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Faith can become a reality

- Learn to discern Spirit

- Live the gospel- Make the commitment

"To have faith, or know we have faith, we need to have experience with faith," Janette Hales Beckham said Sunday afternoon.

Sister Beckham, who was released as Young Women general president during the Saturday afternoon session, quoted from Alma 32:34-35 in her talk: "For ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, . . . that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened. . . . O then, is not this real? I say unto you, Yea, because it is light; and whatsoever is light, is good, because it is discernible."

"Learning to discern the teachings of the Spirit," she said, "is an important part of helping faith become a reality."

However, she added, "As we are learning to discern the promptings of the Spirit, there are so many distractions. Years ago a friend was feeling challenged as she saw the real world shouting at her family. She said, `I wish we could lock our children in the temple until they turn 21.' That solution might have kept them innocent, but that is not the plan. Just as Adam and Eve had to leave the Garden of Eden, spiritual maturity requires that we have experience in this world. It is experience that helps us know good from evil. It is experience that helps us recognize the promptings of the Spirit."

Sister Beckham explained that experience also helps one to recognize when good feelings are lacking. She noted, however, that because Heavenly Father knew mistakes would be made, He provided a Savior. "We need to know how the Atonement works in our lives and how good feelings can be regained and retained when mistakes have been made.

"As we gain experience in this demanding `real world,' we sometimes fail to see the sacred nature of our seemingly routine daily tasks. Fundamentals of daily living - scripture reading, prayer, family home evening, the conversation at dinner - these provide the experiences that make faith a reality."

Sister Beckham expressed gratitude for leaders "who encourage us to commit to experiences that help build faith. The auxiliaries of the Church are a resource to families in strengthening the faith of members. The Personal Progress program encourages each young woman to make commitments that will help make faith a reality. Her choices invite her to make a commitment, carry it out and report to someone. It is the process of progress.

"It is very much the same process we go through as we accept callings in the Church - make the commitment, carry it out and report to someone. One of the miracles of the restoration of the gospel and the organization of the Church in these latter days is that the plan allows growth and change to come to the members. We each have available to us the experience that will help us change - to become spiritually mature. Through our own repeated efforts, our faith can become a reality."