Faith

Faith / Divine Nature / Individual Worth / Knowledge / Choice-and-Accountability /Good Works / Integrity / Temple Marriage / Especially for Leaders/

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Be strong and of good courage, do not fear or be in dread of them: for it is the Lord your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you.     Deuteronomy 31:6

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Unquestioning belief

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The faith of Christ was four-fold:

1. Faith in God

2. Faith in the kingdom of God

3. Faith in man

4. Faith in ourselves

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Related Topics:

trust, reliance, confidence, creed, belief, build upon, depend, rely, faithful: loyal, devoted, trustworthy, exact

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Opposite:

FEAR, distrust, skepticism

Quotes:

To be a star, you must shine your own light, follow your own path, and don't worry about the darkness, for that is when the stars shine brightest.                     Author Unknown

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Give light, and the darkness will disappear of itself.                 Erasmus

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You can gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in  the face... You must do the thing which you think you cannot do.                  Eleanor Roosevelt

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There is a first faith and a second faith. The first faith is the easy, traditional belief of childhood, taken from other people, believed because it belonged to the time and land. The second faith is the personal conviction of the soul. ...It is the heart knowing, because God has spoken to it, the things of God.... It, and it alone, is the belief which brings salvation."                Phillips Brooks

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Happy is a the man, indeed, who can receive this soul-satisfying testimony, and be at rest, and seek for no other road to peace than by the doctrines of Jesus Christ. His gospel teaches us to love our fellowmen, to do to others as we would have others do to us, to be just, to be merciful, to be forgiving and to perform every good act calculated to enlarge the soul of man. His perfected philosophy teaches also enemies and for those who despitefully use us. There are no other gospels or systems of philosophy that bear these marks of divinity and immortality. You may hunt the philosophies of the world in vain for any code of ethics that insures the peace and rest that may be found in His comprehensive, yet simple, gospel.                                       President Joseph F. Smith

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There is a grand fearlessness in faith. He who in his heart of hearts reverences the good, the true, the holy -- that is, reverences God -- does not tremble at the apparent success of attacks upon the outworks of faith. They may shake those who rest on those outworks -- they do not move him whose soul reposes on the truth itself. He needs no prop or crutches to support his faith. Founded on a Rock, Faith can afford to gaze undismayed at the approaches of infidelity.                   Frederick W. Robertson

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Faith is the power behind good works. The exercising of faith is a willingness to accept without total regular proof and to move forward and perform works. "Faith without works is dead" (James 2:26), and a dead faith will not lead one to move forward to adjust a life or to serve valiantly. A real faith pushes one forward to constructive and beneficial acts as though he knew in absoluteness. The Prophet Alma gave the near perfect address on faith in the thirty-second chapter of Alma. He gives us: "Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true."        (Alma 32:21.)

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The greatest pleasure in life is doing what people say you cannot do.              Adam Fendelman

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"Whether you think that you can, or that you can't, you are usually right."      Henry Ford (1863-1947)

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Faith is the power behind good works. The exercising of faith is a willingness to accept without total regular proof and to move forward and perform works. "Faith without works is dead" (James 2:26), and a dead faith will not lead one to move forward to adjust a life or to serve valiantly. A real faith pushes one forward to constructive and beneficial acts as though he knew in absoluteness. The Prophet Alma gave the near perfect address on faith in the thirty-second chapter of Alma. He gives us: "Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true."         (Alma 32:21.)

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"I believe in Christ like I believe in the sun at noonday--not because I can see it, but by it I can see everything else."         C.S. Lewis

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His gospel is the perfect prescription for all human problems and social ills. But His gospel is effective only as it is applied in our lives. Therefore, we must "feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell [us] all things that [we] should do" (2 Nephi 32:3). Unless we do His teachings, we do not demonstrate faith in Him.                           (Ezra Taft Benson, Come unto Christ, p. 132.) 

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When faith lays hold of a man, it pervades all of life--all aspects of life, all functions, all activities, all that we say or even think.        (Ezra Tat Benson, Calvary Baptist Church, Washington D.C., 13 February 1959.)

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Without faith in our Heavenly Father, we cannot be successful. Faith gives us vision of what may happen, hope for the future, and optimism in our present tasks. Where faith is, we do not doubt the ultimate success of the work.             Ezra Taft Benson

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We will all have disappointments and discouragements--that is part of life. But if we will have faith, our setbacks will be but a moment and success will come out of our seeming failures. Our Heavenly Father can accomplish miracles through each of us if we will but place our confidence and trust in Him. I have witnessed this on many occasions.        (Ezra Taft Benson, "Four Keys for Success," Churubusco Mexico Stake, 5 June 1982.)

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But the real measure of our faith is our private religious behavior--love and harmony in our |P166|p1 homes, our personal prayers, private scripture study, temple attendance, magnifying Church callings, and offering love and service to our fellowmen. ("Lord, Increase Our Faith!" Provo Utah Tabernacle Rededication, 21 September 1986.) Ezra Taft Benson

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Songs: 

I Believe in Christ  (hymn #)

I Know that My Redeemer Lives (hymn #)

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Scripture stories:

Rebekah Chosen For Isaac's Wife

Abraham wanted to find a wife for his son Isaac who would help him remain faithful and would teach their children to be faithful. This was extremely important so that the Priesthood would remain with Abraham's descendants. It was typical in those days for parents to choose mates for their children so Abraham called his oldest servant and asked him to search for a wife for Isaac. His servant asked "What if the woman chosen will not follow me back to this land? Should I not take Isaac with me, so the woman and her family can approve of him?" Abraham answered, "The Lord shall send his angel before thee, and he will help thee find a wife for Isaac."

After reaching the city of Mesopotamia, Abraham's servant prayed for guidance. A young women approached that was not only beautiful but also virtuous and lovely. She loved the Lord and tried to keep his commandments and because of this she was greatly blessed.

Abraham's servant, after going to her home, told them that he had been led by the Lord to find the wife for Isaac and that the Lord had chosen Rebekah. As was custom, he asked her father and brother for permission to take her away to Canaan to be Isaac's wife. They recognized the Lord's hand and gave their permission.

The next morning as the servant made arrangements to return to Canaan, Rebekah's mother and brother asked that she be allowed to stay ten days. The servant found it urgent that he return that day and asked Rebekah if she was willing to go with him. She knew that she would be leaving a family that she loved and going to a foreign land to marry a man she had never met. Because of her great faith, Rebekah knew that God would bless her and so she packed her things and started the journey toward her new life. (Genesis 24)

Can you imagine how much faith Rebekah had to leave everything that she knew and was familiar to start a new life with a husband that she had never met. She knew that by leaving her family and city that she would probably never see them again because of the great distance and difficult transportation. Imagine for a moment that you are leaving everything that is familiar to trust in God's decision of who you are going to marry. You are being brought into a home and family that you need to fit in which may include different customs. This decision can only be made with the aid of the peaceful feeling we receive from following God's plan and the surety of knowing what is right. It mentioned early in the story that Rebekah loved the Lord and tried to keep all of his commandments and because of this she was blessed. This doesn't mean that our lives are always easy or without trial but it does mean that we will have the security of knowing that we are doing the right thing and along with this security comes a peace so strong that you will never have to doubt your decision.

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The Faith of Gideon's Army

After being part of the great miracle of Jericho where God caused the walls to topple over allowing the Isrealites access into the city, these same armies were gradually weakened because of disobedience. As a result, the Israelites lived in fear and poverty because of the continual attacks and destruction of the Midianite army. These attacks left the Israelites with no food and safety to the point that they had to leave their homes and hide in mountain caves in order to save their lives. After seven years, the Israelites began to repent and ask for God's help again.

Among the Israelites was a man named Gideon who was very righteous. One day while threshing wheat for his family, an angel of the Lord appear to him. After some discussion, the angle told him, "Go in thy strength, and thou shalt save Israel from the Midianites." The Israelites soon received word that a huge Midianite army was preparing to attack them. As Gideon rallied the men willing to fight around him, he noticed that almost thirty-two thousand came but Gideon was worried because he knew that their enemy had 134,000 soldiers. The Lord surprised Gideon by saying, "The people that are with thee are too many. If Israel wins with so many men, they will boast of their own power, saying =91Mine own hand hath saved me.'" Following God's instructions, Gideon went to the men and announced, "Whosoever is fearful and afraid, return home." Twenty-two thousand men packed up their things and left. This left only ten thousand men remaining to fight the battle.

Soon the Lord spoke again to Gideon saying, "The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water." Gideon brought them to the water and the Lord said, "Separate those who lap the water with their tongues as a dog laps and those who kneel down to drink." Gideon noticed that only three hundred men drank water by bringing it up to their mouths with their hand and asked the remaining to leave. The Lord proclaimed, "By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you and deliver the Midianites into thine hand." Now the odds were 300 Israelites to battle against 135,000 Midianites.

