The Word —The power of faith in action

Published 11:00 am Sunday, June 12, 2022

At the Last Supper, after He had washed the feet of His disciples, in the midst of some of His greatest teachings about love and service, Jesus told His followers: “If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them” (John 13:17).

When we have faith in Jesus Christ, and experience the joy that this belief brings, it is difficult to hide our light (see Matthew 5:14-16). Faith isn’t passive. It implies commitment, movement, and action.

I learned this years ago when I read all the scriptural passages related to faith listed in the Topical Guide, a supplemental study resource of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. There were hundreds of scriptures, linking to some of the greatest examples and stories in the Holy Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price.

What I learned from that study changed my life. I realized that, once touched by the fire of faith, we can’t sit still. We won’t be satisfied until we have served and shared and loved as true disciples.

After all, James wrote: “Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead” (see James 2:14-18).

To be clear, our good works and acts of service do not save us. Only the grace and power of the infinite Atonement of Jesus Christ can do that. His is the only name whereby we can be saved (see Acts 4:10-12).

But when we love the Savior, we strive to follow his example, lifting and encouraging and serving those around us as we “follow his steps” (1 Peter 2:21).

Recently, Elder David A. Bednar, an Apostle of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, testified:

“Faith focused in and on the Lord Jesus Christ fortifies us with spiritual strength. Faith in the Redeemer is a principle of action and of power. As we act in accordance with the truths of His gospel, we are blessed with the spiritual capacity to press forward through the challenges of mortality while focusing on the joys the Savior offers to us.”

In the words of one of our treasured hymns, faith inspires us to “press on in the work of the Lord.”

The work of the Lord encompasses God’s plan of happiness for His children. We can play many roles:

1. Living the gospel of Jesus Christ: This includes exercising faith, repenting, making covenants with God, and learning and teaching the gospel in our homes.

2. Caring for those in need: This entails serving others in our homes and communities, sharing resources, and becoming more self-reliant.

3. Inviting all to receive the gospel: This involves sharing our faith and testimony with those around us in normal and natural ways.

4. Uniting families for eternity: This comprises linking generations together through family history research and the ordinances of the holy temple.

There are many opportunities to demonstrate our discipleship: How will you show yours?

DR. BRENT ROBERTS is the Branch 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 brentsroberts@hotmail.com.