Sydney S. Reynolds, “Sharing Time: Faith in Jesus Christ,” Friend, Jan 1999, 14
If ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true (Alma 32:21).
What does it mean to have faith? Alma says that “if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true” (Alma 32:21). We have faith when we believe and trust in something that is real and true even though we have not seen it for ourselves.
Joseph Smith wanted to know which church he should join. One evening when he was reading the Bible, he read in James 1:5, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth [scold or criticize] not; and it shall be given him.”
Joseph believed this scripture and planted its truth in his heart. He trusted that the Lord would answer his prayer, even though he had never prayed out loud before. Joseph prayed in faith, and he received a wonderful answer.
What does it mean to have faith in Jesus Christ? To have faith in Jesus Christ means that although we have not seen Him, we believe that He lives and loves us and that we trust Him. When we read the scriptures, we can learn about Him. When we listen to the prophets, we can understand what we can do to follow Him. When we pray in faith for help to choose the right, we can know that our prayers will be answered. When we listen to the whisperings of the Holy Ghost, we can feel Him close to us and know that He loves us.
How does our faith in Jesus Christ grow? Alma tells us that the word of God is like a seed. We show our faith when we plant a seed in the earth. We then nurture it by keeping the weeds away, by giving it water and plant food, and by making sure that it has sunshine. If it is a good seed, it will begin to swell and grow.
When we believe in the teachings of Jesus Christ, we plant true words of God in our hearts. We nurture this kind of seed by praying, by listening to the prophets, by keeping the commandments, and by responding to the promptings of the Holy Ghost. As we do this, the seed of truth will grow within our hearts. Then we will know that Jesus Christ is happy with our efforts.
Alma says that if we continue to nourish the word of God by our faith, it will grow as large as a tree and bring forth fruit. This means that our faith in Jesus Christ will grow strong and bring blessings for us and for others. What joy that brings! We have faith in Jesus Christ when we believe Him, trust Him, obey Him, and follow Him.
To make a book to remind you that the word of God is like a seed, mount page 15 (attached below, image is Copyright 2009 Intellectual Reserve, used by permission) on heavy paper. Cut out the four large panels, and punch or cut holes where indicated. Arrange the pages so that the seed is planted and grows into a tree. Fasten the pages together with yarn or string.
To watch the seed grow, cut out the long panels and the heart box. Cut along the broken lines in the heart. Form one long strip by gluing the long panels together where indicated. Thread the strip up through the bottom slit in the heart and down through the top slit. Pull the strip through the heart, and watch the seed grow.
Activity 1: The Word of God Is like a Seed
The Word of God Is like a Seed
(See Alma 32:27–43.)
Plant it: Believe.
Nurture it: Read the scriptures. Listen to the prophets. Keep the commandments.
Tend it: Pray. Listen and respond to the promptings of the Holy Ghost.
And it will grow.
If ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life (Alma 32:41).
Activity 2: Watch the Seed Grow
A Give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart (Alma 32:28).
B Ye shall reap the rewards of your faith (Alma 32:43).
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When Jesus lived on the earth, He went about doing good Next Sharing Time Lesson:
Faith in Jesus Christ Beanbag game