and sometimes those things that are hard to understand drive people away from the church. members and non-members alike.
but a little while ago Parker & i were discussing faith. our own personal faith and the beliefs and teachings and doctrines of the Church; and i realized why i believe.
i WANT to believe these things are true.
i WANT to be with parker for eternity. i WANT to be with the rest of my family for eternity. i WANT to live again. i WANT to be able to have a fresh start each week as i partake of the sacrament. i WANT to believe that my Savior atoned for ME. i WANT to believe that i have a Father in Heaven who knows me by name & loves me more than i can comprehend. i WANT to believe that that same Father in Heaven loves all of us enough to give us prophets to help us along the way. i WANT to believe that people can change. i WANT to believe that serving others actually makes a difference. i WANT to believe that there is something more beyond this life. i WANT to believe in second chances. i WANT to believe that God has a plan & it is specific and personal yet encompasses everyone & everything. i WANT to believe that blessings come to those who are faithful. i WANT to believe that there is a purpose to this life-- even when it's rotten.
i WANT to believe.
"But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words." [Alma 32: 27; emphasis added]
when i can only DESIRE TO BELIEVE, God promises me that He will work with me to help my unbelief. sometimes He expects us to ask, "Lord, help Thou mine unbelief." [Mark 9:24] He gets that this life is hard, confusing, and hard to understand at times. He gets the fact that WE don't always understand. and that is why He is ALWAYS reaching out and waiting for us to JUST ASK.
and i promise, if we will just ask, in time, we WILL receive.
there have been times when i could not deny the power and reality of the witness of the Spirit. i still cannot deny those times because i felt them and i remember them.
there have been times when i have been troubled & confused. i didn't know where i was supposed to be, what i was doing with my life, and how to progress. i have been confused by Church Doctrine, but i didn't throw everything away because i was confused for a little while. and i'm so grateful that i didn't.
that would be like giving up on all of school because learning to read was hard and confusing at times. and trust me, i TRIED to quit kindergarten. but i'm glad i didn't quit kindergarten because reading has brought me such joy, taught me so many new things, and helped me become who i am today.
likewise, i am SO grateful i didn't give up on my faith, beliefs, or Church when i was confused because it too has brought me such joy, taught me innumerable new things, and helped me become who i am today.
crises of faith happen. the world is a confusing & awful place sometimes. but hope & faith bring me the peace that i desperately need every single day.
and that's why i want and choose to believe.