Tuesday, December 16, 2008
So, with everything "going on" over in the land of Israel, what was happening in the ancient Americas? Since Nephi's vision, many prophets testified of the coming of Christ. They did just as it says in 2 Nephi 25:26 -
"And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins."
Can you imagine the faith these prophets and the people who believed them must have had? I mean, not only had the Savior not yet come and there was no written record of his earthly works as we have with the New Testament, but it wasn't even on their continent! They were going by prophecies in the brass plates (equivalent of the Old Testament up to the reign of Zedekiah), and their faith. I am always highly impressed by their faith and sometimes wonder if my faith could have been so strong in such a situation.
And that leads me to think on faith, and what faith is. There are so many scriptures that talk of faith. We read in Hebrews 11:1 that "faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." Moroni also talks of this in Ether 12: 6 - "I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith" (emphasis added).
I believe those generations of prophets and followers were greatly blessed when they came to see that their faith was in something real. That Christ was and is real. That He did come to earth and atone for us. And made it possible for us to return to Him after this life. Their faith became perfect knowledge. But it really isn't all that different for us. While we may be over 2000 years since Christ was born, and we have two written accounts of Christ's teaching, doctrine, and ministry, we still need to know for ourselves. We still have to have faith in something--someone--that we have never seen on this earth. It requires a lot on our part. But I think you know as I do, that such faith--such strong faith--is possible. Else we wouldn't be the believers we are. We wouldn't be wanting to live our lives as best as we know our Father in Heaven and His Son our Savior would have us live. And we can take comfort and courage in the Savior's own words that "blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed (John 20:29).