My Voice & Testimony

From the life of a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Archive for the ‘Gifts of the Spirit’ Category

Faith: A principle of power and action

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Faith to me is such a phenomenal topic, which of late I’ve been buried in ponderous thoughts from Joseph Smith’s Lectures on Faith.  In this brief lecture Joseph Smith accurately depicts what faith is, how we can harness it, and apply it towards life and salvation.

A truth I’ve come to understand is that faith is literally a force of nature – just as comparable as gravity or any other scientific fact of life.  Faith is both the root of all action we make and the source of power.  For prophets to command physical elements to obey a command, the amount of faith summoned upon is in direct correlation with the reality of any miraculous event taking place.

If men were duly to consider themselves, and turn their thoughts and reflections to the operations of their own minds, they would readily discover that it is faith, and faith only, which is the moving cause of all action, in them; that without it, both mind and body would be in a state of inactivity, and all their exertions would cease, both physical and mental. Joseph Smith

Beyond any spiritual reference, any theologian or atheist can respect this cosmic fact and basis of faith.  Who would not agree on this fundamental point?  If you look around and identify the thousands of books, speakers, organizational consultants, any religion, any sport, any teacher of education – ANYTHING it is easy to identify that our motivation to exert some kind of inspirational message for others is faith – remarkably at the core.  Faith is what we are all in dire need of (literally), yet we have enormous potential if we can grasp this eternal principle.

Our faith can be used for good or for bad, just like any fact of life.  Our actionable faith can enable us to be come an incredibly charismatic speaker, sports athlete, criminal, educational achievements, promotions, addictive habits, fame or fortune.  Admirable people of the earth that have applied faith to good works are always inspiring in what they do.  Especially those who have obtained such a selfless level of service and love for mankind – just incredible people.

As we receive by faith, all temporal blessings that we do receive, so we, in like manner, receive by faith all spiritual blessings, that we do receive. But faith is not only the principle of action, but of power, also, in all intelligent beings, whether in heaven, or on earth.  And as faith is the moving cause of all action in temporal concerns, so it is in spiritual; for the Savior has said, and that truly, that he that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved. Mark 16:16. Joseph Smith

Now faith in a spiritual sense, takes us a level deeper.  The basis of spiritual faith is the hope and belief in God, and that obedience to His commandments, ordinances and principles will grant us a spiritual, eternal reward.

Now faith is the substance (assurance) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11: 1

Faith in God

However whether we see something is no measurement to guarantee spiritual or even temporal truths about life.  We can see the effects of things and the end result of actions taken, or consequences finalized.  In life we feel and even see the effects of wind, natural disasters, injury, negligence, construction, and development.

Spiritually, our faith is based upon our application of actionable steps towards a promised result in the end.  Consequences to the veracity of these steps quicken our confidence as we begin to see the fruits of our faith.  We simply test and apply a principle with faith, and obtain the results that occur.  Then we experiment on commandments from God, to test their veracity and continue to apply principles etc.  God’s promises are fulfilled as we apply our faith and obtain blessings.

In life it is easy to apply faith and claim all of the fruits from our labor.  The obvious would be the recognition of success and wealth  obtained from a life of hard work and disciplined effort.  After all did not the person see a goal in sight, and apply one’s agency, desire, and will to accomplish task after task?  This may be true: Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. James 2:17  Our agency and ability to apply our will is the spark to a flame.

In 1995, Neal A Maxwell of the Quorum of the 12 apostles said, “The submission of one’s will is really the only uniquely personal thing we have to place on God’s altar. The many other things we “give,” brothers and sisters, are actually the things He has already given or loaned to us. However, when you and I finally submit ourselves, by letting our individual wills be swallowed up in God’s will, then we are really giving something to Him! It is the only possession which is truly ours to give!”

Our will is truly ours – but what about all the worldly fame and fortune we’ve obtained through faith and the application of our agency?  Is that not ours as well.  This is exactly the line we need to be careful crossing.  Our faith was key, but let us not forget that every opportunity we receive is from the Lord.  Without any opportunity, even our spark of faith cannot amount to anything.  There was a time when a man in the Book of Mormon felt that he had claim upon all that his faith had produced and that God had nothing to do with it.  Here’s the account and response from Alma the prophet:

43 And now Korihor said unto Alma: If thou wilt show me a sign, that I may be convinced that there is a God, yea, show unto me that he hath power, and then will I be convinced of the truth of thy words.

44 But Alma said unto him: Thou hast had signs enough; will ye tempt your God? Will ye say, Show unto me a sign, when ye have the testimony of all these thy brethren, and also all the holy prophets? The scriptures are laid before thee, yea, and all things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and call things that are upon the face of it, yea, and its motion, yea, and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator. Alma 30:43,44

Again God has provided with us with endless opportunities on earth.  The fact that we even exist is a miraculous gift, for He is our Father in Heaven. We have abundant food, and shelter; even friends and family who support us through trials.  The money we have at some point has been given to us from the Lord.  All that we own and possess is a gift and blessing from God – who is the source of all opportunities we find.  In addition, He provides all the answers to who we are, what we should do, when should we do it, why should we do it, and how we should live our life.

So if God is the ultimate provide for our welfare and happiness on this earth and throughout eternity; let us put our faith in Him and His son Jesus Christ.  Let us experiment on His word and test the faith need to achieve eternal life and live with our families forever.  Is this not worth our time and effort to at least experiment upon the word with our faith?  Alma describes this idea in the following verses:

21 And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.

26 Now, as I said concerning faith—that it was not a perfect knowledge—even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge.

27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

28 Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to eenlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me. Alma 32