The Hidden Power of Belief

belief
Belief is one of those things everyone takes for granted. It seems like such a simple concept that few of us ever stop to plumb the depths of what belief can accomplish in our lives. This article is an extensive look at belief and believing. Understanding belief, and the power it lends to covenants and all the godly virtues, will help us all to better understand why belief is the basic building block of exaltation.

References to all the talks referred to below are at the bottom of the article.

In Nephi 16:28-29 we are taught a lesson about how the Lord works. As Lehi was journeying through the wilderness toward the Promised Land, he stepped out of his tent one morning to discover a ball or compass in his doorway. There were pointers in this ball that directed them through the wilderness. Here is Nephi’s description of this device.

28 And it came to pass that I, Nephi, beheld the pointers which were in the ball, that they did work according to the faith and diligence and heed which we did give unto them.

29 And there was also written upon them a new writing, which was plain to be read, which did give us understanding concerning the ways of the Lord; and it was written and changed from time to time, according to the faith and diligence which we gave unto it. And thus we see that by small means the Lord can bring about great things.

The ball, or Liahona, as they referred to it, was a simple mechanical device. But the Lord was able to link the performance of that device to their “faith and diligence and heed” which they gave to God’s commandments. After all these centuries, we are no closer to understanding how such a link can be made. We can comprehend the device easily enough. We have GPS (global positioning system) services in our cars and phones. Such a thing is easily understood by today’s society.

It is how the Lord can take something seemingly easy to comprehend and turn it into a miracle and marvel that evades us. Evidently what is simple to him isn’t always quite so simple to us. The principle of belief is just such an example.

Definition of belief

Any discussion about belief is bound to have overlap. Though the idea of believing in something may seem like a no brainer of a concept, the idea of believing has tendrils that reach into all sorts of unlikely and unseen places. Belief is sort of like those vines that grow up in your yard that appear to have but one main stem, but after you have cut it off you see it sprouting up all over the place, even in places you had no idea it could have reached.

When we believe in an idea, statement, proposition, philosophy, etc., we accept it. We agree with it. Just this simple act changes everything in our life, for the acceptance of an idea, statement, and so forth, changes our reality and at the same time shuts off some possibilities and opens other possibilities for our future life.

For example, have you ever experienced not believing you could do something? By not believing in your ability in that area, what were you able to accomplish? What were you not able to accomplish? Until your belief changed from unbelief to belief, were you hampered in your progress? Were you able to do what you wanted to do?

How many children look at older children and envy them for their abilities, “knowing” they can’t do the same things? But when someone takes them by the hand and walks them through the process of learning a new skill, suddenly the child comes to understand that they are, in fact, able to do what they had believed they couldn’t do. Once that light of understanding comes on in a person’s mind, their future changes. They are able to comprehend new things and are suddenly willing to try things they hadn’t even considered as possible before.

Belief is a door

In the Church we refer to baptism as the gateway ordinance. Baptism is a simple entry-level ordinance. But this one ordinance opens the door and paves the way for all the other ordinances. Without this one ordinance all other ordinances are out of the question, along with all their blessings and the opportunities that come with them. The same is true of the principle of belief.

Belief is a door that opens all the possibilities of the universe. This simple, plain concept is the key to progress and advancement, achievement and glory. When I considered this plain and simple idea, I thought of the physical doors in our lives.

Some people try to make the door into their business big and fancy to demonstrate to you the importance of their business. But big doors are impractical, as most people can’t budge them. But how many doors are simple in appearance, yet what they open is miraculous? The doors to the temple are often just simple glass swinging doors, yet they hold behind them the ordinances of salvation for both those currently living, as well as for those who have already passed beyond the veil.

Do we think about the simple, nondescript door into our own home? It is through this door we welcome our friends and loved ones. It is with this door we protect against intruders who would do us harm. Our doors act as sifters, letting in that which is desirable and keeping out that which is undesirable. Belief does the same thing.

Believing is required for many things to happen. And those who refuse to believe will never be able to comprehend that which the believer comprehends. Belief opens the door to understanding. This simple concept may be self evident, but we still can’t explain how it works. Belief, and the power of this concept is like the Liahona. We may see that it works, but we are at a loss as to just what powers or laws are behind its operation.

Belief is a choice

As much as we would like to think that some things are beyond our ability to believe, the reality is that belief is a choice. When presented with a situation, a reason, a statement, a proposition, or any one of a million other things, we have to make a choice. Do we accept what we have been presented or do we reject it? That choice we make either opens one door, while shutting others, or it shuts one door while opening others.

