I have been thinking about how interconnected patience, hope and faith are. I recently was reading the familiar chapter Ether 3, where the brother of Jared sees the Lord’s finger as he is touching the stones. Verse 11 stood out to me and I read it and re-read it.
And the Lord said unto him: Believest thou the words which I shall speak?
It seemed that he was asking that question of me. It is an interesting question. How can you say you believe something you have not yet heard? Of course, if you know who is talking and trust that person completely, you know he or she will not lie and that you can believe all their words. When we truly know our Heavenly Father and our Savior, we know that whatever they say is true and we can believe it. We do not have to first hear it and think about it before we know that it is true. How wonderful in this world of uncertainty and even counterfeits and deceit, we have someone to rely on wholly for truth. What a beautiful gift faith is.
It reminded me of a scripture that I have had in my “future blog posts” file for a while.
24 For we are saved by hope: but hope that is seen is not hope: for what a man seeth, why doth he yet hope for?
25 But if we hope for that we see not, then do we with patience wait for it.
Sometimes (ok, most of the time) I want to see my future and see that things will be okay. I have the reassurance from the Spirit, but I wanna see it, like a small child whose parent promises him something and he doesn’t trust that he will get it. “You have the candy? Can I see it? Just let me see it to make sure you still have it.” (Yeah, that’s me.)
And that lead me to a quote in the same file. This quote, along with President Uchtdorf’s talk Continue in Patience, has taught me more about patience. I love the imagery Elder Maxwell used here. I wish I were an artist to paint what I imagine in my head when I read it.
This painting is called The Slave Ship and is by one of my favorite painters, J.M.W. Turner.
“Patient endurance permits us to cling to our faith in the Lord and our faith in His timing when we are being tossed about by the surf of circumstance. Even when a seeming undertow grasps us, somehow, in the tumbling, we are being carried forward, though battered and bruised.” Neal A. Maxwell, “‘Endure It Well’,” Ensign, May 1990, 33
If we have sufficient faith to believe the words of our Father, hope for that which we do not see, and patience to wait and endure well, we really will be carried forward through any circumstances that come into our lives. So it’s that simple. Do you believe it or don’t you?
"Faith exists when absolute confidence in that which we cannot see, combines with action that is in absolute conformity to the will of our Heavenly Father."
Joseph B. Wirthlin, Shall He Find Faith on Earth? October 2002, General Conference