Examples of Faith


“When the Prophet Joseph Smith was a very young boy, he watched and learned about faith in God from his mother, Lucy Mack Smith. Lucy sought answers by searching the scriptures, and Joseph too employed the practice, turning to the Bible for guidance as his mother had.

“Lucy also solved family problems by privately seeking the Lord’s help through prayer. One day, experiencing discord in her family regarding the subject of religion, Lucy said she ‘retired to a grove of handsome wild cherry trees not far distant and prayed to the Lord.’

“Lucy also prayed with great faith when faced with personal health issues, when Joseph nearly lost his leg to osteomyelitis, and when Joseph’s sister Sophronia almost died from typhoid fever. Regarding Sophronia’s illness, Lucy wrote: ‘I gazed upon my child. … My husband and I clasped our hands together and fell upon our knees by the bedside and poured our grief and supplications into his ears.’ Sophronia lived. I am confident that Lucy’s children often witnessed her praying with faith and receiving answers to those prayers.

“Lucy prayed in faith for guidance, and Joseph too retired to a grove of trees, where he prayed with faith, seeking an answer from the Lord as his mother had.

“Like Lucy, we must show our children and youth how to strengthen their faith and testimony of Jesus Christ by strengthening our own through studying the scriptures and through prayer, personally as well as with them.”

Mary N. Cook, First Counselor, Young Women General Presidency
Be an Example of the Believers,” October 2010 General Conference


“I delight in the examples of those in the scriptures who walk by faith on their earthly journey. Each time I walk with Abraham and Isaac on the road to Mount Moriah, I weep, knowing that Abraham does not know that there will be an angel and a ram in the thicket at the end of the journey. We are each in the middle of our earthly path, and we don’t know the rest of our own stories. But we, as Abraham, are blessed with miracles.”

Susan W. Tanner, Young Women General President
My Soul Delighteth in the  Things of the Lord,” April 2008 General Conference


“As we think of women whose righteous influence ripples through eternity, let us consider Mary, the ‘precious and chosen vessel.’ Presented by an angel with an unprecedented, holy pronouncement, she graciously submitted to the will of the Lord: ‘Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word.’ Her faith, obedience, and humility set a standard for all women.”

Virginia U. Jensen, First Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Ripples,” October 2000 General Conference


“The widow of Zarephath showed her faith when she provided the prophet Elijah with a morsel of bread rather than using the last of her meal and oil to feed her son and herself and then die. The scriptures record: ‘And she went and did according to the saying of Elijah: and she, and he, and her house, did eat many days. And the barrel of meal wasted not, neither did the cruse of oil fail, according to the word of the Lord, which he spake by Elijah.’
“Perhaps symbolic of the trust widows have in the Lord is the phrase ‘and she went and did according to the saying of Elijah.’ ”
Earl C. Tingey, Presidency of the Seventy
The Widows of Zion,” April 2000 General Conference


“By strengthening each other spiritually, building faith and fellowship, we wear the shoes of pioneers.”

Mary Ellen Smoot, Relief Society General President
Pioneer Shoes through the Ages,” October 1997 General Conference


“An early pioneer woman named Eliza Cheney was able to put aside the things of the world because she had nurtured the seed of faith within her. While at Winter Quarters, Eliza received a letter from her parents offering her any amount of money to denounce her newfound religion and come home. She tightened the laces on her pioneer shoes. Even in such bitter conditions, Eliza’s faith burned bright. She wrote back to her parents:

“ ‘I have not the most distant idea [of returning], neither has Nathan … , our cause is just and must be onward. … I did not embrace this work hastily: I came into it understandingly. I weighed the subject, I counted the cost, I knew the consequence of every step I took. …

“ ‘If I could be among the numberless throng that John saw whose robes were washed white in the blood of the lamb[,] I must[,] like them, come up through much tribulation and instead of thinking it hard that I have these difficulties to pass through, I count it all joy that I am counted worthy to suffer shame for his name.’

“Brothers and sisters, whether on the plains of Nebraska, in Argentina, the highways of Maryland, or within the walls of our own homes, the simple faith of a true pioneer is powerful and eternal.”