When you were first told that Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ in that grove of trees, what did believing or not believing represent in your life? If you chose to reject that piece of information as nothing more than fantasy, what possibilities opened to you at that moment? What possibilities closed to you at that moment? What spiritual ground can a person cover if something as basic as the visit of the Father and the Son to Joseph Smith is considered an impossibility? What spiritual paths are opened to those who choose to believe Joseph had that visitation?

The future prospects and possibilities for such a choice can indeed be profound. Do we have a choice in the matter? If something this important is presented to us, is God really going to leave it up to us to choose whether or not we believe?

The answer is yes. God will never force us to believe. It is part of the moral agency we were given before the earth was created that our choices belong to us, and us alone. God will never interfere with our ability to make a moral choice. Nor can anyone else interfere with that ability. We may be punished for making certain choices in this life, whether by our government or by our peers, but we always have the ability to choose. That is one of the few things that no one can take from us.

Knowledge without belief

Is it possible to know something, but not believe it? Yes, it is. This actually happens a lot in life. How many times in your life have you learned a principle of the gospel, perhaps even giving lip service to that principle, but you still don’t actually believe in that principle? Let me give you a personal example.

I was born and raised in the Church. My family has been a part of the restored gospel of Christ since the first decade of the Restoration. I have read about the atonement, studied the atonement, have taught the atonement in Sunday School, and have taught the principle of the atoning sacrifice of Christ to my family. Yet for all this, for most of my adult life I didn’t believe the atonement applied to me.

I spent many years trying to change myself, instead of asking the Lord to assist me in my efforts. I wanted to do it on my own. I wasn’t willing to submit myself to him and accept his sacrifice on my behalf. I wanted to do it on my own. I basically wanted to save myself. It was a long time before I even began to realize I was doing this. It took years of struggle and failure on my part before I was ready to concede defeat and chose to try relying on his merits to accomplish what I had so spectacularly failed at doing on my own.

I had chosen to believe that I didn’t need the Savior’s sacrifice. There was this stubborn streak in me (yes, it was pride) that made me insist I could do it all on my own. I hated the thought of feeling so weak that I couldn’t take control of my life and make the needed changes by myself. And if I sound like your three-year old child, I think the comparison is a fair one.

I knew about the principle of the atonement. I could teach lessons on it. But in my own life it was something for others, not for me. I didn’t deserve Christ’s forgiveness. I didn’t believe I was worthy of that degree of love and kindness. I didn’t deserve his grace.

ministering

So yes, you can have knowledge without belief. Do you see that my ability to repent and change were blocked by my unbelief? I couldn’t allow myself to move forward the only way it was possible to move forward. Why? Because I insisted on another way – that didn’t work. Until I was willing to humble myself and accept my own inability to make the changes I needed to make, I couldn’t make progress, because our spiritual progress can only go through that one channel, the channel of God’s grace that is offered in and through Christ’s atoning sacrifice. There is no other door, no other path available back to God. But that doesn’t stop us from trying other paths, does it?

Satan uses our ignorance, our stubbornness, our pride, to convince us we can do it alone, or by going a different direction with our life. These are lies. God has given us the one and only path back into his presence, and it must include the Savior and his sacrifice on our behalf.

Exploring the principle of belief

Let’s look at what some of the Brethren have said in Conference talks about belief and how it works. The first talk is one from Elder L. Whitney Clayton.

Perceiving spiritual light is different from seeing physical light. Recognizing the Savior’s spiritual light begins with our willingness to believe. God requires that initially we at least desire to believe. 

Elder Clayton’s first comment refers back to one of the laws that govern our agency. All spiritual understanding must be given to us. It is given to us only as a result of our seeking for it. The purpose of this life is the prove to ourselves and to our Father in Heaven that we want what he has, eternal life. Eternal life is the life all God’s share, a totality of knowledge, ability, and power. This is not given randomly, nor is it forced on anyone. We must want it and seek for it.

This is why the Lord continually commands us to seek, knock, and search. It must be our idea, our desire, our personal need. If we show no interest in wanting what God is offering to us then it will not be given to us. We must be willing to seek it out, search it out, and ask the Lord for it. He is not being stingy with it. Quite the contrary. His work and his glory is to bring about our immortality and eternal life (godhood for us). But he can’t give us knowledge he will have to hold us responsible for in the judgement day unless it is knowledge we wanted and deserved. For anything we know about we can be judged on. It is a mercy to withhold spiritual knowledge that will just condemn us.

