Faith is a principle that is hard to define. But when we understand what it is and what it does, we can better trust in God’s plan for us.
It’s hard to wait for anything as millennials. We are so used to instant gratification that when we have to wait for something—like the answer to a faithful prayer—it can often be difficult.
In his talk “Fourth Floor, Last Door,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf defines faith and discusses its abilities and limitations. Quoting a verse in the New International Version of the Bible, President Uchtdorf notes that faith is “being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (see Hebrews 11:1 in the King James Version).
By this, he is encouraging us to learn how to listen to the Spirit with our hearts, not with our minds. Often, this requires us to “keep knocking” as we continue to ask in faith for the knowledge and strength we need.
President Uchtdorf stresses that, while praying with faith can accomplish wonderful miracles, there are two things that faith alone can’t do:
- It can’t force anyone else to do what you want them to.
- It can’t force God to bend his will to yours.
It can be daunting to try to have faith when we realize that we can’t always get what we want by ceaselessly petitioning God. What we can do, however, is trust in his plan for us and learn to submit our will to his. President Uchtdorf says that the purpose of faith is “not to change God’s will but to empower us to act on God’s will.”
We ultimately have to learn to keep knocking on the door to God’s blessings. It might take a long time, but if we continue to endure, we will be able to develop faith and learn that God is waiting to bless us as we diligently seek him.
Read or watch President Dieter F. Uchtdorf’s talk “Fourth Floor, Last Door.”
—Michela Fleshman, Mormon Insights
feature image by chris barbalis
Find more insights
Check out the Mormon Insights article “Single and Still Faithful” by Maryssa Dennis to discover how to maintain an eternal perspective when marriage doesn’t happen.
Read the Mormon Insights article “Faith to Not Be Healed” by Collin Mathias to learn more about how faith isn’t found in receiving desired blessings but in accepting the will of the Lord.
Watch Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s Mormon Message “Good Things to Come” to discover how faith can help us persevere through discouragement.
I love this talk. When it feels like nothing is working out the way it should, it can be easy to question if we have enough faith or if God is listening at all. Faith isn’t being able to make everything work the way we want it to though; it’s being able to step back and do what God wants us to do, even if we don’t see the big picture yet, because we trust that he loves us and will always act for our best good. I know that many things in my life haven’t gone the way I thought they would, and looking back, I’m glad a lot of them didn’t. Heavenly Father’s plan has been so much better.
This is a topic that has been on my mind recently and I love this talk by President Uchtdorf. There are lots of times in our lives where we feel like we’re constantly knocking on doors waiting for one to open, but the one with what we need most may be the very last one we try. Faith is difficult because it means giving up what we want now for the promise of something better in the future. I’m so grateful for a Heavenly Father who is going to make the very most of my life if I let him.
I love this talk! It is SO hard to wait on the Lord’s timing, and so hard to have faith while waiting! I have struggled with this often. However, it helps to have faith that my Heavenly Father wants my happiness just as much as I do, maybe even more so. He sees the big picture, while I can only see a little part of it. Whatever He has in store will be perfect for me, as long as I choose to follow His plan.
Truly one of the hardest doctrines to master in life, I think. Submitting is really hard, especially when you REALLY want that blessing. I think the best thing for me to remember in these cases is that God DOES have a plan for me, and it is DEFINITELY better than my plan. Eternal perspective.
This is a great talk! A great reminder that faith is important but it is not meant to change Heavenly Father’s will.
What an awesome reminder. Waiting can be one of the most difficult things we can do, but if we’re faithfully waiting on the Lord, the payoff will be greater than we can ever imagine.
This is one of the greatest talks of all time! I loved what President Uchtdorf had to say about persistence and patience as we earnestly pray for a righteous desire. Living in a world where we are able to control the results of nearly everything on our lives (when we eat, when we sleep, how long we study, etc.), I’ve found it to be immensely difficult to wait patiently on the Lord during times when I’ve felt that I could not bear to wait for an answer any longer. But that’s what faith is. And faith is crucial to this mortal life.
I love the direction that President Uchtdorf gives in this talk! We often discuss what faith is and what we can accomplish with it, but what I don’t hear too much is how we can really develop it. I appreciate this direction: be diligent! Keep knocking! Little by little, you will gain faith–not in your own plan, but in the Lord’s plan for you. I learned this firsthand on my mission in California, where my companions and I would often spend the majority of our time knocking on doors, looking for people to teach. It often felt like we were casting in our nets and coming up empty-handed. However, as we persevered, we found actual families waiting for us on our “fourth floor, last door” kind of knocks. It takes recommitment to the Lord each day, but as you continue in faith, your faith grows, and you will see the Lord’s best blessings unfold for you!
I love that the key to this take is the principle of agency. It is their choice to listen, both for others and God himself. You can’t force either to obey your will. I have always found that the way to win in a world where you can’t force people is a world where you can be that extra drop in an already flowing river. In my weird extended analogy, I am a drop of liquid sunshine. Every particle of water that comes into contact with me magnifies that sunshine. And then God decides which current I follow and where my stream leads. He decides which other droplets I come into contact with, and I have one job; maintain the sunshine.
Weird analogy, but it works.
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