Some people have known all their lives that God lives or that Jesus is the Christ. Others have struggled to come to a firm faith. Others are still hoping to find that anchor. My faith did not come without effort and hope. Although my life is full of experiences that are evidence to me that there is a loving Father in Heaven, I have always had work to maintain my testimony. When I was younger, there were periods of my life that were plagued by doubts, sometimes serious, and I'm grateful that during those times the teachings of parents and prophets prompted me to turn to prayer and to the scriptures. Though the struggle has been difficult at times, the Lord always answers eventually.
There are strident voices supported by the adversary that can sway us from our hope if we are not careful. There are secular logics and popular trends that sound reasonable but can undermine our faith if we entertain them more than we entertain the scriptures and the teachings of the prophets. There are subtle attacks on our church and our faith, and there are direct bold attacks as well. There are wedges out there, custom-made to match every person and personality, that can divide us from our testimony if we are not constantly moving towards a greater understanding and faith.
As I reflected upon the plight of a young person I know who has been caught in the quicksand peddled by websites that attack our church and its teachings, I wondered what logic, what half-truths, what sophistry they employed to sell their doubt and despair. One thing is clear to me, those that seek to undermine our faith, or the faith of the believers of any other religion, they do not have their consumers' best interests in mind. Will their wares make you happy? Bring peace? Make you less selfish? Build in you a desire to look outward and serve other's instead of focusing on yourself? Will they put you on a path that will bring happiness and contentment? No. And by their fruits you shall know their source.
I still have questions from time to time. There are a great many things I don't know. There are things I still struggle to reconcile. But I'm choosing faith. I'm choosing to go forward even in the face of uncertainties. A lifetime of experiences teaches me that this is the path to make one happy. I don't know everything, but I do know what my Heavenly Father wants me to strive for. And I know that he lives. I want to follow Him. I want to live by faith, and I want to reach out to others. I am grateful for the knowledge that we are all children of a Heavenly Father and that he has a great plan of happiness for us.