The key to obtaining spiritual light/knowledge is to seek for it. And this is done by choosing to believe then seeking for more things to believe in. Belief, and the ability to believe in greater things is like any ability, it grows with use.

Which comes first, the chicken or the egg? In spiritual things we must believe first. Then and only then are the spiritual truths revealed to our understanding. In the case of someone who is starting from ground zero, all the Lord requires is a desire to believe. If we can just come up with a desire to believe, God can work with that and show us things we didn’t know before, but it has to start with us. In Alma 32:27 Alma teaches his great sermon on faith and says this:

27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

Elder Whitney’s last two sentences in his quote above refers back to this law that we must at least have a desire to believe. That is the key. The starting point of belief. Without at least a desire, no belief is possible. And without belief there can be no faith, no testimony, and no conversion.

Every day each of us faces a test. It is the test of our lifetimes: will we choose to believe in Him and allow the light of His gospel to grow within us, or will we refuse to believe and insist on traveling alone in the dark? The Savior provides His gospel as a light to guide those who choose to believe in and follow Him.

There may be times when we have been hurt, when we are tired, and when our lives seem dark and cold. There may be times when we cannot see any light on the horizon, and we may feel like giving up. If we are willing to believe, if we desire to believe, if we choose to believe, then the Savior’s teachings and example will show us the pathway forward.

Prophets across the ages have encouraged us and even implored us to believe in Christ. Their exhortations reflect a fundamental fact: God does not force us to believe. Instead He invites us to believe by sending living prophets and apostles to teach us, by providing scriptures, and by beckoning to us through His Spirit. We are the ones who must choose to embrace those spiritual invitations, electing to see with inward eyes the spiritual light with which He calls us. The decision to believe is the most important choice we ever make. It shapes all our other decisions.

Spirit/light/truth

The scriptures equate the definitions of spirit, light, and truth. It is as though the three words are almost completely interchangeable. This is something I don’t understand. I only know that this is how the prophets treat these terms.

When we desire to believe something the Lord will give us the evidence to show us that there is something to it. This gives us the first foothold to step up and believe in something more. As Alma teaches in his sermon, once we give place for the tiniest portion of God’s word in our heart the Lord will cause a change, small, but noticeable, in our heart. We will be able to tell that what we chose to believe in and act upon made a difference in our life. This gives us the ability to try the same experiment on yet another truth offered to us.

Each spiritual truth brings spiritual enlightenment. Spiritual truth enables us to grasp and comprehend the things of God. Without the Spirit’s influence to teach us these things, all comprehension of spiritual things will remain dark to us forever more. The purpose of the Holy Ghost is to reveal the life, and character of God. He is commissioned to teach us of Godly attributes, feelings, and their way of thinking. His job is to help us along our journey to learning to become like God. But this has to be powered by our desire to believe in an ever growing list of eternal principles and practices.

It is a basic gospel truth that when the scriptures refer to light or truth they are referring to the ability to comprehend something of God, some part of God’s life or personality, his laws, etc. When the scriptures speak of the people being in darkness, it is referring to the darkness of spiritual ignorance, the lack of understanding of the spiritual world. This understanding makes reading Isaiah much more exciting.

When Isaiah talks about how the people who walk in darkness have seen a great light, he is referring to those who have labored in sin because they knew no better, or labored in sin because they had rejected the knowledge of God available only to those who are obedient to the commandments. Only those who choose to believe the words of God and his prophets can “see” or comprehend the light or truth they offer. These people live a different life. They live each day understanding more about the life God wants them to live. They are coming to comprehend that the commandments bring joy, happiness, and freedom from the enslavement of sin.

All of this is based on the simple principle of belief – choosing to believe what God tells us. This demonstrates that belief has consequences.

Consequences of belief

This plain and simple door of belief, that act which is completely within our control, either opens the door to spiritual knowledge or it shuts us off from the gift of the Holy Ghost, and hence locks us out of the knowledge and presence of God. It doesn’t do this immediately, but each time we choose to either believe or not believe, that sends us further down that chosen path.

We can exchange belief for unbelief, just as we can exchange unbelief for belief. An example of this is found in 2 Nephi 28:30.

30 For behold, thus saith the Lord God: I will give unto the children of men line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little; and blessed are those who hearken unto my precepts, and lend an ear unto my counsel, for they shall learn wisdom; for unto him that receiveth I will give more; and from them that shall say, We have enough, from them shall be taken away even that which they have.