During the night, Gideon and his servant Phurah went to the enemy's camp and overheard a man telling his friend about a dream: "Behold, I dreamed and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the camp of Midian, and it came unto a tent and struck it, and the tent fell and overturned, and the tent lay upon the ground." The friend then interpreted the dream saying, "This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon, the son of Joash, a man of Israel, for God is giving him a victory over Midian." After hearing this Gideon thanked God and returned to his 300 men and said "Arise, for the Lord hath delivered into our hands the Midianites." He organized the 300 men into three groups and gave each man a trumpet and a pitcher with a torch inside.

While it was dark, Gideon and his men surrounded the Midiante camp, blew their trumpets, broke the pitcher so that the torch could be seen, and then shouted, "The sword of the Lord, and of Gideon." The Midianites woke from their sleep in a panic. They groped through the darkness, not knowing who were their friends or enemies, and began to fight among themselves and fled leaving Gideon's army the victors. (Judges 6-8)

Emphasize the point that God doesn't want us taking credit for miracles that he performs. Remind the girls that God kept reducing the size of the army because he foretold that, "If Israel wins with so many men, they will boast of their own power, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.'" Try to imagine how much faith it took for those 300 men to go into battle knowing that their enemies numbered 135,000. Likewise, it must have taken a lot of strength for the others to leave knowing that they were leaving their fate and the fate of their families in the hands of a handful of men. They couldn't have possibly decided to leave unless they had a unfaltering faith that God was there and would be able to protect their city from the Midianites. No man could ever defeat an enemy of that size unless God was with him. We need to not only have faith to act and to fight God's battles but also have faith to walk away when the Holy Ghost whispers to us in his soft voice. We need to be in tune enough to know that when God tells us something that it is important and then have the faith to know that with God all things are possible.

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Other Stories:

Faith In Every Footstep

Mary Fielding Smith, widow of Hyrum Smith is a great example of faith with many footsteps to accomplish what needed to be done. To me her story of getting to Salt Lake Valley is inspiring and an example of the kind of hope and faith every mother should have knowing that God will help us through. Here is just a small part of her story:

At the death of the patriarch [Hyrum Smith] the care of the family fell upon his widow, Mary [Fielding] Smith. Besides the children there were several helpless and inform people, whom for various charitable reasons the patriarch had maintained; and these also she cared for, and brought through to the valley the major part of them, under unusually trying circumstances.

Passing over the incidents of her journey to winter quarters, after the expulsion from Nauvoo, we come at once to her heroic effort from winter quarters westward. In the spring of 1848 a tremendous effort was made by the saints to emigrate to the valley on a grand scale. No one was more anxious than Widow Smith; but to accomplish it seemed an impossibility, for although a portion of her household had emigrated in 1847, she still had a large and comparatively helpless family -- her sons John and Joseph, mere boys, being her only support. Without teams sufficient to draw the number of wagons necessary to haul provisions and outfit for the family, and without means to purchase, or friends who were in circumstances to assist, she determined to make the attempt, and trust in the Lord for the issue. Accordingly every nerve was strained, and every available object was brought into requisition. Cows and calves were yoked up, two wagons lashed together, and a team barely sufficient to draw one was hitched on to them, and in this manner they rolled out from winter quarters some time in May. After a series of the most amusing and trying circumstances, such as sticking in the mud, doubling teams up all the little hills, and crashing at ungovernable speed down the opposite sides, breaking wagon tongues and reaches, upsetting, and vainly endeavoring to control wild steers, heifers and unbroken cows, they finally succeeded in reaching the Elk Horn, where the companies were being organized for the plains.

Here Widow Smith reported herself to President Kimball as having "started for the valley." Meantime, she had left no stone unturned or problem untried, which promised assistance in effecting the necessary preparations for the journey. She had done her utmost, and still the way looked dark and impossible.

President Kimball consigned her to Captain ------'s fifty. The captain was present. Said he:

"Widow Smith, how many wagons have you?"

"Seven."

"How many yoke of oxen have you?"

"Four," and so many cows and calves.

"Well," said the captain, "it is folly for you to start in this manner; you never can make the journey, and if you try it you will be a burden upon the company the whole way. My advice to you is, to go back to winter quarters and wait till you can get help."

"Widow Smith calmly replied, "Father ------" (he was an aged man), "I will beat you to the valley, and will ask no help from you either!"

This seemed to nettle the old gentleman, and it doubtless influenced his conduct towards her during the journey.

While lying at Elk Horn she sent back and succeeded in buying on credit, and hiring for the journey, several yoke of oxen from brethren who were not able to emigrate that year, and when the companies were ready to start she and her family were somewhat better prepared for the journey, and rolled out with lighter hearts and better prospects than favored their egress from winter quarters.

As they journeyed on the captain lost no opportunity to vent his spleen on the widow and her family; but she prayerfully maintained her integrity of purpose, and pushed vigorously on, despite several discouraging circumstances.

