Dear Family and Friends,
Lately I have been studying faith. Faith is the first principle of the gospel, but it is so simple, yet so deep and complex that I can probably spend my entire mission studying it and not grasp its entirety. One thing that stuck out to me is faith is the acting principle, it is the faith that drives us to act, but we can't have faith without hope. So we need to hope first in order to have a faith, and then its the faith that we hope for in order to act. Once we act then our faith begins to blossom and to spring forward. Also one main thing about faith is that it needs be centered on Jesus Christ. (Helaman 5:12) Otherwise if its not centered on Jesus Christ then it tumbles. But you can hope for Christs Atonement to cover that. Its such a deep topic and I get lost in even trying to explain it. This morning I also found out that you need the Desire to have faith. So you need all these things to have faith, because you need hope to hope for faith, and then you need to desire to find that faith and build it, but the process of finding all of these attributes are faith and the faith is the acting principle. Its really complex and but I have decided to try to fill in my testimony around faith and strengthen my testimony in those areas. I also read in the gospel principles book that the doubt and the thorn that will make you lose your testimony is the natural man. We are all Heavenly Fathers offspring and thus we have the ability to become like he is, but we are also man and the natural man has the tendency to have flaws in it. We have to work everyday to overcome the natural man. It will never ever leave us and it will never give up the fight. We have to continually work to build the faith, hope, desire, and confidence to smite the natural man and follow Christs example. We have to have the faith to try to be like Christ is, perfect. Christ wouldn't invite us to do such a task without the means to get there. The means to get there is by faith. yea that is what I have gotten so far from my studying. Last night I actually had the chance to exercise my faith and bear my testimony. We we finding and we found a man who was a preacher and he belonged to the baptist faith. He kept saying that "i would encourage you to truly study the scriptures and find out for yourself what the true doctorine of Christ was and how it was pretty much impossible for God the Father and Jesus Christ to appear to Joseph Smith." This guy also believed in the trinity, which was extremely funny hearing him try to explain it to us. he kept on contradicting himself and after he was done he said that its very complex and hard to grasp his meaning. But he threw some scriptures at us and so I was like, I have studied the Book of Mormon and I know that no one who is wicked could write that book and anyone who is good wouldn't write that book except it be from God. thats pretty much all that I said and he just sat there and didn't know what to say so he changed the topic. But last night I found the power of having the faith to bear a small and short testimony that he couldn't deny. At first I thought that I should have said a longer one and explained it more, but that is all that I needed to say to the man.
LOVE Elder Taylor