One of the saddest phrases I have come across during my reading is “and they began to disbelieve” (Helaman 4:23). Speaking of the Nephites, the Book of Mormon writer summarizes their behavior in the lead up to their loss of faith and Gospel knowledge.
This phrase highlighted for me how critical it is to be actively engaged in your faith. Belief takes work. It is a choice we make to believe in the Gospel or not, to believe in Jesus Christ, to believe that there is life after death. Because many of the Nephites made choices to disobey the commandments, to murder, rob and steal, they, in effect, chose not to believe.
Keeping the commandments, serving others, participating in the Church all foster belief. That kind of action reflects a deliberate choice to believe; it is so important to actively growing faith in Jesus Christ.
Alma 57-59 (Post-dated to maintain order)
Once upon a time, when I was younger, I used to quit things if I couldn’t do them the way I imagined. Whether it was a question of finances or availability, if I couldn’t get the right materials, I wouldn’t do the project. Or, if I could get the materials, I would spend days on a project that really didn’t need expensive handmade paper or a costume or hand squeezed glow-in-the-dark letters. Yes, I once stayed home from school for three says working on a science display board: I had to make my vision come to life. It was an obsession that I continue to work on curtailing by learning how to make due.
Captain Moroni is my hero in this regard. He started out with a decent sized army to fight the Lamanites and Nephite dissenters but, as the war dragged on, his forces diminished, supplies ran low, and his government stopped responding to his pleas for help. Against these odds, Captain Moroni carried on the war successfully by making due. He maximized his available resources for starters. He relied on prophecy, prayer, and ingenuity. He worked closely with his sub-commanders. He worked hard and gave credit to God for his victories.
As I have discovered in my own life, there are important things that need doing with a deadline. I can’t wait for circumstances to be just right nor can I insist on an unnecessary level of presentation or just the right supplies. It’s more important to take action with what you have already.