Tips for living: 'The Faith Experiment' encourages faith in God, self

By James Holt

For the Deseret News

Published: Wednesday, July 3 2013 5:00 a.m. MDT

Utah resident Laurel Christensen has written a beautiful little 55-page book about her striving for faith in God, but mostly in herself. She writes a firsthand account of her journey from pessimism to faith through various personal stories. "The Faith Experiment" (Desert Book, $10.99) charts the author's journey to completing a half marathon with little or no experience. The journey is filled with object lessons and bumps in the road that Christensen likens to the events of life that everyone goes through. The lessons she shares include:

  • "Commit to something that feels beyond your reach." As sensible and achievable as that sounds, readers will experience the obstacles in their own lives as they strive to do this. This is highlighted in the book through a serious journey. But when these obstacles arise, Christensen offers suggestions:
  • See the world differently. As the Lord has high expectations of people, it is important that they reach out with faith in three different ways: Pray with faith, think with faith and live with faith.
  • Pray with faith. "What I have learned is that as long as it is every little bit of faith I have to lay on the altar before the Lord, it is enough." People should not worry about the depth of their faith, just that they have it and are always developing it as they ask in faith.
  • Think with faith. Everyone can develop a vision of who they are and their potential in life. It links to the beginning of the book where everyone just needs to reach a little bit higher and stand a little taller. Humanity is not put on this earth to fail, rather to draw closer to their Savior and become all he wants them to be.
  • Live with faith. Put the praying and the thinking into action. It is living in a way that shows you believe the promises that God has made to you.
Christensen ends the book with her "Faith Experiment," something that the reader is encouraged to do by facing doubts and mastering fears. This is done by having faith in oneself but most especially in the Savior.

James Holt is a senior lecturer in religious education at the University of Chester, U.K. His email is james.holt@chester.ac.uk.

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