By Boston Gubler
Faith in Jesus Christ is the solution to each and every problem that any of us is facing. Our problems might be emotional, financial, physical, social, mental, anything.
In every case, faith in Jesus Christ will help you solve your problem.
It’s okay if you’re a bit skeptical about this claim, or a little confused how it could be true.
“How can faith in Jesus Christ fix every problem that I am facing?” you might ask. I hope that this will answer that question and help all of us understand and increase our faith in Jesus Christ, no matter what trials we are facing.
The reason I can so confidently say that faith in Jesus Christ is the solution to all of our problems is because I didn’t come up with it. Just last month, President Nelson said, “The answer to each of your challenges is to increase your faith.” I have thought a lot about his words and today I would like to share a few examples of how faith in Jesus Christ has been the solution to challenges and problems I have faced in my life, even ones that I never would have thought could be fixed by faith.
The Football Story
Have you ever done something that, after it happened, you just want to kick yourself? Or die from embarrassment? Or wish that you could build a time machine, go back, and stop yourself at all costs?
I’ve had plenty of moments like that, but I wanted to share one particularly memorable one with you today.
My senior year of high school, I was on my school’s student council. Our football team was playing in the State Championship, and most of the small town that I’m from had made the 4 hour trip up to Salt Lake City to watch the big game. Because of my student leadership position, I was on the front row of the student section, cheering the team on. Our football team had made it to the State Championship game for the past three years, our entire high school experience, but lost each time in the 4th quarter. This year was definitely our year.
We won the game, and as a member of the student council, I thought it my duty to lead the student section in the obligatory rushing of the field to celebrate with the team. When the final whistle blew, I jumped from the stands down onto the field, and turned around to help other students get down behind me.
What I had failed to notice were the security guards on the field, carefully watching us students and waiting to pounce. If we are being honest, I did notice them. I thought that surely if dozens of students jumped down together then they wouldn’t do anything to try and stop us.
Well, I was wrong. Only three of us jumped down at first. All I remember is reaching up to help another student one moment, and being face down in the snow with someone’s knees on my back the next.
The cheering in our section of the crowd went silent. Essentially everyone I had ever known in my entire life, including my future wife, watched as I was immobilized and then marched off the field by a security guard 1/4 my size, with the football team celebrating behind me. To say I was humiliated is an understatement. I have never felt so embarrassed in my entire life, not even 10 years later. If you had handed me a one-way ticket to a far away country right then, I would have taken it and left cheerfully to start my new life, never to return.
I learned a few things from this experience. The first is that sometimes the best thing to do as a leader is to lead from behind.
The second, more important one, is about the healing power of having faith in Christ and His promises.
All joking aside, I fell into a depression after that state championship game. Most people wouldn’t have noticed, but I felt incredibly sad for a really long time. I continually replayed that moment in my head, and thought about what I should have done differently. If I had just turned around, I could have taken that security guard! Or I just wished that I had been sick that day, or that my parents had made my family move to Wisconsin before my Senior year.
I laugh when I think about it now, what an inconsequential thing to feel so badly about!
But at the time it was devastating to me. The anger I felt towards myself was extreme, the sadness almost unbearable. I felt like my life was over. After this went on for a while, I began to wonder when it would end. How long would I have to hold these terrible feelings? Could I ever feel good about myself again?
To one degree or another, I think that we all sometimes feel that way. Maybe it’s an embarrassing social situation. Maybe it’s a serious sin, the memory of which continually returns to crowd our minds at the worst moments. Maybe it’s unkind words we spoke or bad actions we took that have wounded someone we should have loved and protected. Maybe it’s those things happening to us.
At least one reason that Christ’s Atonement is the most wonderful thing that has ever happened on this earth is that it has the power to heal and erase those feelings for all of us.
The spiritual and mental anguish that we experience, the kind that no one else can quite see or relate to, can be taken, fixed, and returned whole to us by Him who already paid the price to make all of it right. Maybe that’s why President Nelson referred to Him as ‘the Master Healer’.
What does that kind of emotional healing look like? In my case, it began with reading the scriptures. In the weeks after that football game, I found several passages that said things like this,
“And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.
“…and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities” (Alma 7).
I knew that Christ had taken my sins upon himself, but I began to believe that maybe Christ **did** know how to comfort and help me in my teenage sorrow.
Isaiah described it this way,
“Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows:
…He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53).
Once I had a firm belief that helping me feel better was something that Christ *could* do, I began to ask Him to do it. It took time and patience on my part, until one day I realized that I hadn’t even thought about the incident for a while, and I didn’t feel bad about it anymore. My emotional illness had been healed. The passage of time certainly helped, but I firmly believe it was the Atonement of Jesus Christ that changed and healed my feelings about something that could have bothered me for a lifetime. It sounds so simple, but the peace and joy I feel about the memory is still wonderful to me. I have been healed of emotional scars that I thought would be with me forever.
“When tragedies overtake us, when life hurts so much we can’t breathe, when we’ve taken a beating like the man on the road to Jericho and been left for dead, Jesus comes along and pours oil into our wounds, lifts us tenderly up, takes us to an inn, looks after us [see Luke 10:30–35]. To those of us in grief, He says, ‘I will … ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, … that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions’ [Mosiah 24:14]. Christ heals wounds.”
