Caleb gave this talk in church today. He wrote the entire thing himself, and we only saw it for the first time last night before he went to bed. I think he did an excellent job!
Good morning my brothers and sisters. Today I was asked to speak on faith. In the Book of Alma we read about Alma’s definition of faith. It reads (mark #1 Alma 32:21). In addition to this the Bible Dictionary says that “To have faith is to have confidence in something or someone.” (pg. 669) Faith can help us to achieve many things. In Jacob chapter 4, we read that “we truly can command in the name of Jesus and the very trees will obey us, or the mountains, or the waves of the sea.” (Jacob 4:6)
In order for these kinds of things to happen, your faith must be unwavering. So how do we strengthen our faith? Some standard Sunday school answers would be; going to church, reading your scriptures, and saying your prayers. These answers are all correct, but I find that faith is really boosted through trials. In a talk by Neil L. Anderson he says, “…as we remain faithful during the fiery trials of our faith, we are spiritually refined and strengthened.” (Trial of your Faith, Elder Neil L. Anderson)
I have had a trial that tested my faith. It happened just over a year ago. I was diagnosed with a terminal blood disorder called aplastic anemia. When you have aplastic anemia, your bone marrow just shuts down and you don’t produce any blood. When we found out that I had this, I had very little blood left in me, and what was left was so thin, the doctors said it looked like Kool-Aid.
I spent the next month or two going in and out of the hospital. At this hospital, I received many blood transfusions. Later, I went to another hospital, where I would be receiving a bone marrow transplant. To do this, they had to first kill off the rest of the bone marrow that was still producing blood in my body. They then replaced my marrow, via a chest catheter. My new bone marrow came from my loving sister, Brooklin.
Now, during this time in the hospital, I and stuck in the same room for a month. I couldn’t even go into the ante-chamber that goes to my room. This prevented me from attending church and seminary right? Not necessarily. The hospital provided an iPad and I put it to good use. Every school morning at about 6:30 am, I would FaceTime to an iPod my sister took with her to seminary, and I would participate in seminary. Every night around 7:00 pm, I would FaceTime to that same iPod, and I would participate in family scriptures and prayers. This helped me a lot. It helped me to keep myself upbeat and happy with all the complicated things that were going on. It also gave me a better appreciation on being able to attend things like church and seminary in person. This helped me to strengthen my faith because, with Heavenly Father’s help, I was able to live through something that should have killed me.
I know that I have strong faith in Jesus Christ. I know that we are given trials for a reason. I know that we can walk away from our trials with a stronger faith in Jesus Christ. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.