In 1842, as part of a document later to be known as the "Wentworth Letter", Joseph Smith summarized the basic beliefs of members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Of all the aspects of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ and the lives that members of the Church lead, Joseph did his best to summarize these things into thirteen short, concise statements so that people who are not members of our Church could gain a pretty basic understanding of who we are in a relatively easy and convenient manner.
In the fourth one of these statements--known as the Articles of Faith--we read, "We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ; second, Repentance; third, Baptism by immersion for the remission of sins; fourth, Laying on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost."
As the prophet taught there and as is taught throughout scripture, faith is the first and most fundamental aspect of the gospel of Jesus Christ. It is the foundation upon which our belief is built. As the ancient Apostle, Paul, wrote, "For we walk by faith, not by sight". Faith must come first for without faith we will not receive a witness of the truth. But for the purposes of this blog post, I want to turn to a different aspect of faith; that of a spur or motivation to what we are capable of accomplishing.