The Shield of Faith

A Way of Life, James E. Faust

I believe the future will be great and marvelous in many respects. Opportunities for education and learning have increased and will continue to increase dramatically. One person defined it this way: “Education is when you read the fine print. Experience is what you get if you don’t.”1 Now and in the future, vast amounts of information are becoming more accessible worldwide through electronic devices in the home, the workplace, or the local library. However, great will be the challenges and endless the problems, because with this wave of knowledge, life actually becomes more complicated. Brigham Young said, “It was revealed to me in the commencement of this Church, that the Church would spread, prosper, grow and extend, and that in proportion to the spread of the Gospel among the nations of the earth, so would the power of Satan rise.”2

As we move into a new era, we have only one safe course: to press forward in faith. Faith will be our strong shield to protect us from the fiery arrows of Satan. Values should not change with time, because faith in Jesus Christ is indispensable to happiness and eternal salvation. The greatest century of advancement in science and technology has just ended. Yet a spirit of darkness prevails in our day as it did many centuries ago when Jesus Christ was about to be crucified. Even so, as the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “Great blessings await us at this time, and will soon be poured out upon us, if we are faithful in all things, for we are even entitled to greater spiritual blessings than they were, because they had Christ in person with them, to instruct them in the great plan of salvation. His personal presence we have not, therefore we have need of greater faith.”3 Faith is the first principle of the gospel of Jesus Christ as set forth by the Prophet Joseph: “We believe in God, the Eternal Father, and in His Son, Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.”4 This faith will be the sanctuary for our souls.

Never before in the history of the world has the need for faith in God been greater. Although science and technology open up boundless opportunities, they also present great perils because Satan employs these marvelous discoveries to his great advantage. The communication highway that spans the globe is overloaded with information for which no one bears responsibility for its truth or its source. Crime has become much more sophisticated and life more perilous. In war, killing has become far more efficient. Great challenges lie ahead unless the power of faith, judgment, honesty, decency, self-control, and character increases proportionately to compensate for this expansion of secular knowledge. Without moral progress, stimulated by faith in God, immorality in all its forms will proliferate and strangle goodness and human decency. Mankind will not be able to fully express the potential nobility of the human soul unless faith in God is strengthened.

Excerpt from James E. Faust’s April 2010 General Conference Address, The Shield of Faith. James E. Faust (1920-2007) served as second counselor in the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints from 1995, till his death.