About a month ago I went in for an interview with my bishop, Bishop Heap. During it he asked me the questions are you paying a full tithe and do you attend your church meetings regularly? To which I replied “I am striving to.” During the course of the interview I also told him that most the time when I am at church it because of my wife and that I am thankful for all that she does for me and our family.
The next thing that came out of his mouth was quite astonishing to me. He said, ”Jake, why strive when you can just do it have faith and the Lord will bless you?”
I was speechless. He said, "Let me put it in a way that you may better understand. You should be three things in your life, the provider, protector, and patriarch of your family. The first two usually come easy to most men the last seems to be harder. But in my opinion the last is the most important of the three.” He then challenged me to be a better Patriarch for my family.
When I got home from the interview I reported the conversation to my wife Elizabeth to which I added sometimes I just wish that my faith alone was enough. The first thought to pop into my head next was, " If you have faith the size of a mustard seed you can move mountains", to which I thought ok yeah I definitely have that. Shortly after that the thought "Faith Without Works Is Dead" came trotting along and as it passed me by kicked me in the gut. My stomach sure did feel nasty. I realized that I can have faith the size of the world but with no action it was useless. I thought of all the different things that I could be doing to be a better patriarch and boy did the list start to pile up. I had started to think that this was going to be harder than I thought.
The other week I had the opportunity to officiate the St. Johns holiday basketball tournament. While watching a game between Many Farms and Williams, there was a hard foul on a Many Farms player where his head slammed down on the court. The gym fell silent but within seconds there was a man that had come out of the stands. I don’t know if it was his father or just a fan, but he came down and stood over him and blessed him. It absolutely amazed me. I knew that that man had faith and in blessing that player he made sure he acted upon it and never questioned it for a second. I was amazed at the faith that that man showed.
My dad told me once that if you have the faith of a mustard seed you can move mountains. He said, "I don’t think you are going to walk up to the mountain tell it to move and it will unearth itself and move. But I do believe that if you pick up a shovel and start digging and continue to have faith that you will eventually move the mountain. "
I have realized in all of this, that as long as I have faith and continue to work my Heavenly Father will see my effort and in return bless me in ways that I cannot imagine. I know that everyone has struggles and that they are all different, but I know that faith can be applied in almost all facets of our lives and that it is the work that we do to accompany that faith that makes the difference.
I encourage everyone to pick up their shovels and little by little move their mountains and know that through faith nothing is impossible.