[During this journey, the famous incident of raising one of her oxen from apparent death by a priesthood blessing took place - see CH Story 49.]

On the 22d of September the company crossed over "Big Mountain," when they had the first glimpse of Salt Lake Valley. Every heart rejoiced, and with lingering fondness they gazed upon the goal of their wearisome journey. The descent of the western side of "Big Mountain" was precipitous and abrupt, and they were obliged to rough-lock the hind wheels of the wagons, and, as they were not needed, the forward cattle were turned loose to be driven to camp, the "wheelers" only being retained on the wagons. Desirous of shortening the next day's journey as much as possible, they drove on till a late hour in the night, and finally camped near the eastern foot of the "Little Mountain." During the night's drive several of Widow Smith's cows, that had been turned loose from the teams, were lost in the brush. Early the next morning her son John returned to hunt for them, their service in the teams being necessary to proceed.

At an earlier hour than usual the captain gave orders for the company to start, knowing well the circumstances of the widow, and that she would be obliged to remain until John returned with the lost cattle. Accordingly the company rolled out, leaving her and her family alone. Hours passed by ere John returned with the lost cattle, and the company could be seen toiling along far up the mountain. And to human ken it seemed probable that the widow's prediction would ingloriously fail. But as the company were nearing the summit of the mountain a cloud burst over their heads, sending down the rain in torrents, and throwing them into utter confusion. The cattle refused to pull, and to save the wagons from crashing down the mountain side, they were obliged to unhitch, and block the wheels. While the teamsters sought shelter, the storm drove the cattle in every direction, so that when it subsided it was a day's work to find them and get them together. Meantime, as noted, John had returned with the stray cattle, and they were hitched up, and the widow and family rolled up the mountain, passing the company and continuing on to the valley, where she arrived fully twenty hours in advance of the captain. And thus was her prophesy fulfilled.

She kept her husband's family together after her arrival in the valley, and her prosperity was unparalleled. At her death, which occurred September 21st, 1852, she left them comfortably provided for, and in possession of every educational endowment that the facilities of the times would permit.

(Edward Tullidge, The Women of Mormondom, 1877, pp. 344-49)

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Heber C. Kimball's Prophecy of Prosperity


On October 6-8, 1845, a general conference of the Church was held in Nauvoo. Elder Heber C. Kimball addressed the assembly on the second day: "I am glad he time of our Exodus is come; I have looked for it for years. It is necessary for us to be faithful and humble, and if we listen to counsel we shall prosper.  And although we leave all our fine houses and farms here, how long do you think it will be before we shall be better off than we are now? ... There may be individuals who will look at their pretty houses and gardens and say, 'it is hard to leave them' ... I will prophecy in the name of Heber C. Kimball, that in five years, we will be as well again off as we are now."  (See Times and Seasons, 6:1011-1012)

The Saints followed, and settled in the Great Salt Lake Valley.  Heber's prophecy must have seemed far off for them as they struggled with the bleak conditions - "during a season of famine, when the half-starved, half-clad settlers, isolated from the civilized world, 'a thousand miles from anywhere,' were living on rations, eked out with wild roots dug from the earth or obtained from the Indians, scarcely knowing where to look for the next crust of bread or for rags to hide their nakedness." (Orson F. Whitney, History of Utah, 4:20)

Then Heber added to the prophecy he had spoken in Nauvoo: "When hard times pressed the Saints in Salt Lake City, and a thousand miles separated them from commercial points, President Kimball stood up in
the Tabernacle and prophesied that in less than six months clothing and other goods would be sold in the streets of Great Salt Lake City cheaper than they could be bought in New York.  This astonished the people.

One of his brethren said to him after meeting that he did not believe it. 'Neither did I,' said Brother Kimball, 'but I said it.  It will have to go.' No one saw the possibility of its verification." (See Jenson, _LDS
Biographical Encyclopedia, 1:37) "'I don't believe a word of it,' said Charles C. Rich, voicing no doubt the opinion of nine-tenths of the congregation.  'Well, I don't believe it either,' said the Prophet Heber, with a characteristic smile, after he had sat down; 'I am afraid I have missed it this time.'" (Whitney, 4:20)

"As soon as he had uttered it he, he felt scared almost out of his wits to think that he had predicted such an unlikely thing as that.  Brother George A. Smith who was sitting right by him spoke to him and said, 'There, Brother you have bat [busted] your boiler this time sure.'  This was in the spring of at a meeting held in the old fort.  But he had not, although he thought he had..." (George Morris Autobiography, typescript, BYU-S,  p. 62)

