GCBC Week 10: Faith—the Choice is Yours

“Faith—the Choice is Yours”

by Richard C. Edgely

First Counselor in the Presiding Bishopric

One of the main messages that seemed to be a recurring theme throughout the Saturday afternoon session of General Conference was:  Satan is active, and we must be active in defending ourselves and our families.  Bishop Edgely’s comments confirmed this message and highlighted the power we have as we make the choice to be faithful.

I really liked how he stated that we do not have to understand all things to have a solid faith about matters of salvation.  I try to not get hung up on the unanswered questions and do what he said:  “bridge the gap with my faith and move on.”  No matter where we are in our testimonies, we can make choices to act in accordance to the faith we have already acquired and prepare our testimonies to grow.

“Yes, faith is a choice, and it must be sought after and developed. Thus, we are responsible for our own faith. We are also responsible for our lack of faith. The choice is yours.”

How about you? What are your favorite principles or quotes from this talk?  Is there anything you learned here that you had not considered before?  What stood out to you as you studied it?  And, most importantly, what did it make you feel or want to do?

Please share your thoughts in the comments below.  (If this is your first time to General Conference Book Club, click here to learn more about it.)

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10 thoughts on “GCBC Week 10: Faith—the Choice is Yours

  1. This morning I prayed and asked Heavenly father to help me with some unanswered questions I had about the gospel. I’ve been raised in the church and have always known the church is true! But lately those unanswered questions had been weighing on my mind I knew I needed to go to Our Father in prayer and ask for his guidance or it would lessen my faith. After praying I went about my day and I read this message. ( I JUST joined this blog a couple days ago and now I truly believe it was an answer to my prayer this morning.) I know i’m stealing this from you Stephanie but it really was like God was speaking straight to me from you and Richard C. Edgley when you said…

    I really liked how he stated that we do not have to understand all things to have a solid faith about matters of salvation. I try to not get hung up on the unanswered questions and do what he said: “bridge the gap with my faith and move on.” No matter where we are in our testimonies, we can make choices to act in accordance to the faith we have already acquired and prepare our testimonies to grow.

    Thank you for being an inspiration. God does answer prayers through his faithful servants.

  2. I like how he points out that like all things in life, faith is a choice. We can choose to give in to fear or we can choose to have faith. There are plenty of ‘gaps’ in my understanding, but like E. Edgley, I know the important, basic principles of the gospel. In the moments I am faced with what I don’t know yet for certain, faith keeps me moving forward.

  3. I was really inspired by his use of the words “action” and “choice” … and how they relate to faith. I have always loved Alma 32 and the framework it lays out to us in increasing our faith. Those verses of scripture have helped me so much to build a testimony of so many different gospel principles. Give all you can in obedience and the knowledge will come!

    In this talk, Bishop Edgley said, “Be aware that faith is not a free gift given without thought, desire, or effort. It does not come as the dew falls from heaven. The Savior said, ‘Come unto me’ (Matthew 11:28) and ‘Knock, and it shall be [given] you’ (Matthew 7:7). These are action verbs—come, knock.” Lately I can claim to giving many thoughts and desires to increasing my faith, however, EFFORT would be a place for me to focus my efforts. I have felt the need and have started to make faith building efforts more abundant in my day-to-day life.

    I love the rest of that article, when Bishop Edgely says, “So I say, choose faith. Choose faith over doubt, choose faith over fear, choose faith over the unknown and the unseen, and choose faith over pessimism.”

    I have always been able to quickly choose faith when doubts come, but sometimes I let fear get to me. And right now I am dealing with very pessimistic feelings in regards to so many people in my ward being unwilling to serve and help. I know I need to replace that pessimism with faith and charity – and that has been the focus of my efforts for the past few weeks. This talk is very encouraging and I will continue in that direction with some renewed vigor!

    It isn’t just going to magically happen, but I know that my thoughts, desires and EFFORTS – it will!

  4. Let me start by saying MATH is NOT my area of expertise. However, there are many concepts, ideas and principles in the gospel that my brain can visualize in a math equation. There is one part of Bishop Edgley’s talk than made it go into math-mode. (Although, I am sure, mathmeticians would be concerned about my brain). It was the part when he said: Choose Faith over Doubt. Choose Faith over Fear. Choose Faith over The Unknown. Choose Faith over Pessimism. I visialized Faith being on top of a line drawn horizontally and the other words being underneath. It was as if my brain logically began to understand what my spirit desires: Faith is Power!For there is POWER in faith. Faith in Jesus Christ trumps over every other inability, disability, or incapability.

    I also needed to hear that I am not only responsible for my own faith, but I am also responsible for my LACK of faith. That lack – whether that it is in doubt, fear, the unknown, pessimism or the like – can be seen and felt particularly by those most close to me – may family. My job is to continually nourish my faith, to keep it strong.

    I really enjoyed the “affirmations” Bishop Edgley included at the end of his talk. It made me write in my scripture journal the following question: “What I have I witnessed or experienced because of my faith?” The answers have caused deep swellings of gratitude within my heart.

  5. I love how this talk reminds us we have a choice. A choice to choose whether we will have faith, or be like Lamen and Lemuel and murmur. I really loved this talk here is what stands out to me.

    “. . .faith is a choice, and it must be sought after and developed. . . . we are responsible for our own faith. Wea re slao responsible for lack of faith. The choice is yours. . . . By moving forward into the unknown, armed only with hope and desire, we show evidence of our faith and our devotion to the Lord.”

    I have had experiences where all I can do is move forward into the unknown. It is scarry, but that is how we develop trust in the Lord and know that all will be well if we but have the faith.

  6. Better late than never!

    Here are some things that stuck out to me:
    I really liked this quote: “When our sacred doctrine and beliefs are challenged, this is our opportunity to become acquainted with God in a most private and intimate manner. This is our opportunity to choose.” Faith is what I have to do in order to have a closer relationship with God. What a good reminder.

    I also liked this: “But while I don’t know everything, I know the important.” It reminded me of a Stake Relief Society Meeting we had where Sheri Dew and Wendy Watson Nelson spoke. They both touched on why we as LDS women should not put so much weight on what the “experts” say, such as Oprah or Dr. Phil. Sheri Dew reminded us of the great power and blessing we received by getting our endowment at the temple. Though I’ve never been a diehard fan of these talk shows, I do watch them or read books by experts here and there. It reminded me to rely more on my spiritual gifts, the prophets and apostles, and the Holy Ghost rather than the knowledge of man.

    The last thing I wanted to point out is that I have also lately felt like Sherrie. I feel like I’m sliding backwards in my faith instead of getting stronger. I truly appreciate the bulleted points based on Alma 32, especially: “As strong as our faith is, with all the mixed messages attacking it, it can also become very fragile. It needs constant nourishment through continued scripture study, prayer, and the application of His word.”

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