I'm writing today (Saturday) because Elder Jackson is having a nose surgery on Monday, so we got permission to email today.
This past week was a great one! I went on a 4 day exchange with Elder Smith as his companion and my companion were in Oklahoma City being trained on the new 8 Simplified MTC lessons. We spent Tuesday/Wednesday in Lawton, Thursday in Blanchard, and Friday in Chickasha. As we drove to/from/around Blanchard, we listened to some old BYU devotional talks. One of them was an answer to my prayers.
The talk was "Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ" by Gene R. Cook ("Elder" Gene R. Cook? I don't remember). For a while I've wondered about how a person's faith in Christ can be used to accomplish tasks. For example, the scriptures often say something like, "_________ was done according to their faith in Christ." Ether 12:13-16 lays is out for us, "Behold, it was the faith of Alma and Amulek that caused the prison to tumble to the earth. Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost. Behold, it was the faith of Ammon and his brethren which wrought so great a miracle among the Lamanites. Yea, and even all they who wrought miracles wrought them by faith, even those who were before Christ and also those who were after." Moroni caps the message in verse 18, "And neither at any time hath any wrought miracles until after their faith; wherefore they first believed in the Son of God."
As I thought about it, the Spirit started to make things a little clearer in my mind. For instance, faith in Christ can be used to move mountains and someone can do it in the name of Christ (God willing) because Christ was the one who created it in the first place. That makes sense. Christ made the mountain, so a man acting in the name of Christ in accordance with God's will can move the mountain because he believes that it can be done; he has faith in Christ that it can be done. I kept thinking it over and thought to myself, "Alright. That makes sense. I still don't really know what steps to take or what to do in any given circumstance, but it makes sense."
I kept going about my life until I listened to the talk by Elder Cook (I'm just going to assume he was an Apostle/Seventy--I don't remember if he was or not). In it, he gives six steps a man (or woman) can take to accomplish tasks according to their faith in Christ.
The first step is to, "Be believing with an eye single to the glory of God." To me, this means that everything we do we should do with an eye single to the glory of God. For example, one might think, "Do I want to baptize people so I can have good weekly numbers or do I want to bring people closer to Christ and feel the love of God? Will I serve others so my parents/girfriend/boyfriend/leaders will know how righteous I am, or will I serve others and obey God quietly, humbly, and meekly? Will I obey the commandments so I can know how much more or less righteous I am than the next person, or will I obey the commandments of God with a willing heart, knowing that my Heavenly Father will be pleased with me as I do so?" When we believe something can be done and we do it solely for God's glory, we're on the right track.
The second step is to, "Commit and discipline yourself totally in word and deed." If we believe something can be done, we commit ourselves to doing it and make every thought, word, and action be in accordance with our desired course of action.
I don't have time, so here are the six steps:
1. Be believing with an eye single to the glory of God
2. Commit and discipline yourself totally in word and deed
3. Do all in your power to fulfill your part
4. Pray as if all depended on the Lord
5. Prepare for constant and intense trials of your faith
6. Expect the Lord to perform according to His holy will and your faith
I hope all of you have a great week! I love you and thank you for your prayers! I love you! :)