Campfire of Faith Ministering Printable – Relief Society
For November, I made a Campfire of Faith Ministering Printable from Elder Gerrit W. Gong’s 2018 October General Conference talk, “Our Campfire of Faith.” I decided to stick it on a little s’more kit because if you are going to talk about campfires, even figurative ones, there had better be s’mores.
I have to say that Elder Gong’s talk stopped me in my tracks. It hit on so many things that I love that it was like a favorite things list in the form of a conference talk – Elder Richard G. Scott, watercoloring, campfires, and the importance of creating. I had been praying about which conference talk to do my ministering message on and I knew immediately that this was it.
Campfire of Faith Ministering Printable (Download)
In his talk, Elder Gong explained how Elder Scott had invited him to come watercolor with him. Elder Scott has long been a favorite of mine. In his talks, you can tell he is someone who has actively sought to develop his ability to feel the spirit and its guidance.
But the best part about Elder Scott is his loving heart. I ran into him once at BYU and when I told him that he had been the mission president to my mission president, President Rick Hall, Elder Scott surprised me by giving me the biggest hug. At that moment, I felt the love the brethren have for us and the love of my Savior. Years later, my kids still know him as the apostle who hugged mommy. We often forget that apostles don’t just stand up there and give talks, but they interact with others all the time. And in those interactions, they minister much like the Savior would.
Elder Gong went on to say that he didn’t know how to paint and was a little intimidated, but learned so much as Elder Scott talked about how painting helped him to observe and create. As they worked on a painting of a man standing in front of a campfire, with the dark night at his back, they talked about faith.
Elder Gong says, “We used as a model his beautiful watercolor titled Campfire at Sunset. As we painted, we talked about faith—how as we face the light and warmth of a campfire, we leave the darkness and uncertainty behind us—how on sometimes long, lonely nights, our campfire of faith can give hope and assurance. And the dawn does come. Our campfire of faith—our memories, experiences, and heritage of faith in God’s goodness and tender mercies in our life—has strengthened us through the night.
My testimony is—for those who seek, allow, and live for it—the dawn of faith, sometimes gradually, will come or can return. The light will come when we desire and seek it, when we are patient and obedient to God’s commandments, when we are open to God’s grace, healing, and covenants.”
I loved the imagery of facing the light in the midst of the dark. So often we turn from the Lord when things get hard. But if we were ever stuck in the wilderness – cold and in danger – who in their right mind would wander from their only source of warmth and light?
Even in my emergency preparedness kit, I not only keep a box of matches but a box of waterproof matches so that I can make a fire even if things get wet. I also have a flint in case I run out of matches. Not to mention the flashlight, solar flashlight, candles, and glow sticks. I know the importance of light and warmth and have taken precautions so that I won’t be stuck without it. I have also practiced making campfires so that when I need to use my supplies it is second nature.
It makes me think about whether I care for my campfire of faith in the same ways. Do I foolishly turn away from my campfire of faith when things get hard? Do I have multiple means of kindling that fire and do I know how to use them? Am I able to kindle a fire only in ideal situations, but also when things get hard? What am I doing to keep my campfire of faith going?
Elder Gong mentions that our campfire of faith is made up of “our memories, experiences, and heritage of faith in God’s goodness and tender mercies in our life.” And what are these things but the foundation of a relationship? We know and come to love our family members and friends because of the memories we have, the experiences we share, and a heritage of loving interactions.
Faith is a relationship with our Heavenly Father. It is our memories of times when He has reached out to us with love in intensely personal ways. It is the feelings we have during spiritual experiences. It is seeing His tender mercies in our lives. Without those, we don’t know Him. And if we don’t know Him, how can we trust Him? We must build our campfires of faith by seeking those divine interactions through prayer, scripture study, service, and temple attendance. And we must not forget the experiences we have had with the Him in the past.
As Elder Gong said, the dawn of faith can come when we seek the Lord, when the world will be fully illuminated. But during the hard times, we can turn our backs to the dark and warm ourselves by our campfire of faith. Life can be impossibly hard sometimes. I am often put in situations beyond my abilities and there is so much hurt when things seem to break all around me. But I know that I am not stuck alone and cold in the wilderness. When I focus on my little campfire, I only see the blinding light and warmth before me. And I know I am going to be just fine.