No matter what religion you are, we can all say that we have something in common: Faith. Faith is a precious gift our Heavenly Father has given us. Faith is the reason why we have been able to do anything and everything. If you look back throughout history, there was nothing that was accomplished that didn't first start with a lot of faith. If you think about our country itself, there was a lot of faith that went into establishing it. Columbus had to have faith that the world was round and that he would be able to find another land. The founding fathers had to have faith to be able to establish government. You name anything, it started with faith.
In The Book of Mormon in Ether 12:6 we read, "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." From this scripture we learn that we cannot KNOW of anything until after the trial of our faith. That means that the Lord provides experiences for us to grow in our faith. I know that in my own life, I have had different experiences that have helped me strengthen my faith. Since being on my mission, I am blessed to have those experiences almost every day. Early on in my mission, I was given an experience that has not only changed my mission, but it has changed my life.
We were at a meeting where there were several missionaries gathered. It was a meeting that was meant to build us up and help us improve as missionaries. Nearing the end of the meeting, our leaders took us out of the room, a companionship at a time. When it came to be mine and my companions turn, we met our leaders holding towels in their hands. They asked us to trust us as they tied the towels over our eyes so that we could not see. They told us that we could be walking on tables that were laid out across the stage. They informed us that eventually these tables would end and that it would be hanging over the edge of the stage (similar to a plank). My leaders quietly whispered to me to take small steps. Eventually we were brought to the edge of the final table. A poem was then quoted and we were asked to take a step off. At first, I was terrified. I couldn't manage to make my body take a step off. I was then asked again, but still could not. Finally, I was asked for a third time. So I took the step off. It was about three inches from the ground. I learned from this experience that way too often, the Lord asks me way too many times to do something before I actually do it.
Recently, I was blessed with an opportunity to be on the other side of this situation. I was asked to lead the sisters through this situation. I watched as they took small steps through the maze that eventually led them to the edge. I watched as they were asked to take a step of faith and step off. I watched as they hesitated. I couldn't help but remember my own situation. I remember feeling terrified. As I took that step of faith, I realized--the Lord will never ask me to do something that he knows that I am not capable of accomplishing. He has placed people in my life to help me along the path. Although I can not see, he is always helping me. The Lord asks us to take steps of faith. If we will follow his direction and counsel, we will be blessed.
I know that if we take those small steps of faith, we can be strengthened. I have a testimony that faith is very important. If we exercise faith, the Lord is going to bless us more than we can ever imagine!