What is faith? To some people, faith means a religion you affiliate with. For others, it describes intense feelings of belief. For many, it seems to be a willingness to ignore reality, to stay silent or ignore the blatantly obvious. Faith is like a mustard seed, a foundation, a dream, a tree, water.
For me, faith is an attitude, an action. It’s like cliff-jumping. First, you have to swim, paddle, whatever, to where the cliffs are. Sometimes this takes a while, and sometimes the journey is draining, and at the end you lie on top of the cliffs for a couple of minutes, catching your breath. Swimming there isn’t exercising faith, though. That’s just hard work and perseverance. After you’ve caught your breath, you stand at the edge of the cliff, contemplating the water below. It looks so far away. There is so much empty space.
Take a deep breath and jump.
In that moment, you are exercising faith. In the air you scream, cry, and laugh with delight, flying for breathless moments through the air before the shocking plunge into the water. Then you clamber up the cliffs again, muster a few moments of insane courage, and jump.
Faith is in the jump. Faith is seeing the water, taking that deep breath, and taking the plunge. Faith tells you to trust people, to start and keep relationships, to keep your eyes open. Faith isn’t blind belief or contradictory to truth. Faith has everything to do with truth, because belief in false things is dead. If there is no water at the bottom of the cliffs, no amount of believing will mend my broken bones.
Faith is in the jump. It’s not something you think or feel or remember. No matter how many times you have already stood on the edge of the cliff, how many times you’ve exercised you knowledge, in the end you must still gather your courage and jump.
Think about it: no matter how much your parents know the Church is true, no matter how much you believe the prophets, or your leaders, or even the Bible and the Book of Mormon, nothing less than a personal revelation, a relationship with your Heavenly Father, has the power to change your life. Nothing less than the Holy Ghost can cause your redemption.