The main lessons in verse 30 are these: 1) God teaches us only a little at a time, as we are able to bear it, 2) blessings come only to those who hearken to God’s precepts (teachings) because it is they who learn God’s wisdom, 3) to those who seek for more he will give more, 4) but from those who have received, but decide they want no more, he takes away the understanding they have already received.

This verse shows us that there is no such thing as spiritual stagnation. Either we are seeking and gaining new knowledge, because we have chosen to believe and act upon what we have already received, or we are losing what we received in the past because we have demonstrated to the Lord that we are no longer interested in what he has to offer us – we have turned our efforts elsewhere. This process of stripping a person of spiritual understanding may be slow, but it is inexorable, it cannot be stopped. The only thing that can reverse the loss of spiritual understanding is to turn to God once again and believe, seeking for more knowledge. Then everything that has been lost must be retaught before he can teach more.

This next quote from Elder Whitney includes references to testimony and faith, principles we will discuss in greater detail another time.

Belief and testimony and faith are not passive principles. They do not just happen to us. Belief is something we choose—we hope for it, we work for it, and we sacrifice for it. We will not accidentally come to believe in the Savior and His gospel any more than we will accidentally pray or pay tithing. We actively choose to believe, just like we choose to keep other commandments.

We likewise must give place for the hope that we will find spiritual light by embracing belief rather than choosing to doubt. Our actions are the evidence of our belief and become the substance of our faith. We are choosing to believe when we pray and when we read the scriptures. We are choosing to believe when we fast, when we keep the Sabbath day holy, and when we worship in the temple. We are choosing to believe when we are baptized and when we partake of the sacrament. We are choosing to believe when we repent and seek divine forgiveness and healing love.

A couple of things I take away from this quote include the hope we receive from choosing to belief. This forms the basis of faith, that principle of power by which the whole universe was created and is maintained from moment to moment.

I also note that belief is something we constantly choose. When doubt creeps into our life about spiritual things, how do we banish it? It sounds simple, but it takes effort – continue to choose belief over unbelief. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland said this:

Brothers and sisters, this is a divine work in process, with the manifestations and blessings of it abounding in every direction, so please don’t hyperventilate if from time to time issues arise that need to be examined, understood, and resolved. They do and they will. In this Church, what we know will always trump what we do not know. And remember, in this world, everyone is to walk by faith. [emphasis added]

Belief can be replaced with doubt if not constantly chosen over the competing voices vying for our attention. Belief consistently chosen over doubt or outright disbelief is what forms the foundation of our faith. One of the reasons we continue to choose belief over disbelief is because of the evidences God gives us to support and reward our choosing to believe in the first place.

In Mark 9:23-24 there is a story about a boy possessed of evil spirits whose father seeks out the Savior and pleads with him to help his boy. The Savior teaches him the power of believing.

23 Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

24 And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

It is okay to recognize that we don’t have enough belief and plead with the Lord to help us have more belief. It is the lack of belief that holds us back. The Lord has never condemned anyone for having too much belief, only the lack thereof.

Referring to this same story Elder Holland said:

In the growth we all have to experience in mortality, the spiritual equivalent of this boy’s affliction or this parent’s desperation is going to come to all of us. When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes. It was of this very incident, this specific miracle, that Jesus said, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.” The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue—it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know.

Our willingness to choose belief each time we are faced with something new or a difficult situation is what makes faith possible. How we express ourselves about what we believe or what we don’t yet believe can make a profound difference in the outcome of a particular situation. Again, here is Elder Holland.

When problems come and questions arise, do not start your quest for faith by saying how much you do not have, leading as it were with your “unbelief.” That is like trying to stuff a turkey through the beak! Let me be clear on this point: I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have. Sometimes we act as if an honest declaration of doubt is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of faith. It is not! So let us all remember the clear message of this scriptural account: Be as candid about your questions as you need to be; life is full of them on one subject or another. But if you and your family want to be healed, don’t let those questions stand in the way of faith working its miracle.

It is important to remember that there is nothing wrong with doubt. We all have issues in the gospel we don’t understand fully, or we don’t agree with yet, because we don’t see how the Church’s stand on an issue fits in with the scriptures. But we do ourselves a disservice if we don’t stand on what we already know, acknowledging the Lord’s blessings and gifts to us as the foundation of our faith. If we meet up with an uncomfortable principle and immediately throw out everything that has ever happened to us in the past because we don’t get this one thing, it only hurts us unnecessarily. Isn’t it better to remember all the times we didn’t know something and the Lord revealed the truth of those things to us because we were faithful until the Lord saw fit to teach us what we sought for?