Mary Ellen Smoot, Relief Society General President
Pioneer Shoes through the Ages,” October 1997 General Conference


“Our prayer tonight is that every one of us will gain strength from the pioneering spirit. Look in the mirror tonight. You’ll see someone unique, strong, and courageous. A pioneer. Hold on to that thought…you are going before, bravely showing loved ones the way to follow. That we will always find faith in every footstep is my prayer.”

Bonnie D. Parkin, Relief Society General President
“Finding Faith in Every Footstep,” April 1997 General Conference


“Like each of you, I have had to use faith and be a pioneer in my life. My first real experience happened when I was in the second grade. My teacher came to our class and told us how a ‘special’ girl would soon join us. I remember imagining the girl to see what she would be like.

“The first day Jenny walked in, I knew I would love her. The fact that she was handicapped urged me to learn more about her. I had never really been around children with disabilities. Although I had many anxieties, I knew I needed to be her friend. I was faced with the unknown; I accepted the challenge.

“I decided to go to Jenny’s house after school one day. I remember being a little nervous but felt it was the right thing to do. Her mom was very nice and helped me get to know more about Jenny.

“Soon I found myself always with Jenny. She became one of my very best friends. We loved to go to the store, play on her trampoline, and have sleep overs. I made up for Jenny’s physical handicaps, and she made up for my spiritual handicaps. Jenny is a wonderful example of Christlike love and forgiveness. I truly believe we helped each other overcome both of our handicaps.

“When we grew older, I had another test of being a pioneer. I had many friends, and a lot of them didn’t know Jenny. Although they were never rude, I always felt torn between Jenny and my other friends. It was hard and definitely a conscious effort, but I decided to help them get to know her. In time my other friends felt more comfortable with Jenny.

“To this day, I am still friends with Jenny. She goes to my same high school, and I see her almost every day. I truly feel proud to walk around the halls with her.

“I know we can all have the faith to do what is right. Like the pioneers, we can all overcome our challenges and press forward.”

Kristin Banner, young woman
Friends Standing Together,” April 1997 General Conference


“Our Heavenly Father and His Son expect us to rely on each other in relationships of love and trust by following the pattern they have shown. Every provision is made to help us find the necessary spiritual strength…

“We are promised…that we grow spiritually as we believe in the words of those who know, those whose faith has produced the capacity to endure and to move forward. Faith is power in us and gives us the ability to do.”

Aileen H. Clyde, Second Counselor, Relief Society General Presidency
Confirmed in Faith,” October 1996 General Conference


“When first we love the Lord with all our hearts, then we can lead our children to Him in all of our interactions. They will grow in their devotion to the Lord as they see our devotion to Him. They will understand the power of prayer as they hear us pray to a loving Heavenly Father who is there listening and answering our prayers. They will understand faith as they see us live by faith. And they will learn the power of love by the kind and respectful ways that we relate to them. We cannot teach truth to our children apart from the trusting, caring relationships that we have with them.”

Anne G. Wirthlin, First Counselor, Primary General Presidency
Touch the Hearts of the Children,” October 1995 General Conference


“After the death of Christ, Paul was converted and became a great missionary. He had a junior companion, whom he loved as a father loves his own son. When we pick up their story in 2 Timothy, they are separated in their service. Timothy is lonely and afraid—being a missionary can be a fearful business. Paul is in prison in Rome. He writes Timothy a letter: ‘To Timothy, my dearly beloved son. … I thank God … that without ceasing I have remembrance of thee in my prayers night and day; Greatly desiring to see thee, being mindful of thy tears.’ (2 Tim. 1:2–4.)

“Isn’t that a tender letter? Pretend it is coming to you from one who is mindful of your tears.

“Paul then goes on to remind Timothy of his strengths: ‘I call to remembrance the unfeigned faith that is in thee.’ (2 Tim. 1:5.) He reminds Timothy that both his grandmother and his mother were women of faith.

“Think of some of the strengths that your grandmothers and mother have passed on to you.”

Virginia H. Pearce, First Counselor, Young Women General Presidency
Fear,” October 1992 General Conference



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