Faith in Jesus Christ is regarded as one of “the first principles and ordinances of the gospel” of God (Articles of Faith, 4). Mormons believe that faith, coupled with good works, is necessary to bring about the salvation of each individual. Unless individuals believe that Jesus Christ has the power to save them from their sins when they truly repent, they cannot have the ability to endure all of life’s trials.
Faith is the power and force that leads men to obey the Lord’s commandments. If someone has faith, he or she must act on it. Merely having faith–but doing nothing to serve the Lord–will not be enough for an individual to prove his righteousness to God.
As recorded in ancient scripture, Abraham was asked to sacrifice his beloved son Isaac. His faith was sufficiently strong so that he knew it was more important to listen to the Lord than to follow his own desires. He was rewarded for his faith, and the Lord sent an angel to tell Abraham that he did not have to kill his son after all (see Genesis 22:1-13). The Lord tested the faith of Abraham, and when Abraham obeyed because of his strong faith, the Lord blessed him.
Mormons believe the Lord desires to bless us with peace in this life and salvation in the life to come. However, the Lord’s blessings come from obedience to the laws He has set forth. Doctrine and Covenants 130:21 states, “And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.” So, Mormons believe that the Lord must first try our faith to see if we will truly be obedient to the established laws of righteousness, or the principles of His gospel. When He has proven our faith, we may be rewarded and blessed.
Ether 12:12 says, ”For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them . . .”
Mormons refer to these tests of obedience as “trials of one’s faith.” The Lord has said, “I will try the faith of my people,” (3 Nephi 26:11). The Lord is continually proving His people, so that they may become more righteous and gain even stronger faith. In Doctrine and Covenants 98:12 it reads, “For he will give unto the faithful line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith.” Mormons believe that the Lord does not grant His children the knowledge and experience they desire all at once; but rather, it is the will of the Lord to grant desires in a gradual way, so that the individual may be receptive and deserving of each blessing. (See 3 Nephi 26:9.) The way each person may deserve continual blessings and knowledge from the Lord is through the trial of his faith.
Faith is believing that the Lord answers prayers and that His will is what is best for each of His children. A person with faith will approach the Lord in prayer, asking to know His will and promising to do that will. When one’s faith is lacking, it is difficult to feel the love of the Lord and to understand that His will brings about good in the life of every individual, if he or she will obey.
Mormonism teaches that faith is a necessary step in becoming like Jesus Christ. All Christ-like attributes spring from faith. One of the greatest of these attributes is charity, the pure love of Christ. Mormons believe it is necessary for one to have charity to be able to live with Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for eternity (Ether 12:34). So it is with the other characteristics of Jesus Christ. When one has faith, he or she is continually trying to be like Christ. Heavenly Father knows no one is perfect and that each of His children will make mistakes, but as long as individuals are relying upon their faith, the Savior will heal them and give them the power to try to be like Him.
How does one gain the faith that is required to be a righteous servant of the Lord? Alma, a prophet whose record is found in the Book of Mormon, explains that “faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore, if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true” (Alma 32:21). Mormons believe faith begins with a desire to know truth. Alma gives further instruction in chapter 32, comparing faith to a seed, which must be planted in one’s heart. Then, given time and the proper nourishment, the ’seed’ will grow and develop until the faith of that individual is strong. With strong faith, he or she has a belief in the true word of God and a desire to do His will.
Faith in Jesus Christ is a fundamental part of Mormonism. The Mormon Church is built upon the foundation of Jesus Christ; in fact, the official name of the Church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Mormons believe that all progress and peace in life comes from faith on the Lord Jesus Christ.
To read more about faith, see the following articles: