Thursday, August 11, 2011

A Woman of Faith

The Book of Mormon tells a story about two thousand young warriors, dedicated to God.  Within this story there is a scripture that many mothers cling to.  These young men are described as having great courage and great faith.  And in Alma 56:48 they say, "We do not doubt our mothers knew it."  They trusted that God would protect them because their mothers had taught them this.

As a mother, I want to teach my children well.  I want to teach them truth.  And I want to help them become good people.  I also want them to be people of faith.  I want them to know God and trust that He will protect them and guide them if they will invite Him into their lives.  But there is only so much that I can do to make this happen.

My children must choose for themselves.  And that's scary.  They may choose to leave the church.  They may choose to disregard all that I have taught them.  They may go against everything I believe in.

All I can do is love them, teach them, and be a woman of faith myself.

Being a woman of faith is more than just believing or knowing that God is there.  It's more than trusting in Him.  It's more than telling my children that they are His children and He loves them. 

It's about living a life of faith.  It's about putting into action those things I believe.  As it says in James 2:26 "faith without works is dead."  I may believe in being honest but if I do not practice it, my faith benefits no one.  No matter what principles I believe, if I don't live those principles my faith in them will mean nothing.  And proclaiming belief while living in opposition to that claim does not teach faith to my children.

I cling to the story of the two thousand stripling warriors.  I live a life of faith for myself, but also for my children.  I want to model the behavior I'd like to see in them.  I try to be a good person.  I try to please my Father in Heaven.  I try to set a good example.

And occasionally I am rewarded for my efforts.  Several months ago I heard my son speak of his feelings and how difficult it was when his father left the church.  And then he said, "But I knew my mom still believed."  He talked about how he relied on that and how it gave him the strength to stay committed.  And then a few months later I got to hear him say that he'd found a testimony of his own.

These were incredibly humbling experiences for me.  I am so grateful for a teenage son who is willing to share his feelings with me.  I am grateful that he trusts me.  And I am grateful that he is finding out for himself, that he is becoming a man of faith.