Having a happy, lasting marriage takes faith, and lots of it. All kinds of faith play into the mix, including faith in the future, faith in your spouse, even faith in yourself. These are all important, but we’re talking about a far more significant kind of faith, a faith that enhances each of these but is far more powerful – a faith that actually moves mountains. We’re talking about faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and His power to heal and bless your marriage and family. When couples develop this kind of faith they can overcome any obstacle they may face.                                                       Statue at Los Angels Temple                                                                                              

To have faith in Jesus Christ we must first believe in Him. The first Article of Faith proclaims that “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.” In order to believe in Him we must learn about Him, know His teachings, and come to know Him personally by following those teachings. With this comes the ability to believe with all our hearts that He has the power to save and bless us.                                                                                                             

With all the pressures this mortal world heaps upon us we desperately need this power, this deep abiding faith in Christ. No wonder our Church leaders have admonished us to search the scriptures daily, to draw near unto Him. They know that if we do this we can make it through any trial.

Scriptures that Have Made a Difference

Couple reading BibleSearching the scriptures has been a vital factor in helping us gain greater faith in Christ. Through our private and couple scripture study we have discovered several gems that have had significant influence in guiding us through our marriage. Here are three of the many that have been a blessing to us.

1. Many years ago when our last two children were still at home we began the practice of memorizing scriptures in the morning right before breakfast. We all had to repeat the scripture of the week before eating. (We wish we had started this practice sooner with our three older children. But you know how it is, step by step we all keep trying to get parenting right.)

During this time one of our favorite memorized scriptures, a rather long one, became foundational in keeping our faith in Christ strong. We still repeat it to each other with near perfect recall. Memorizing helps keep it, not only in our heads, but in our hearts. Here it is:

“And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.” (Helaman 5:12:)

We tried to impress upon our children and ourselves that by keeping Jesus Christ as our foundation we could make it through whatever may come our way. To this day just repeating the scripture gives us renewed faith and determination to follow Him as individuals, as a couple, and as a family. Goodness knows that we have been pounded upon by those “mighty winds and storms”. But with faith in Christ, keeping Him as our foundation, we’ve made it through, not perfectly but basically in tact, and have hope that we will until the end of our mortal lives..

2. Another favorite of ours is: “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”(Prov 3:5-6) It has become our family motto, a scripture we repeat often to each other and our children, and now our grandchildren. When a trial moves in on us, and that can happen in an instant without warning, we take a deep breath and repeat this scripture. It contains a promise we can rely on, that He, indeed, will direct our path if we but trust in Him.

We’ve also learned how important it is to not forget the part of this scripture that says “In all thy ways acknowledge him.” We must pay attention to all He is doing for us, how He has continually been with us, and to thank Him for even the smallest blessings. We must acknowledge him continually. He requires it. We know the Lord loves a thankful heart. “[H]e who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be made glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more.” (D&C 78:19). This sounds mighty good to us. We not only believe in the Lord, but we believe Him. We believe that when He makes a promise He will keep it; in His time, He will keep it.

Which brings to mind a statement by Elder Neal A. Maxwell: “Faith also includes trust in God’s timing, for He has said, “All things must come to pass in their time.” (D&C 64:32.) (Neal A. Maxwell, General Conf. April, 1991)

3. Several years ago another scripture practically jumped out at us as we were sorrowing over some difficulties two of our adult children were experiencing. After prayers of pleading, and opening the scriptures this passage boldly proclaimed the Lord’s answer to us: “[R]ejoice, and lift up your heads forever, because of the blessings which the Lord God shall bestow upon your children.” (2 Nephi 9:3 ) It brought incredible peace to our hearts, and we knew the Lord was speaking to us at that moment, and that He would look after and bless our children. We just needed to have faith in Him.