The object is to focus on what we have been taught, what we already believe, and our good experiences with the Lord in the past. When we approach new information or doctrine with this more positive attitude, rather than dwelling on the amount of our doubt or our own ignorance, we are more likely to receive answers faster and more thoroughly. We should use faith acquired from past experiences to help us choose belief in the present circumstance.

There are times when we feel abandoned or left alone. We have searched and tried to keep faithful to the covenants and practices of the gospel of Christ, but still haven’t had any real understanding given to us yet. It is in these times Elder Holland is telling us to remain faithful and believing until the Lord, in his wisdom teaches us what we need to know or do. We need to learn to trust his love AND his time table.

And remember that this life isn’t just about ourselves. Life is also about learning to deal with those around us.

So be kind regarding human frailty—your own as well as that of those who serve with you in a Church led by volunteer, mortal men and women. Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we. And when you see imperfection, remember that the limitation is not in the divinity of the work. As one gifted writer has suggested, when the infinite fulness is poured forth, it is not the oil’s fault if there is some loss because finite vessels can’t quite contain it all. Those finite vessels include you and me, so be patient and kind and forgiving.

This is a good reminder that belief is the basis for receiving all of God’s promised blessings. Without belief none of God’s blessings are possible. This is why the scriptures tell us that when miracles cease it is always because the people have stopped believing.

Belief has enemies

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf said this about the enemy of our souls.

Satan, our adversary, wants us to fail. He spreads lies as part of his effort to destroy our belief. He slyly suggests that the doubter, the skeptic, the cynic is sophisticated and intelligent, while those who have faith in God and His miracles are naive, blind, or brainwashed. Satan will advocate that it is cool to doubt spiritual gifts and the teachings of true prophets.

I wish I could help everyone to understand this one simple fact: we believe in God because of things we know with our heart and mind, not because of things we do not know. Our spiritual experiences are sometimes too sacred to explain in worldly terms, but that doesn’t mean they are not real.

Belief may be a matter of choice, but that doesn’t mean it is always an easy thing to choose. And it doesn’t imply it is always easy to maintain as a choice. I was once in a position where I was doing everything I felt I was supposed to be doing, and life was exceedingly hard, and then my priesthood leaders called me in and told me I was to do some things that would require I move from their community.

Everything I had ever been taught about the gospel of Christ countermanded what they had just told me to do. I was devastated. Was the Church true or was it not? Should I follow the directive of my priesthood leaders and suffer even greater indignities, or should I reject them and the counsel I felt was completely uninformed and bogus? A great many tears were shed as I wrestled with what I should do.

It happened that this all took place just a few days before General Conference. And “coincidentally” one of the recurring themes of that General Conference was focused around following the counsel of our Church leaders, even when we disagree with them. For a moment I felt betrayed by the Brethren, but then when talk after talk spoke on the same topic, my heart began to soften, and I began to see that I was at that point in my life where I either accepted and followed the directives of my priesthood leaders, no matter what I thought about their counsel, or I rejected the gospel I had been taught.

I quickly saw that we cannot reject parts of the gospel and accept the rest. Either it is true or it is not. When we are dealing with the claims to have God’s priesthood power and the gift of revelation, either it is all true or it is all false. No matter what my personal feelings were, I knew in the depths of my soul the gospel of Christ as I had been taught it was true, so I had to follow the directives of my priesthood leaders.

I spent several months enduring great pain and sacrifices because of their directives, but in the end the Lord revealed to me in a very powerful way that no matter how abandoned I felt I was, I could know for the rest of my life that God is always aware of me in a very intimate and personal way. I am never far from his heart. I don’t know if I would have ever come to know that if it wasn’t for the test of my willingness to believe and obey. I know that all blessings are directly tied to our willingness to believe. And I also know that it is not always easy to make the choice to continue believing, and acting accordingly.

The following paragraphs come from Elder Uchtdorf’s talk. I include them because they illustrate and teach more about what has already been discussed here.

When you and I talk to people about faith and belief, don’t we often hear, “I wish I could believe the way you do”?

Implied in such a statement is another of Satan’s deceptions: that belief is available to some people but not to others. There is no magic to belief. But wanting to believe is the necessary first step! …

If we make no effort to believe, we are like the man who unplugs a spotlight and then blames the spotlight for not giving any light.

