There is this great young woman at my church, Sarah, and she makes sourdough bread, and for all those who know me well, you know how much I LOVE sourdough bread. Interestingly enough, I learned it's quite a process to make a good loaf of sourdough bread. It all begins with the 'starter'. And this starter has to be 'fed' over several days with potato flakes and sugar to make sure it stays 'alive'. If you don't feed it on a consistent basis, it dies, and then you have to start all over, and it's not easy.
Faith is much the same. Often we start on the right foot, we begin believing and then something happens, we forget to feed our flicker of faith and the faith we had slowly begins to fade away. Which is why it is so important to consistently 'fan the flame of our faith' (Holland).
Faith is a hope for something greater than what we have right now. But really it's more than that, because hope is a desire with an expectation of fulfillment. It's so interesting though, sometimes we lounge around and say, "man, I hope that happens" when in all reality, if we take a step in the dark, we automatically find that the way is lit for us, but sometimes we have to take that first step.
Faith in Jesus Christ is a precious gift, and to feed that faith, we must repent. Repentance is humbling ourselves before God, and being willing to accept his will, so that we can change our lives for the better. Repentance is changing your life to become what God knows you can be. It's all possible through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and it's so real, it's like sunshine, if feels too right to be real.
I know that if we repent to 'feed' our starter of faith, we can truly be happy! The gift of repentance is real, people can change, and when we do, it's a time to truly rejoice. Amulek tells us, "And thus mercy can satisfy the demands of justice, and encircles them in the arms of safety, while he that exercises no faith unto repentance is exposed to the whole law of the demands of justice; therefore only unto him that has faith unto repentance is brought about the great and eternal plan of [happiness]" (Alma 34:16)
So today, while you whip out your starter to feed it, I invite you to say a prayer too. If you're holding on to something, just let it go. Our Savior paid a lot so we could have a fabulous loaf of bread.