In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, we will have numerous opportunities to serve in capacities where we can bless and heal others. Do we need to have perfect faith, or is it enough to offer what little faith we have? In Alma 32:27, we read, “But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.”
I love how Elder Jeffrey R. Holland explains this faith problem of our mortal probation. “Be kind regarding human frailty—your own as well as that of those who serve with you in a Church led by volunteer, mortal men and women. Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it.”1
He knows we lack faith. He knows we stumble, yet He never expects perfection in our willingness to lift another’s burden. Can you give a little room in your heart to believe the Lord can work through you? If you can answer affirmatively, then you can strengthen and heal someone else. It isn’t us doing the real healing, but the Holy Ghost and the Lord Jesus Christ. If all we can do is go to Him with a desire to receive help in our work to bless others, He will answer.
In the scripture account in Mark 9: 17-27, we read of a desperate father whose child had been tormented with evil spirits that continually tried to destroy him. This dear father had no more hope left. He had tried everything. He even asked Jesus’ disciples for help and they couldn’t rid the child of his affliction. Ultimately, he was left with only a desire to believe, perhaps only a mustard seed’s worth, and asked the Lord Jesus to help him with what he couldn’t offer that his precious son might be spared. Can we possibly imagine how much this father wanted to answer that he fully believed when the Savior asked? How many people would like to be able to claim perfect faith when they have a struggling child, have lost a job, or are suffering in some way?
The Lord loves and appreciates us as we are right now. He will accept any amount of faith that we can muster, even if it is only the desire to believe. Speaking specifically of this father’s urgent request of the Savior, Elder Holland said, “I would say to all who wish for more faith, remember this man! In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited. In the growth we all have to experience in mortality, the spiritual equivalent of this boy’s affliction or this parent’s desperation is going to come to all of us. When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes…I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have.”1
Go forward knowing our Savior upholds you and accepts your offering of belief, however large or small that might be. You will be able to speak His words, be His hands and follow in His footsteps as you strive to help those around you.
“Lord, I Believe,” Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, General Conference, April 2013