Digital Only: Young Adults
Developing “Unshaken Faith” in Jesus Christ—and His Prophets
Is it possible to find peace in turbulent times?
In February 2010, my husband and I were serving as mission leaders of the Chile Santiago East Mission. Together with our missionaries and the Chilean people, we experienced the earthshaking horror of an 8.8-magnitude earthquake.
It was one of the most frightening experiences we’ve ever had. It shook our home, but it didn’t shake our faith in Jesus Christ and His prophets. In fact, it strengthened our conviction that living prophets can prepare us for all things.
Nine months earlier, the Lord had prepared us through one of His chosen prophets, Elder Richard G. Scott. When he set us apart to serve as mission leaders, he gave us inspired counsel. He said that many times in our mission, the Spirit would awaken us in the early morning hours. He invited us to write down and act upon the messages the Spirit taught us, and he promised us that if we did, we would experience miracles.
Those words were fulfilled as the Spirit awakened me just two weeks before the earthquake, revealing to me that we needed to prepare our missionaries for an earthquake. We followed that prompting, and when the earthquake came, we experienced the miracles of peace and safety that Elder Scott had promised us.
Choose to Follow the Prophet
This experience reminded us that we can find peace in a troubled world as we choose to follow our prophets’ inspired counsel.
Consider these moments when Nephi found peace by choosing to believe his father, the prophet Lehi:
When Lehi says that God has told him to take his family and flee the increasingly wicked city of Jerusalem, Nephi chooses to exercise “unshaken faith” (2 Nephi 31:19) and “cry unto the Lord” (1 Nephi 2:16). In answer to Nephi’s prayer, the Lord softens Nephi’s heart. But Nephi still has to choose to believe that God did speak to Lehi. Nephi acts in faith and is able to follow his prophet-father into the wilderness with peace in his heart.
When Lehi explains to Nephi and his brothers that God wants them to return to Jerusalem to obtain the brass plates, Nephi again willingly chooses to believe that his prophet-father speaks the will of God. Nephi remembers the answer he has previously received. He proclaims his unshaken intent to trust: “I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded” (1 Nephi 3:7).
When I read and ponder Nephi, I ask myself: “Do I have unshaken faith sufficient to choose to follow the prophet, even if He invites me to do hard things? What spiritual work do I need to do to develop unshaken faith?”
Choose to Do the Spiritual Work
Three spiritual habits have helped me increase my faith in God and trust that He speaks to us through His prophet:
I pray. I go to a quiet place, kneel down, and plead with God to help me understand and be more believing. I ask sincere questions and ask for help to humble my heart and remember that I do not see the eternal picture of my life, as He does.
I study my scriptures, especially the Book of Mormon, because it has great power to invite the Holy Ghost into my life. I look up words and phrases that pertain to the subject about which I am asking. I study the words of living prophets. I read my patriarchal blessing. I ponder. I memorize. I even read out loud.
I listen. I turn off the world by shutting down my phone, the internet, and any other competing sound. I listen to my mind and my heart because that’s where the Holy Ghost speaks to me (see Doctrine and Covenants 8:2–3).
When I do the necessary spiritual work, I always receive a peaceful assurance that the prophet speaks truth. Sometimes my confirmations come quickly. Sometimes it takes time. But I testify that answers always come.
After Nephi’s death, his younger brother Jacob continues to invite us to choose to do the spiritual work to develop unshaken faith in our prophets.
Jacob promises: “Wherefore, we search the prophets, and we have many revelations and the spirit of prophecy; and having all these witnesses we obtain a hope, and our faith becometh unshaken, insomuch that we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea” (Jacob 4:6; emphasis added).
We can choose to do the spiritual work necessary to develop unshaken faith in Jesus Christ and in our living prophets. As we do, we can be rewarded with sweet, eternal blessings that will light the covenant path of discipleship and give us the peace and courage we need to withstand any magnitude of turbulence in our lives.