Recently I was surprised and saddened to hear of an Aaronic Priesthood bearer who seemed to take pride in the fact that he had distanced himself from God. He said, “If God reveals Himself to me, then I will believe. Until then, I will find the truth relying on my own understanding and intellect to light the way before me.”

I don’t know this young man’s heart, but I couldn’t help but feel terribly sorry for him. How easily he rejected the gifts the Lord was offering him. This young man had unplugged the spotlight and then seemed self-satisfied in his clever observation that there was no light.

Unfortunately, this seems to be quite a popular attitude today. If we can put the burden of proof on God, we think we can excuse ourselves from taking God’s commandments seriously and from taking responsibility for our relationship with our Heavenly Father.

Brethren, let me be clear: there is nothing noble or impressive about being cynical. Skepticism is easy—anyone can do it. It is the faithful life that requires moral strength, dedication, and courage. Those who hold fast to faith are far more impressive than those who give in to doubt when mysterious questions or concerns arise.

No more hunger

The scriptures abound with imagery about people hungering after righteousness or whose souls hunger and thirst needlessly because they haven’t come to the well of living waters or haven’t eaten the bread of life. It is belief that brings us to the Savior. It is the Savior who provides what our souls long for, an understanding of the love of God and an appreciation of God’s promises to his children.

We all have a yearning to be back in the presence of our Father. Mortality has removed the memory of our Father, but not the longing for him. This longing for home and our yearning to know where we belong in this universe is what we receive when we choose to believe in the words of God, our Father. This is what is revealed to us as we continue to practice choosing to believe and live the commandments of God.

The peace that surpasses all understanding the scriptures refer to comes only because of choosing to believe then living what we have chosen to believe. The door of belief may seem like a rough hewn plank in our lives of noise and confusion, hardly worth our while. But belief is the starting point, the launching point to receiving the blessings of eternity. Don’t be fooled by the simpleness or plainness of the way. Instead, be grateful for the simple, uncomplicated nature of the way.

Tidbits

The URL to a talk by Michael T. Ringwood of the First Quorum of the Seventy is in the References. He talks about the importance of turning to the Lord in order to soften our hearts. This is a function of going to the Lord to improve our ability to believe. Great talk, and well worth the read.

At the time of this printing the Church was studying the Old Testament, so I have included a few selected verses regarding belief from that book of scripture. I encourage you to take a few moments to read through each of the verses, even look them up and read the verses around them, and see how their commandments to believe might relate to your need to believe.

Numbers 14:11
11 ¶ And the Lord said unto Moses, How long will this people provoke me? and how long will it be ere they believe me, for all the signs which I have shewed among them?

Numbers 20:12
12 ¶ And the Lord spake unto Moses and Aaron, Because ye believed me not, to sanctify me in the eyes of the children of Israel, therefore ye shall not bring this congregation into the land which I have given them.

Psalm 119:66
66 Teach me good judgment and knowledge: for I have believed thy commandments.

Exodus 14:31
31 And Israel saw that great work which the Lord did upon the Egyptians: and the people feared the Lord, and believed the Lord, and his servant Moses.

2 Chronicles 20:20
20 ¶ And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the Lord your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.

Genesis 15:6
6 And he believed in the Lord; and he counted it to him for righteousness.

References

Elder L. Whitney Clayton
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/04/choose-to-believe?lang=eng

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/04/lord-i-believe?lang=eng

Elder Dieter F. Uchtdorf
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2015/10/be-not-afraid-only-believe?lang=eng

Michael T. Ringwood
https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2009/10/an-easiness-and-willingness-to-believe?lang=eng

 

Here is the PDF file so you can print or study this material.

The Power of Belief

About the Author:

Kelly is retired and living in Rexburg, Idaho, USA. He currently writes for gospelstudy.us. You can find articles by Kelly on ldsblogs.com, ldsliving.com, and moronichannel.org as well. He has also published multiple works, including Premortal Promises, and Contributions to the Kingdom, both available on Amazon.com.

2 Comments

  1. Ava Holley July 6, 2018 at 1:10 pm - Reply

    Loved this article, Kelly. As usual, you’ve helped me to understand and visualize a gospel principle better and deeper than before. Thank you.
    Is there any way to get this article in a PDF so I can print it off, read it and highlight it?
    Thanks,

    • Kelly Merrill July 6, 2018 at 6:49 pm - Reply

      Ava,
      Thank you for your kind words. Just for you, I have added a PDF file at the end of the article. Feel free to share it.

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