I used to be very troubled by a certain saying of our Savior. He taught that if we had faith no larger than a mustard seed we could move mountains. That verse caused me a lot of distress. It produced a certain amount of guilt. I knew I did not have that faith. I was reading that verse literally. We make big mistakes sometimes by our too-literal reading of scriptures that were meant to be understood on a figurative level. If we interpret this saying literally, then it is really a worthless verse, because it would have application to so few people over the entire history of the world. I do not believe that God deals in valueless truths. After all, how many people would need to actually move a mountain and, if the need actually arose, how many people would have that kind of faith?
If we examine it on the figurative level, it will feed all humanity. Rather than the literal meaning, the verse means that if we have even a little faith, we can overcome, climb over, or go around any obstacle—“the mountain,” in the Savior’s words—that stands in our way. A mustard seed is so very small, and a mountain so very large. That is just the point—it doesn’t take a great amount of faith, in either the Lord or ourselves, to face the mountainous obstacles that hold us back. We can move them!
If we are willing to move forward, in spite of walls, giants, seas, or mountains, God will help us. We need to understand that, in our relationship with our Father in Heaven, levels of comfort or great obstacles are not an excuse to quit our journey. He intends on getting us there. If we will try to move forward, if we’ll call upon Him for help in facing those obstacles, He will teach us how to build the barges, or tell us to keep marching around the walls until they come tumbling down. When you need hope, look forward, beyond the walls, beyond the giants, beyond the oceans, over the mountains to the promised land—to the fruits, to the pomegranates, to the figs, to the joys. And you will create in your own hearts the hope necessary to progress.