This equation is something that my dad taught me ever since I was a kid. I remember distinctly him teaching a lesson on this to me and a group of friends in church one day. But as I've been growing up and starting my own life I've really learned how true this equation is in any aspect of our life, including our spirituality.
The scriptures, including the Book of Mormon, tell us stories of individuals who often times encounter problems and need help solving them. One such example in the Book of Mormon is one of my favorite and I love sharing it.
The Brother of Jared (Ether 2 & 3)
So just a quick back story. The story of the Brother of Jared starts when they are building the tower of Babel. The Lord confounds the languages but the Brother of Jared, his family, his brother and his family, gathered themselves together and plead with the Lord to not confound their language and they could still understand each other. The Lord answered their prayers and He lead them through the wilderness to the sea so they could journey to the promised land. They were commanded to build ships which they did. However there were some problems with the design of the ships that were apparent after their completions. So the Brother of Jared went up and prayed to the Lord for guidance on how to fix these problems. Here are the 3 problems they faced (Ether 2:19)
- Can't breath
- Can't steer
- Can't see
First one He says "Behold, thou shalt make a hole in the top, and also in the bottom; and when thou shalt suffer for air thou shalt unstop the hole and receive air. And if it be so that the water come in upon thee, behold, ye shall stop the hole, that ye may not perish in the flood." (Ether 2:20)
The second problem He says "Nevertheless, I will bring you up again out of the depths of the sea; for the winds have gone forth out of my mouth, and also the rains and the floods have I sent forth. And behold, I prepare you against these things; for ye cannot cross this great deep save I prepare you against the waves of the sea, and the winds which have gone forth, and the floods which shall come." (Ether 2:24-25
But the third problem the Lord says "What will ye that I should do that ye may have light in your vessels?" (Ether 2:23)
So the Brother of Jared has to solve a problem, which is to provide light in his ships without using fire or windows (Ether 2:23-24). How is he going to find success in solving this problem? He applies Faith + Effort = Success.
The Brother of Jared goes out and starts to put forth effort. The scriptures say that he ""did molten out of a rock sixteen small stones; and they were white and clear, even as transparent glass; and he did carry them in his hands upon the top of the mount, and cried again unto the Lord." I'm no expert on glass or metal work, but I do know that there is a lot of effort involved. The Brother of Jared didn't just grab a couple rocks off the ground, he made them!! He had to go and gather the materials, make a furnace and bellows, get everything hot enough, and work with all those materials to make very pure and beautiful stones. He put forth a lot of effort.
Then he exercised his faith. He then went up and asked the Lord if He could touch the stones with His finger to make them shine. This was the solution the Brother of Jared developed to solve the problem. Not only that, he put forth the effort to make it work. Now he had enough faith to ask the Lord if He could help finish the job. What courage and what faith he had to ask the Lord for this favor.
Long story short, the Brother of Jared had his prayer answered. The Lord touched the stones and they shined, giving light to the vessels. Not only that, the Brother of Jared was able to see the finger of the Lord. And because of that faith that developed in him he was able to see all of the Lord and was shown everything, because of his faith. Wow, what an experience!
The Brother of Jared applied two simple things. He had the faith and he exercised it, and then he put forth the effort that he was capable of. Because of this, he was shown marvelous things and was blessed with success. I know this simple equation to be true. I see it all throughout the scriptures. Not only that I've applied it in my own life. I know that if we have the faith and do our part, the Lord will take care of the rest and we will be blessed with success. That's how the Atonement works really. If we have faith in Christ, do all that we can, then Christ takes care of the rest and we are blessed with remission of our sins and the opportunity to live with God again. I know this to be true. I know the gospel to be true. I know that Jesus Christ lives and His Atonement is real. I know this to be true and I hope this will be of some help to someone. I love Him with all my heart!!