Elder Johnathan Hale's Mission Site
Trial of Our FaithDate: July 03, 2011
Area: Cauayan City Branch 2 - Assistant to the President
Companion: Elder Bangal
Our purpose as missionaries is to: "Invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end." We stand and recite that often.
The first part of that is faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement. Moroni said this about faith, "Dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."
Joseph Smith had a question. He wanted to know which church to join. He was one day reading in James 1:5 which reads, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." That scripture entered with great force into every fiber of his being. Now here came the trail of his faith. He could either remain in darkness or do as James directs, that is ask of God.
His belief was turned into faith as he went to a grove of trees to put James to the test, the trial of his faith. He had never as yet made an attempt to pray vocally (that is also the case with many investigators). He knelt down and Satan tried to pull some last second disruption, but his faith had been tried, and now came the witness. "I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun." God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to the Prophet Joseph Smith.
It wasn't until after the trial of his faith that he was able to say, "I had found the testimony of James to be true--that a man who lacked wisdom might ask of God, and obtain, and not be upbraided." And so it is with faith.
We ask investigators to read the Book of Mormon. We explain that the first few times you read, you may not understand. It may be boring. You may be busy. But that is the trial of our faith. As you keep going, keep pondering, keep praying, keep reading, then the witness will come, and we are there to help them every step of the way.
Brother Gamit is a man of faith. We taught the Word of Wisdom. He had no problems but "in the alcohol area," he said. He said it was more social than anything else. The family started reading, praying, and coming to church, and Brother Gamit was living the Word of Wisdom. All was well.
Then one day we came by, and Brother Gamit was at home and he explained he had been with friends and gave into a glass or two. Brother Gamit very easily could have been embarrassed. He could have said the standards of the Church are too high for him. He could have said, I can't live the Word of Wisdom. This was a trial to his faith that lead him to repentance, not the Laman and Lemuel attitude, "It is a hard thing I'm asked to do."
Immediately he was like Nephi. The first attempt failed, but I'm going at it again. "I will go and do the things which the Lord has commanded, for I know the Lord giveth no commandment unto the children of men save he shall prepare a way for them (to keep it)."
So he and his family continued reading, praying, and coming to church. He kept going and the Gamit family just had their interviews for baptism last Saturday. They will be entering the waters of baptism this Saturday July 9th about 1:30. Rolando, Ruby, Ryan (aka Reggie 14) and Rex (7 will watch). What a privilege to have gotten to know them, a family of faith.
Maybe after Joseph Smith saw the vision it would all be happily-ever-after. After the vision came other trials to his faith. Ministers and others persecuted him for his claim. I am sure the Gamit families road into the font and onto the temple to be sealed as a family for time and all eternity will have trials of faith. But the blessings will come as well as the miracles, after the trial of their faith. They can do it, they will do it! They are amazing. They are a family that will be "True to the Faith." This church with a rich heritage of faith.
Happy 4th of July. What a miracle we live in a country where we are free to worship how we will. I hope I may ever be, "True to the faith, that (my) parents have cherished. True to the truth for which martyrs have perished. To God's command, soul heart and hand, faithful and true we will ever stand."
I know that as we stay true to our faith under all the trials that come upon that faith, we will receive the promised blessings, even the blessings of eternity. The faith comes first.
Thank you mom and dad, for staying true to the faith.
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