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Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles speaks Oct. 3 during the priesthood session of general conference.

Elder Neil L. Andersen asked his listeners at the priesthood session of general conference, “How does the Savior see your faith?”

“Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is not something ethereal, floating loosely in the air,” said Elder Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles.

“Faith emits a spiritual light and that light is discernible. Faith in Jesus Christ is a gift from heaven that comes as we choose to believe, and as we seek it and hold on to it. Your faith is either growing stronger or becoming weaker. Faith is a principle of power, important not only in this life, but in our progression beyond the veil. By the grace of Christ, we will one day be saved through faith on His name. The future of your faith is not by chance, but by choice.”

Elder Andersen told of Aroldo Cavalcante, a young Church member in Brazil, who faced the responsibility after the death of his mother to care for his younger siblings. He exercised great faith to go on a full-time mission, trusting in the kindness of others to care for his family. He is now a stake president.

“Aroldo’s faith did not come by chance but by choice,” Elder Andersen said.

Holding the priesthood makes men different than other Christians who also have faith, he said. “You no longer stand on neutral ground. Your faith will grow not by chance, but by choice.”

He affirmed, “Faith never demands an answer to every question, but seeks the assurance and courage to move forward, sometimes acknowledging, ‘I don’t know everything, but I do know enough to continue on the path of discipleship.’

“Immersing oneself in persistent doubt, fueled by answers from the faithless and the unfaithful, weakens one’s faith in Jesus Christ and the Restoration.”

As an example, Elder Andersen said questions concerning the Prophet Joseph Smith are not new. “May I share some friendly advice: For now, give Brother Joseph a break! In a future day you will have 100 times more information than is found in all of today’s Internet search engines, and it will come from our all-kowing Heavenly Father. Consider the totality of his life – born in poverty and given little formal education, Joseph translated the Book of Mormon in 90 days. Tens of thousands of honest, devoted men and women embraced the cause of the Restoration. At 38, Joseph sealed his witness with his blood.”

Elder Andersen said the guidance of the First Presidency and the Twelve help protect faith.

Telling of a young man who persisted with his full-time mission despite the tragic deaths of his parents and two of his siblings, Elder Andersen said, “Faith is a choice. Strengthen your faith and live to be deserving of the Savior’s approving words, ‘Great is thy faith.’”

rscott@deseretnews.com

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