Looking back we can see how He answered our pleadings in their behalf. It didn’t come quickly, but it came. What did come quickly, however, was the peace that we felt from this scripture. We have read it many times since when worries have befallen us regarding our children. He never lets us down.                                               

Prayer Is our Safety Net

couple praying arms linkedWe don’t’ know what we would do without prayer. Our faith in Christ has led us to understand this power in our lives. Jesus taught us all how to pray, and He never failed to use this power in His own life. Throughout His earthly ministry He called upon His Father in prayer. In the Garden of Gethsemane it was prayer that gave Him strength to suffer beyond what any man could suffer, and all for us. And on the cross He prayed again, turning himself over to the Father. What an example!

In Third Nephi when the Lord appeared after his resurrection He teaches us so clearly how to pray. “Therefore ye must always pray unto the Father in my name; And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you.


” (3 Nephi 18:19-20)

Elder Maxwell said, “. . . God cannot, brothers and sisters, respond affirmatively to all of our petitions with an unbroken chain of “yeses.” This would assume that all of our petitions are for that “which is right” and are spiritually “expedient.” (3 Ne. 18:20; D&C 18:18; D&C 88:64-65.) No petitioner is so wise! Paul even acknowledged that we sometimes “know not what we should pray for as we ought.” (Rom. 8:26; see also D&C 46:30.) (Neal A. Maxwell, General Conf. April, 1991)

Sometimes we pray to know what to pray for, so we will be praying for that “which is right”. Perhaps we need to do more of that.

Then the Savior taught, “Pray in your families unto the father, always in my name, that your wives and your children may be blessed.” (3 Nephi 18:21)

Recently, we shared a family concern with our dear Aunt Fern, whose faith is the move-mountains kind. She encouraged us with this comment, “Remember as you pray that it is important to envision the prayer being answered.” Then she said, “You must pray with real intent, believing without any doubt that your prayer will be answered. Then trust the Lord. That is what faith is.” It was comforting for us to be taught anew by this mighty woman of faith. Her final comment was, “You know, I will be praying for you.” There is so much power in knowing your extended family members are praying for you and your children. That is what we must do for each other to keep our marriages and families strong and protected.

This brings to mind a quote our sister Kay shared with us.

            Worry is the anticipation that the outcome will be bad.

            Faith is the anticipation that the outcome will be good.

Faith in God is the anticipation that whatever the outcome, it will be for your good. (Author unknown)

Be Faithful

In speaking of faith in Christ, Mormon taught his son Moroni that “. . . they who have faith in him will cleave unto every good thing;” (Moroni 7:28) that reminds us to seek for that which is good. Spend our time doing good, cleaving unto (holding on to) that which is good. To find out what these things are we need to attend our Church meetings, listen to the prophets and other Church leaders, study the scriptures, and pray. If we do these things with diligence and humility and a fervent desire to grow close to the Lord, our faith in Him will automatically increase.. As we do this we will know what to “cleave unto”.

Words of President Monson

Pres. Monson smiling in chair President Thomas S. Monson further clarified how faith works when he said, “Remember, faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other.” Then he admonished us to “Cast out doubt. Cultivate faith. Strive always to retain that child-like faith which can move mountains and bring heaven closer to heart and home.” (Italics added. Ensign Mar. 2009, 4-9)

Yes, faith in Jesus Christ can move mountains in our marriage, in our family, and in our personal life. Moroni recorded the words of his father, “. . . have miracles ceased? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither have angels ceased to minister unto the children of men.” (Moroni 7:29) Prayers are answered, miracles do happen. Through faith in Christ we can call down miracles, even request angels to guard and guide us and our families, then trust in the Lord to bring about exactly what we need.

We understand that individual choice enters into this picture. We cannot control what our mate or a child may do, but we can apply all of these principles to our own lives. So whether you are married or single, have a great marriage or and faltering one, have many children or none, this message of faith in Christ applies to you, to everyone.

To learn more about faith from our leaders we suggest you watch this short video on youtube titled “Faith to Move Mountains” 

 

[Gary Lundberg, a marriage and family therapist, and his wife, Joy, are authors of books on creating happy family relationships. For more information or to order their books visit their website ]