But Heber's words were indeed fulfilled.  In 1849, with the discovery of gold in California, a great excitement caught up the country.  "Gold Fever", they called it, and soon the wagon trains carrying eager miners were following the pioneer trails and streaming through Salt Lake City. "In order to lighten their loads and expedite progress to the gold fields, they sold at enormous sacrifice the valuable merchandise with which they had stored their wagons to cross the plains.  Their choice, blooded, but now jaded stock they eagerly exchanged for the fresh mules and horses of the Pioneers, and bartered off dry goods, groceries, provisions, clothing, tools, etc., for the most primitive outfits, with barely enough provisions
to enable them to reach their journey's end." (Whitney, 4:20)

George Morris recorded how the gold-rushers were so eager to get to California ahead of their competitors, that they overworked their animals and got them "foot sore" - injuries that could be easily cured with time. But there was no time to spare, and so they traded eagerly for fresh animals.  Sometimes they left teams and wagons, hoping to make better progress with just horses and pack mules.  Morris recorded that he traded a small yoke of three-year-old steers for two large, footsore oxen, a third
older ox, and ten dollars.  After three or four days of care, the oxen were as good as new.  With the 10 dollars, he purchased from other camps "things which we were bad in need of and got a large quantity of stuff for it, among which was a good coat and pair of boots for myself, some flour, bacon and groceries which started us to living again quite comfortable."  Within a week he traded the rejuvenated three oxen for two other teams, fifteen dollars, and a wagon which the owner claimed cost 100 dollars. By the end of the summer, Morris recorded: "I will not attempt to give the details any further but suffice it to say that at the end of the season I had five yoke of oxen and a splendid wagon and cows.  I also had clothing, boots, shoes, breadstuff and groceries sufficient to make us more comfortable than we had ever been before.  We lacked for nothing that was necessary to make us as comfortable as we could desire besides having some
luxuries to enjoy.  Thus being an eyewitness, I am able to testify of the literal fulfillment [of the prophecies of Joseph and Heber] ... But I have been eyewitness and a partaker of the blessings spoken and know that they were true predictions and fulfilled to the very letter.  I further testify that the God of Israel brought this all about and that His hand was made visible and manifest in a miraculous manner in behalf of his poor afflicted people who were robbed and persecuted and driven outside of the confines of civilization by the good  Christian people of the United States.  We were willing to come away and sacrifice our homes and put our trust in God and cast our lot among the savages and live in the wilderness because we were too obliged."  (George Morris Autobiography, typescript, BYU-S, pp. 61-64)

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A Life that Counted

The following is a true story of a young woman of great faith and how her faith

helped prepare the world to received the restored gospel.

Susannah Annesley, the youngest of twenty-five children, was born in England in 1669. Her father was a good Christian man and a minister, so the importance of religion was strongly taught to her in her youth. Beginning as a child, she had a strong desire to make her life count in the world through her Christian service.

She lived in an age of religious persecution, with many put to death for their religious views (even her own father had almost lost his life for what he believed). Many confused the practice of true Christianity with politics.

Susannah loved to read. History in conjunction with religion seemed to be a favorite topic of hers. These studies caused her to question many of the practices of her time and she turned to the Bible for truth.

Her deep love for God and the peace she felt from following Him gave her a great desire to start a spiritual fire that would burn not only in London, but throughout all of England and then throughout all the earth. She wanted so much to help others to know Christ rather than just perform the outward appearances of religion. She wanted to help create a better world. Her father had once told her that England needed someone to light a candle and hold it high enough for all to see their way out of the present spiritual darkness. But he said it would be like trying to light a candle and keep it burning in the midst of a hurricane. To this Susannah replied, "With God all things are possible."

Each day she prayed, "Dear God, guide me. Help me do Thy will. Make my life count." But the only answer she got was "WAIT."

While she waited she got married and had children. She gave birth to nineteen children in all, nine of which lived to adulthood. As the mother of all these children, she decided to raise them dedicated to the Lord. She felt that her best way of serving God was through raising these children and educating them. Perhaps some of them would then be instrumental in helping to change the world.

Susannah's husband, Samuel Wesley, was a minister who believed very strongly in preaching the truth as best he understood it -- whether it was popular or not. Together they went through many hard times because truth was not in fashion. But they held to their beliefs and Susannah worked hard raising her children even under the most difficult of circumstances.

At least two sons proved Susannah to be correct in her belief that her purpose was to raise and educate good children for God. John and Charles Wesley became staunch ministers who wanted very much to revive Christianity.

