THE WORD: Nourishing seeds of faith
Published 8:24 am Thursday, March 28, 2019
Out on the High Bridge Trail this week, with blue skies and warmer temperatures (at last,) I noticed buds on the trees. Having moved here from the high plains of eastern Montana, where trees are few and far between, I love Virginia’s trees! I love to see the buds and leaves break out, as if they have been on the edge of their seats all winter waiting to deploy.
In His parables, Jesus used many analogies related to trees, as well as to planting and harvesting. In Matthew 13, Jesus delivered one of His most memorable teachings, the parable of the sower. He described how some seeds fell on stony ground, while some fell among thorns and some by the wayside. A few “fell into good ground, and brought forth fruit” (13:8).
Seeds do not take root and blossom and grow purely by chance. In addition to good soil, it takes plenty of water, sunlight and cultivation. Regular study and pondering of the scriptures provide rich fertilizer to nourish our faith. We are promised that if we press forward, feasting upon the words of Christ, and endure to the end, we will have eternal life. Occasional nibbling is insufficient! Weekly gathering with our fellow believers also helps build and foster faith. As we fellowship with the faithful and partake of the sacrament, we renew sacred covenants to walk in God’s commandments and to walk in a newness of life.
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Finally, prayer provides a lifeline to the Lord, where we can share our deepest desires and have confidence that He will answer. Our faith is always centered on the Lord Jesus Christ and His infinite redemptive atonement on our behalf. It is only through His grace and power that we are not only cleansed from sin, but find strength to face each day and endure in faith to the end. His is the only name whereby we can be saved, or through whom we can find true peace.
Elder David A. Bednar, an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, has taught: “Most of us know that when we do things wrong and need help to overcome the effects of sin in our lives, the Savior has made it possible for us to become clean through His redeeming power. But do we also understand that the atonement is for faithful men and women who are obedient, worthy and conscientious and who are striving to become better and serve more faithfully?
I wonder if we fail to fully acknowledge this strengthening aspect of the atonement in our lives and mistakenly believe we must carry our load all alone — through sheer grit, willpower, and discipline and with our obviously limited capacities.” We never have to walk alone. Christ is always with us as we nourish our seeds of faith. That is the good news of the gospel.
BRENT ROBERTS is the Elders Quorum President in the Sandy River Branch, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and also Dean of Greenwood Library at Longwood University. He can be reached at email@example.com.