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Elder Jeffrey R. Holland: 'Lord, I Believe'

All things are possible for those who believe, no matter how small that belief may be, Elder Jeffrey R. Holland taught during the Sunday afternoon session of general conference.

Drawing from the New Testament account of a father bringing his afflicted son to the Savior for healing, Elder Holland quoted the father's words: "If thou canst do anything, have compassion on us, and help us." Jesus said, "If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth." The record states, "And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord I believe; help thou mine unbelief" (Mark 9:14-24).

In response to new and still partial faith, Jesus healed the boy.

Elder Holland shared three observations.

The first observation: When facing the challenge of faith, the father asserts his strength first, and only then acknowledges his limitation. His initial declaration is affirmative and without hesitation: "Lord, I believe."

"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."

Even faith the size of a mustard seed has power to move mountains, he said.

The second observation: When problems come and questions arise, individuals should not start their quest for faith by saying how much they do not have, leading with their "unbelief."

"I am not asking you to pretend to have faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have."

Sometimes people act as though an honest declaration of doubt is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of faith. "It is not," he said. He encouraged members to be as candid about their questions as they need to be — for life is full of questions on one subject or another — but, if they want to be healed, "don't let those questions stand in the way of faith working its miracle."

"Brothers and sisters, this is a divine work in process with the manifestations and blessings of it abounding in every direction, so please do not hyperventilate if from time to time issues arise that need to be examined, understood and resolved.... And remember in this world everyone is to walk by faith."

Elder Holland encouraged members to be patient and kind with human frailty — their own as well that of others. "Except in the case of his only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with," he said. "That must be terribly frustrating to Him but He deals with it. So should we. And when you see imperfection, remember that the limitation is not in the divinity of the work."

The third observation: When doubt or difficulty come, do not be afraid to ask for help. As people humbly and honestly ask, God will always send help from both sides of the veil to strengthen belief.

"What was once a tiny seed of belief for me has grown into the tree of life, so if your faith is a little tested in this or any season, I invite you to lean on mine," he said. "I know this work is God's very truth and I know that only at our peril would we allow doubt or devils to sway us from its path. Hope on. Journey on. Honestly acknowledge your concerns but first fan the flame of your faith, because all things are possible to them that believe."