 faithful Saints came hours early to get a seat, waited patiently through a steady downpour, and then sat through a very wet two-hour meeting.
We saw vibrant faith at work among each of those islanders—faith sufficient to stop the rain and faith to persevere when the rain did not stop.
The mountains in our lives do not always move how or when we would like. But our faith will always propel us forward. Faith always increases our access to godly power.
Please know this: if everything and everyone else in the world whom you trust should fail, Jesus Christ and His Church will never fail you. The Lord never slumbers, nor does He sleep.16 He “is the same yesterday, today, and [tomorrow].”17 He will not forsake His covenants,18 His promises, or His love for His people. He works miracles today, and He will work miracles tomorrow.19
Faith in Jesus Christ is the greatest power available to us in this life. All things are possible to them that believe.20
Your growing faith in Him will move mountains—not the mountains of rock that beautify the earth but the mountains of misery in your lives. Your flourishing faith will help you turn challenges into unparalleled growth and opportunity.
On this Easter Sunday, with my deep feelings of love and gratitude, I declare my witness that Jesus Christ is indeed risen. He is risen to lead His Church. He is risen to bless the lives of all of God’s children, wherever they live. With faith in Him, we can move the mountains in our lives. I so testify in the sacred name of Jesus Christ, amen.