Thomas S. Monson is the president and prophet of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, whose members are sometimes called Mormons. Following are some of his thoughts and stories on the subject of faith in everyday life.
Next, faith precedes the miracle. It has ever been so and shall ever be. It was not raining when Noah was commanded to build an ark. There was no visible ram in the thicket when Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac. Two heavenly personages were not yet seen when Joseph knelt and prayed. First came the test of faith-and then the miracle.
Thomas S. Monson, “The Call to Serve,” Ensign, Nov 2000, 47-49
All through the scriptures, the key of faith has proved to be a prerequisite to receiving desired and needed blessings. Abraham experienced the torturous ordeal of being willing to sacrifice his precious son, Isaac, before he heard the words, “Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou any thing unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.” 5 Abraham’s faith had to be tested.
The prophet Daniel was to be thrown to those lions in the pit before there came to fruition his God-given blessings. The three Hebrew children were cast into the fiery furnace, that their faith might be tested. Joseph Smith entered a quiet grove and bowed in prayer as a test of his faith.
Isn’t it significant that when Abraham’s faith was tested, there was no ram in the thicket that he could see? Isn’t it significant that when Daniel was threatened to be thrown into the den of lions, there were no muzzles binding their powerful jaws? Isn’t it significant that the three Hebrew children had no asbestos suits of clothing when they were cast into the fiery furnace? Isn’t it significant that when Joseph, the boy prophet, went down upon bended knee to seek the help of Almighty God, God the Father and Jesus the Son did not appear until after his faith had been tested?
We need the key of faith. No locked door can withstand its opening capacity. Faith is a requisite to this work. There is within our grasp the key which will unlock to our view that which we earnestly seek.
Thomas S. Monson, “The Key of Faith,” Ensign, Feb 1994, 2
Some years ago I accompanied President Hugh B. Brown (1883-1975), a counselor in the First Presidency, on a tour of the Samoan Mission. The members and missionaries in American Samoa had advised us that a severe drought had imperiled their water supply to the point that our chapels and our school would of necessity be closed if rain did not soon fall. They asked us to unite our faith with theirs.
Signs of the drought were everywhere as we left the airport at Pago Pago and journeyed to the school at Mapusaga. The sun was shining brightly; not a cloud appeared in the azure blue sky. The members rejoiced as the meeting began. He who offered the opening prayer thanked our Heavenly Father for our safe arrival, knowing that we would somehow bring the desired rainfall. As President Brown rose to speak, the sun was soon shaded by gathering clouds. Then we heard the clap of thunder and saw the flash of lightning. The heavens opened. The rains fell. The drought ended.
Later at the airport, as we prepared for the short flight to Western Samoa, the pilot of the small plane said to the ground crew: “This is the most unusual weather pattern I have ever seen. Not a cloud is in the sky except over the Mormon school at Mapusaga. I don’t understand it!”
President Brown said to me: “Here’s your opportunity. Go help him understand.” I did so.
Thomas S. Monson, “Building Your Eternal Home,” Ensign, Oct 1999, 2
Remember that faith and doubt cannot exist in the same mind at the same time, for one will dispel the other.
Should doubt knock at your doorway, just say to those skeptical, disturbing, rebellious thoughts: “I propose to stay with my faith, with the faith of my people. I know that happiness and contentment are there, and I forbid you, agnostic, doubting thoughts, to destroy the house of my faith. I acknowledge that I do not understand the processes of creation, but I accept the fact of it. I grant that I cannot explain the miracles of the Bible, and I do not attempt to do so, but I accept God’s word. I wasn’t with Joseph, but I believe him. My faith did not come to me through science, and I will not permit so-called science to destroy it.”
Thomas S. Monson, “The Lighthouse of the Lord: A Message to the Youth of the Church,” Ensign, Feb 2001, 2