Sunday, April 26, 2009

Faith: A Kind of Holy Confidence

The prophet Moroni spoke of the power of faith, stating that “by faith all things are fulfilled.”

Faith, I have come to understand, is a sort of “holy confidence” that has great power - not just power to help you feel good or to see you through tough times - but actual power to bring marvelous things to pass.

Indeed, as we strive to be like Christ - charitable and virtuous - we will find our holy confidence will grow - that is, our faith will become stronger.

It is by faith that the many wondrous powers of the priesthood operate. The faith itself actually fuels the operation - like a supernatural catalyst.

Just over two weeks ago, I was laid off, along with 20% of my company. No - it wasn't a result of the economy, it was the result of some corporate politics that have doomed the company almost from its inception three years ago. Sadly, the company is probably not going to survive. Regardless, I found myself with two weeks to get a new job.

I knew right from the start that everything would work out fine. I had faith that it would work out fine. But it was more than just a hope, or a good feeling, or some kind of placebo to get me through the difficulty. I really knew it would be fine.

I had that “holy confidence” - I was still humble and knew I had to do my part - I worked very hard to get a new job - but I felt assured that if I did all I could, that the Lord would take care of me and my family.

I truly was not worried.

My final day at work came and went - still no new job.

I had a couple of potential job offers on the horizon, and knew that either one would take care of us, but couldn't decide which one was best for me and my family.

The next day, I went to the Mt. Timpanogos Temple and did an endowment session. In the Celestial Room, I felt peace as I pondered on my situation. I still knew everything would work out - that wasn't what I was praying about. I wanted to know which job offer, when it came, I should take. I received an answer to my question. The answer was, “when the time comes, you will know what to do.”

Immediately after I came out, I received a call. It was one of the jobs. They made an offer, and I knew that I should accept it. So I did.

I start the new job this coming Thursday.

So, I only ended up being unemployed for about six hours. Everything worked out, just like I knew it would.

Now, I had to do my part - I worked very hard at applying and interviewing and following up. I never once even considered not paying my tithing. I have always paid my tithing no matter what my situation, and I always will. I continued to do everything I am supposed to do. And I believed, without a hint of doubt, that it would all work out.

I had no illusions - I understood that “everything working out” could mean a period of hardship, and any number of unexpected potholes in the road before a solution would arrive, but I knew that in the end it would be okay - even if we were to be tested for a while first.

Thankfully, the test was very short.

In the midst of this experience, I took the opportunity to take a step back and observe myself and my faith. And what I found was that when you truly believe, nothing wavering, you can feel it. You know it. It is true faith in action. And it brings real peace.

And, I believe, it makes good things happen.

“Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine
own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge
him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

I have always loved that scripture - now I have experienced it.

Nephi's brother Jacob stated, “Look unto God with firmness of mind, and pray unto him with exceeding faith.”

And in a revelation given to the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord said, “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.”

I bear testimony that something “clicks” when you truly believe - when you “doubt not” - when you have “nothing wavering.” You can feel it - it feels different than just hoping for the best. It is a confidence that the Lord will keep His promises. It brings peace, and it actually stimulates the very outcome that you desire.

President Monson's message in the March 2009 Ensign links the faith of which I speak to the essential element of prayer. I recommend it. Likewise, I highly recommend Elder Bednar's talk from the April 2008 General Conference, wherein he also connects faith and prayer in a powerful way.

Finally, with regard to that “holy confidence” of which I speak, I quote Paul, who said:
“Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompence of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God,
ye might receive the promise.”
I had the faith, I felt the confidence, and I have received the promise.

And I am grateful.

P.S. A big THANK YOU to all who were praying for me and my family. I know that made a big difference!

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