As time went on, John Wesley and Charles Wesley became leaders in what became The Great Awakening. John Wesley was the founder of Methodism and Charles Wesley not only preached, but also wrote many hymns, some of which are still found in our Hymn books today, such as "Christ the Lord is Risen Today," "Hark! the Herald Angels Sing," and "Rejoice, the Lord is King."

The Great Awakening was a major event in history (often skipped in school so you may want to read about it with your children) that had a profound effect on the heritage of the United States. The preaching of this period emphasized that all men are equal in the sight of God. This basic principle shaped many of the ideas that went into the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution of the United States. Both of these documents paved the way for the religious freedom that made the restoration of the Gospel through Joseph Smith possible. John and Charles Wesley truly helped put in place the conditions needed for the gospel to be taught around the world. By teaching her children, and being totally devoted to God herself, Susannah Wesley did begin a great spiritual fire. Elder George Q. Cannon said, "John Wesley. . . was raised up and inspired of God to do a work, and he did it."

John and Charles always gave great praise and credit to their mother for the way she raised her children. She must have been a great woman and certainly a great mother.

Samuel Wesley, Susannah's husband was certainly correct when he told her, "Some of the truly great people are the ones who were faithful in doing simple things." (Susannah Wesley by Charles Ludwig, page 89)

At least three modern prophets, David O. McKay, Harold B. Lee and Ezra Taft Benson, have honored her and have considered her council so to be wise that they have each encouraged all of us to follow some of it.

There is much to be learned from this great woman who had a clear vision of the influence a mother can have for good.             

Debra Coe (c) 1994 all rights reserved     

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"Would you judge the lawfulness or unlawfulness of pleasure? Take this rule: Now note, whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of your conscience, obscures your sense of God, takes off your relish for spiritual things, whatever increases the authority of the body over the mind, that thing is sin to you, however innocent it may seem in itself. "

Suzannah Wesley

(as quoted by modern prophets)

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The Pilgrims and Squanto

A few years ago, at Thanksgiving time and we were teaching our children about the pilgrims. As part of this, I read them a biography about Squanto's life. I learned a few things I had never known. When he was about twelve he was taken to England; it is not sure whether this was by force or if he merely agree to go after having been enticed. In any case, Squanto stayed in England for nearly ten years. There he was put on display in a London museum because most people had never seen an Indian before. In general though, people were good to him and he learned to speak English and learned to enjoy many of their customs, and food.

Finally he learned that two ships were sailing together to explore the part of America he was from. Anxious to see his family he sailed on the ship of Captain John Smith who had started the colony of Virginia. I can only imagine his excitement and anticipation.

When the ship landed, he set off on foot toward the area of his tribe. But his dream of seeing his family came to an abrupt halt as he was suddenly taken captive by Captain Thomas Hunt, the captain of the other ship. He was tied up and put in a dark room below deck to be taken to Spain and sold as a slave. Over the next several days, many Indians were kidnapped and put with Squanto. Never again would the tribes of these Indians trust white man as a seed of hatred was planted by the kidnappings.

In Spain, two monks helped Squanto escape and get on a ship to London where he hoped to find someone he knew that might be of help him. Once in London, he went to the house of his friend only to find that the family had moved. Alone, hungry, and without money he went to another house to beg for food. At this house, the man recognized him from when he had been on display at the museum. John Slanie took him in as one of his servants and Squanto stayed with this family for more than three years while he waited and hoped to find a ship to take him back to America.

Finally he met a man named Mr. Dermer who was sailing to New England to explore the area. He agreed to take Squanto with him. This time when he returned to his native land and approached the area where is tribe had been, he found it deserted; the path overgrown with weeds. I imagine he wondered, "Why me?."

It turned out that only two years earlier, a great sickness had killed the entire Patuxets tribe. If he had been there instead of taken back to Europe, he too would have died.

It was only four months later that the pilgrims landed in America and found a very choice place to begin building their new homes. As it turned out, this choice place was there for them because it was the same place Squanto's tribe had been. It was now considered a cursed land because of all the deaths and none of the other Indian tribes wanted it and did not care to fight them for the land. Because of the way the white men had treated the Patuxet, for example the kidnappings, these Indians hated the white men and if this tribe had still been there, they may have killed the Pilgrims.

Instead, only Squanto was left. What a great help and friend he was! Without him, the Pilgrims may not have survived. He was more than willing to help them and even lived with them where he was always available to help. He helped them communicate with the other tribes, which undoubtedly helped to keep peace, taught them to fish, how to grow food in this new country and taught them to cook the many new and strange foods, etc.

