Helen Keller said, “Faith is the strength by which a shattered world shall emerge into the light.” That is exactly what happened in the Sacred Grove two hundred years ago. There a 14 year-old boy went to pray, having faith enough to know that if he asked his Heavenly Father a question he would get an answer. And he did get an answer! Because Joseph Smith prayed in faith and then acted in faith on the answer he received, the world has been filled with the incredible light of the gospel!
There have been many times in my life when I have had to rely totally on faith – faith is built on our Savior, Jesus Christ. He is the Light of the world. I know that faith in Him can give us the strength to emerge triumphant in times when we feel our world shattering is around us. Without a doubt we will all have times when we feel like our world is shattering around us, because, honestly, that is part of our mortal learning. Those are the refining moments in our lives. During those times, we get to choose if we will have faith, if we will trust Heavenly Father to shape and mold us into the person He wants us to be. While I can’t say that I have loved my trials, I can say I love what my trials have helped me become. I cannot say I have loved watching those I love go through their trials, but I love how they have come through them better and stronger than ever!
Russell M. Nelson reminds us, “If Joseph Smith’s transcendent experience in the Sacred Grove teaches us anything, it is that the heavens are open and that God speaks to His children. The Prophet Joseph Smith set a pattern for us to follow in resolving our questions. … The boy Joseph took his question directly to Heavenly Father. He sought personal revelation, and his seeking opened this last dispensation. … What will your seeking open for you?”1
Do we have the kind of faith that young Joseph had? Do we really know that Heavenly Father will answer our sincere prayers? Do we have enough faith in Him to trust how He answers our prayers?
I love the beautiful reminder in Alma 58:11 that says, “Yea, and it came to pass that the Lord our God did visit us with assurances that he would deliver us; yea, insomuch that he did speak peace to our souls, and did grant unto us great faith, and did cause us that we should hope for our deliverance in him.”
At the beginning of the year, President Nelson issued this challenge, “In this remarkable year as we commemorate the 200th anniversary of the First Vision, I invite you to think deeply and often about this key question: How do you hear Him?”2 Speaking peace to my soul and granting me great faith are some of the sweetest ways I hear Him. Trusting God, having faith in His Son, and listening for the whisperings of the Holy Ghost are things I have to do every day. Then I can hear Him better. And as I learn to hear Him better, I know He will lighten my burdens and brighten my days.
1. Revelation for the Church, Revelation for Our Lives – Russell M. Nelson
2. How Do You Hear Him? – Russell M. Nelson