— Sharon Eubank
If God would take the time and effort to comfort and heal a silly teenager of his emotional distress over something that was merely embarrassing, surely He will take time to heal even deeper and worse wounds. Whatever you are feeling, I know that healing is available to all of us, all the time, no matter what it is we need to be healed of. If we do what Christ asks of us, trusting Him and His timing, we will be healed.
The Importance of Understanding
You might think, “That’s great Brother Gubler, but there have been times that I have asked to be helped or healed of something and it didn’t happen!” If you are thinking this, I know it can be frustrating. It highlights an important aspect of faith in Christ: having a correct understanding of Him and what He promises us. Believing the correct things about Jesus Christ is essential, because if we believe something that isn’t true about the Savior, we might feel disappointed or lose confidence in Him when things don’t go as we thought they would.
For example, let’s say that there is a young woman whose father one day mentions to her that he is going to give her a horse so she can more easily get to where she needs to go. She misunderstands him and thinks he said he is going to give her a Porsche. When the day arrives and her new mode of transportation is delivered, she might understandably feel upset, confused, or hurt that her father didn’t deliver on his promise.
The problem, however, wasn’t with the father not keeping his promises, it was the girl’s misunderstanding of what those promises were.
To have faith, we need to correctly understand what Christ has promised us. That means trusting that as long as we are faithful and obedient, whatever happens will work out for our eventual good.
A more concrete example of this is my experience with the teaching in the church that faith can move mountains. President Nelson’s talk last conference was titled, “Christ is Risen; Faith in Him will move mountains.” In Matt. 17:20, the Savior explains that if someone has faith like a mustard seed they can move mountains.
I was probably just a dumb young man, but I did not understand this concept! I knew that most of the time it didn’t mean literal mountains, but I would still feel frustrated. I would think, “I have faith in Christ! I don’t know how to measure it, but surely it’s as much as a tiny mustard seed. I’m not trying to move an actual mountain just to show that I can, but surely I should be able to overcome other challenges in my life if I have faith.” If I was unsuccessful at overcoming the challenge I faced, I concluded that I must not have as much faith as a mustard seed, which made me feel disappointed and sad. I was trying my best, after all!
My problem wasn’t necessarily a lack of faith, it was a lack of understanding. I thought that what the scriptures were saying was that if I wanted a mountain (of any kind) moved), then I should be able to move it.
There are many scriptures that correctly explain the doctrine I was misunderstanding, but one is 1 Nephi 7:12,
“Yea, and how is it that ye have forgotten that the Lord is able to do all things *according to his will*, for the children of men, if it so be that they exercise faith in him? Wherefore, let us be faithful to him.”
When we hear that “through faith we can do anything” it means that those who have faith in Jesus Christ can accomplish anything that is in line with His will and timing. A small difference, but an important one.
To avoid disappointment and frustration with God, it’s essential to know that having faith doesn’t guarantee that we will overcome every obstacle we face. Realizing this empowers us to wait on the Lord in faith. We might not understand why, but we can trust Him and His timing. In fact, remaining obedient and humble to God’s will, even when the mountain we had hoped to move remains firmly in place, is as much a measure of our faith as anything could be.
This is just one example of why a correct understanding is needed to have faith in Christ. I think this is why the first of President Nelson’s 5 steps for improving our faith was to study the scriptures. Misunderstanding is a barrier to having true faith, and the best way to make sure we understand correctly is by prayerfully reading God’s words as revealed to His prophets.
President Nelson also said, “The more you learn about the Savior, the easier it will be to trust in His mercy, His infinite love, and His strengthening, healing, and redeeming power. The Savior is never closer to you than when you are facing or climbing a mountain with faith.” Learning about the Savior is essential to increasing our faith in Him.
There are many other doctrines and principles in the church that we must make sure we understand correctly in order to increase our faith. A few examples of these include what it truly means to love someone, the law of chastity, the word of wisdom, how revelation works and who is authorized to receive it. If we don’t understand correctly, our faith might be damaged.
An example that I have had to learn for myself is the belief, common in the world today, that if you love someone you won’t criticize or correct them. You will just accept whatever they choose and not say try to change them. That approach is not true, Christ-like love. A good percentage of scripture is the Savior correcting or reprimanding very good and righteous men and women, publicly and repeatedly. If we believe that people who love us will never criticize us, it sets us up to be offended or hurt when that happens in the church or in our family.
I hope that we can all examine our beliefs and seek a correct understanding through the scriptures, that our faith might be made more and more perfect.
Faith Comes By Righteousness
To have faith is to have confidence in someone. What does having confidence in someone look like?
I like the story of when long ago some men found a treasure on the side of a cliff. They were far from civilization, and only had a thin rope to lower someone down the side of the cliff to retrieve the treasure, much to thin to support any of them. They enlisted the help of a young boy in a nearby tribal village, small enough to be held by the rope. When the interpreter finished explaining what the treasure hunters wanted him to do, the boy said he needed to run back to his village for a moment. He returned with a very old, frail man following him. He said, “I will do what you ask, but I want my father to hold the rope.”
Despite reasons to believe contrary, the boy had absolute confidence that his father would not let him fall. We can have that same confidence in Jesus Christ.
Anytime we do anything because of our belief in Jesus Christ and His Gospel, we are exercising faith. If we hold our tongues and try to be kind like the Savior would in a situation where we would normally speak unkind words, we are exercising faith. Every time we pray, study the scriptures, attend church, we are exercising faith. As we gain a correct understanding of Christ’s teachings and promises to us, we can exercise more and more perfect faith. It is my prayer that we will all do so.