Every time I hear this story, I realize what an incredible blessing and surprise the Pilgrims must have had to see this Indian come out of what to them was a vast wilderness and find that he knew and understood both their language and their customs and that he was so willing to help them to learn to live in a totally different environment.

I can only believe that all this was through the hand of God. I doubt Squanto had any idea that his whole life was a great preparation for the role he would play in the beginning of a new nation; a nation where freedom of religion would be established. It reminds me that many of the experiences of this life may well be for the benefit of others. I should give thanks for what I have and appreciate opportunities to grow, learn and help others. After all, while still on this earth, Squanto never knew the full importance of what he did.  This also requires faith that God that is there and is mindful of us.  If we keep his commandments, he will always direct our lives and help us to bless others.  As with the Pilgrims, if we have faith and do what we know is right, God will provide for our needs.

Debra Coe (c) all rights reserved

 

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Poems:

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Heroes of Faith

by Edgar De Witt Jones

By faith the voyaging Mayflower embarked from Old England and found harbor off the bleak New England shores.

By faith the Pilgrim Fathers set up a government on a new continent dedicated to God and inspired by a desire to do his will on earth as it is done in heaven.

By faith Thomas Jefferson was stirred to strike a blow for political independence and wrote the thrilling document that declared that all men are created equal and endowed with certain inalienable rights.

By faith he said, "Love your neighbor as yourself and your country more than yourself."

By faith George Washington left his spacious mansion at Mount Vernon and espoused the cause of the tax-burdened colonists.

By faith he forsook ease and comfort, choosing rather to suffer hardship with his men at Valley Forge than to enjoy the favor of a king.

By faith he became the President of the newly born republic and endured as seeing Him who is invisible.

By faith Alexander Hamilton established the financial credit of the nation. In the eloquent words of Daniel Webster: "He touched the corpse of public credit and it sprang into life. He smote the rock of national resources and abundant streams of revenue flowed."

By faith James Madison gave richly of his scholarly mind to form the Federal Constitution.

By faith Andrew Jackson fought the battle of the impoverished and underprivileged many against the privileged few.

By faith Abraham Lincoln bore the awful burden of four purgatorial years seeking to preserve the Federal Union.

By faith he carried a dreadful war to its conclusion without hate in his heart, saying, "I have not only suffered for the South, I have suffered with the South."

By faith Woodrow Wilson in the dreadful heartbreak of a world war dreamed a dream of a war less world in which the nations should be leagued together to keep the peace.

By faith he glimpsed that promised land which, like Moses, he might not enter.

And what shall I more say? For time would fail me if I should tell of that unnumbered host, the unnamed and obscure citizens who bore unimagined burdens, sacrificed in silence and endured nobly, that a government of the people, for the people, and by the people might not perish from the earth.

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The Things That Haven't Been Done Before
By Edgar Guest
The things that haven't been done before,
Those are the things to try;
Columbus dreamed of an unknown shore
At the rim of the far-flung sky,
And his heart was bold and his faith was strong
As he ventured in dangers new,
And he paid no heed to the jeering throng
Or the fears of the doubting crew.
 
The many will follow the beaten track
With guideposts on the way.
They live and have lived for ages back
With a chart for every day.
Someone has told them it's safe to go
On the road he has traveled o'er,
And all that they ever strive to know
Are the things that were known before.
 
A few strike out, without map or chart,
Where never a man has been,
From the beaten paths they draw apart
To see what no man has seen.
There are deeds they hunger alone to do;
Though battered and bruised and sore,
They blaze the path for the many, who
Do nothing not done before.
 
The things that haven't been done before
Are the tasks worthwhile today;
 
Are you one of the flock that follows, or
Are you one that shall lead the way?
Are you one of the timid souls that quail
At the jeers of a doubting crew,
Or dare you, whether you win or fail,
Strike out for a goal that's new?

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Blind

by John Kendrick Bangs

"Show me your God!" the doubter cries.

I point him to the smiling skies;

I show him all the woodland greens;

I show him peaceful sylavan scenes;

I show him winter snows and frost;

I show him hills rock-ribbed and strong;

I bid him hear the thrush's song;

I show him flowers in the close--

The lily, violet and rose;

I show him rivers, babbling streams;

I show him youthful hopes and dreams;

I show him maids with eager hearts;

I show him toilers in the marts;

I show him stars, the moon, the sun;

I show him deeds of kindness done;

I show him joy; I show him care,

And still he holds his doubting air,

And faithless goes his way, for he

Is blind of soul, and cannot see!

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Science:

Rolling up Hill: For this experiment you will need:

Two funnels of equal size (you can make two funnels by cutting off the tops of two liter soda bottles), two yard sticks, three books, tape for funnels.

