March 12, 2019
Writer: J.D. Packer
What does it mean to you to “walk by faith, not by sight?” That is the question you can find on the BYU-Idaho Devotional Discussion Board this week. In preparation for the devotional with Elder Kevin S. Hamilton, students answered that question. Elder Hamilton is a General Authority Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Elder Hamilton was sustained as a General Authority 13 years ago and served for five years in the Africa Southeast Area Presidency, the last two years as Area President. Hamilton received a bachelor’s degree in marketing from Brigham Young University in 1979, and in 1982 he received a master’s degree in finance from the University of Washington.
In his address to the students, Hamilton stressed the concept of walking by faith and not by sight. He talked about the struggles of having six kids and raising a family. He said during a particularly challenging struggle with a decision to make, he asked his wife how they should move forward. Her reply was amazing.
“Honey, we are just going to have to move forward in faith,” she told him. “I have faith, but what if it doesn’t work?” He told the students she wanted to trust in the Lord, but even when we have faith, there may be “that little edge of doubt where we wonder what will happen,” he said. “We are not always completely sure if it will actually work.”
In an interview with BYU-Idaho Radio, Elder Hamilton said he wanted to go back to the basics in his devotional talk. He explained he and his wife recently returned from Africa where they see people who walk by faith every day. He was around so much poverty and difficulties around the African people. Yet, one of the biggest things he noticed was they were so happy. They walked by faith.
“One of the things that really impacted us, really changed our lives was to see that: A. How much faith the African saints have, and B. how simple the gospel really is,” he said. “They have just a simple approach. They have the scriptures. They have the prophet. They have their sacrament meetings. They have their homes.”
While contemplating this situation he said the impression came to him to go back to the basics and talk about living and walking by faith. Not all of us need to go to Africa to see people struggle and walk by faith. Answers will always come in the Lord’s time.
Sister Hamilton echoed her husband’s thoughts about how much the Gospel matters. “I have been so impressed with the African Women,” she said. “They just have so much faith. I have seen a lot of miracles happen in their homes because of their faith and their families. The ‘Come Follow Me’ has been practiced there for years.”
Sometimes it is hard to walk by faith. Especially around others who have the same faith. We need to be able to tell the difference between the Church of Jesus Christ and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, Elder Hamilton taught. He addressed the tendencies of how we sometimes focus more on the activities of the Church then what the gospel really is.
Elder Hamilton quoted Elder Dale G. Renlund of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, who made this statement, “The church is the atonement delivery system.” We simply need to change the saying of “I don’t like the church when it does this” and change it too “I don’t like when Heavenly Father does this.”
With this simple
“Every problem, whether its poverty, corruption, or government, every problem, the answer is, the gospel of Jesus Christ,” he said. “It’s the answer to every question, it’s the solution to every problem. It just has to be applied in a meaningful way, but it is the answer.”