With Faith to Move Mountains

{Disclaimer: To those of you reading this who may or may not identify with Christian religion I hope that you still find something within the thoughts to apply to your own spiritual journey – whatever that may look like.}

Mark 11:23

“For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.”

I’ve read this scripture a thousand times.  I’ve heard it paraphrased a thousand times.

It never sat well with me.

Not because I didn’t believe it to be true, but rather I’d get frustrated thinking I couldn’t access that kind of faith. How does one simply “have faith to move mountains”?

It seemed like a cavalier quote you say to someone when you don’t actually know what to say to get them through their current situation in life.

I remember sitting on the porch of our cabin as a kid, looking at the mountain ahead of me, trying to access enough faith to move it. To literally watch it move to the right or left in front of my eyes. Praying to God to see if he would help me, or at least validate that I had enough faith in Him and His word. Squinting to see if that helped.

But to no surprise I wasn’t Matilda and I couldn’t just move things if I concentrated hard enough.

As the years passed, this idea of “faith to move mountains” frustrated me. I didn’t understand how to access it.  I’d read, research, study, think, try.  Sometimes I’d catch glimpses, but they’d exit just as soon as they’d entered.

Then a few days ago I was walking through a place called Temple Square in Salt Lake City, UT.

{Note: If you aren’t familiar with Temple Square, you may be more familiar with the “Mormon Temple” that resides there. See below}


At Temple Square, they have the Temple (as shown above), but they also have Visitor’s Centers that teach you about the beliefs of members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the early pioneers who established the land.

I’ve walked through Temple Square and its corresponding visitor’s centers dozens of times in my life. And yet, on this particular day I paused at a diorama of the early pioneers moving granite from the mountain to build the temple.  Above the diorama was that phrased I’d always heard, “Faith to Move Mountains.”

I don’t know why it took me so long to figure it out.  But, somehow in that 30 seconds of pausing to look at the diorama, I found the clarity I’d been searching for over the past 20 years of my life.

I finally grasped a portion of what it meant to have that kind of faith.  It didn’t mean sitting there, praying and pleading for something to happen – in my case testing God to see if he could really give 9 year-old Katie the power to move a mountain left or right.

Sure, praying and pleading are important aspects of it.  But it’s so much more.

The pioneers LITERALLY moved a mountain by carving out one granite block at a time.  Which they then painstakingly transported across the land to the site now known as Temple Square.  From there, they built the temple out of this mountain – a mountain which had been moved to it’s new location to stand – miles away from it’s original home.

So perhaps then to live “with faith to move mountains” means I too must start by carving out portions of my life that I want to improve upon and take small steps to act, however painstakingly long it may take to see the fruits of my labors.  So part of that faith is acting and then waiting.  Trusting you’re doing the right thing.

The Salt Lake City Temple took 40 years to build.  Which means it took 40 years to move the mountain. Not to mention the additional years it took the pioneers to even reach Salt Lake.

And so, I sit here typing, no longer frustrated by whether or not my faith is active enough. Instead, I see the small things that daily add to my faith. That it’s a process where I can’t see the outcome yet, but I trust it’s there. It may be 40 years or more ahead of me. But it’s there. And it’s worth the wait.