Tape the two funnels together, with the wide part of each facing each other. Stack two books on top of each other and place the third book approximately 30 inches away. Place the yard sticks on the books so as to make a track that is more narrow at the bottom and wider at the top. Place the funnels on the "track" at the bottom. They should roll up hill because of the center of gravity. PICTURE

It seems that the funnels do the unexpected. This like the gospel. We cannot always predict the outcomes of everything. We must have faith in God that the commandments are the best to follow and that perhaps as with the funnels rolling up hill, we may not know as much as we think, but God always knows. [The story of Heber C. Kimball and his predictions of goods selling cheaper in Salt Lake Valley than in New York goes well with this demonstration.]

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Object Lessons:

Our Legs and Feet: Our legs and feet are our foundation when we stand. They are the means by which we walk and run. Their strength is very important. Without strong legs and feet, we must use crutches to walk with which are more difficult to maneuver and to get around on.

Faith is like our legs and feet. Faith is the foundation on which we stand in the gospel. It is our faith that allow us to walk in the ways of Christ and to follow him. Without our faith we cannot stand by ourselves. The can use "crutches" in the sense of depending on other's testimonies, but we can never walk as well or get around as easily on these "crutches" as we can when we are using our own faith.

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Several Objects of Fine workmanship: It doesn't matter what object you use, but it is preferable that the object be factory made, of fine workmanship, and something that the most people would not have seen made. You can use several objects or just one object.

Ask several questions such as:    Would you believe me if I told you I found these in these objects in the woods? Why not? Would you believe that these just made themselves? Why not?

Have you ever seen these being made? Why then would you only believe that they are made by a factory and not just created or grown in the woods?

The idea is that although we have not seen many objects specifically made ourselves, we know that such objects were certainly made by someone, because such fine workmanship could not have simply appeared and been created by accident. The analogy is that our human bodies are even more incredible and of much finer workmanship than any other object that we could bring in to display. How then could believe anything other than that there certainly is a Creator, a God. The world around us is full of of miracles and evidence that God exists. The fact that we have not seen the factory or seen an object made does not change the fact that it could not have been created otherwise and we can know with certainty that the creator does exist.

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Sun in the sky vs. Son of God:  Brings light and warmth into the world.  Without the warms and heat of of the sun, what would the world be like?  Talk with the children about this.  Use the analogy that our sprits need warmth too.  The warmth that comes come knowing God loves us and knowing that others love us.  We see our world by the light of the sun.   Faith in the Son of God brings a spiritual light by which we then "see" and understand the world around us.

Tire air is what holds it up

Windmill

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Activity Ideas:

Speakers on Faith In Yourself: Have a speaker come in and talk about being successful and emphasize the importance of faith in yourself.

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Faithful and Unfaithful Game: In this game the group of youth should be split into two teams. One called the Faithful and the other called the Unfaithful. (Half way through the game the teams change roles so both should have equal time being "Faithful.")  The object is to create several relay races in which the "Faithful" group will have a distinct advantage. All of the games should incorporate a gospel principle and show that by following the gospel principle life really is easier and tasks made considerably easier.

Plan about six relay races and after the first three, change which team is faithful and which is unfaithful.

Part of the fun of this game should be the youth planning their own games and thinking of how gospel principles can be apply. But here are some suggestions:

Race where each member of a team is given a balloon to blow up. They must get from one end of the gym to the other by blowing air into the balloon and then letting the balloon go.  They may then go only to the place where the balloon landed and blow it up again and let go of the end, etc. When the first player reaches the other end of the gym, the next player in line may start.

Special Difference between the faithful and unfaithful is that the faithful are given an "Iron Rod" to attach their balloon to. For this team only, provide a straw with a long piece of string threaded through it. The string should be as tight as possible as it stretches from the starting line to the finish line. It can be either tied to two chairs or else two adults can each hold one end of the string. The players from this team are given tape to attach their balloons to the straw and can keep blowing up their balloons until they cross the finish line. The object lesson this relay displays is the idea that holding to the "Iron Rod" gives direction to our efforts and makes it much easier to achieve our goals as opposed to knowing our end goal, but not being able to control our energy and direction without the knowledge of the gospel and help of the "Iron Rod".

Relay 2:

Relay 3:

Relay 4: Mary Fielding Smith crossing the plains. Play this "race" more like a board game and an entire team moves as one. Each team takes a turn one at a time

Faith / Divine Nature / Individual Worth / Knowledge / Choice-and-Accountability /Good Works / Integrity / Temple Marriage / Especially for Leaders/

 

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Contact Information

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Last modified: November 22, 2000