Wednesday, November 5, 2008

What can we exercise faith in?

In an e-mail a friend of mine asked me this question. I thought I would put it here so I could keep a copy of it, and get any feedback from 'yall :)

I was thinking about > you last week. You gave a lesson in the Young Women one time and you > talked about faith. You said something you learned on your mission > that you can't have faith in people or something like that. If you > remember can you explain it to me again? I really liked the way you > put it.

My response:

About the whole faith thing-

Let me tell you a quick story. While on my mission, my companion and I were teaching a guy, "Paco"- he said that he would come to church, over and over, and hadn't. On fast Sunday, after committing him to come, we fasted for Paco to come to church. He didn't show. My companion was VERY upset. She said, "I had so much faith in Paco- how could he have not come?" This immediately sounded off to me, I thought, "You can't have faith in Paco- you can only have faith in Christ."- and from there I started to study.

I will use the bible dictionary- in pieces:

Faith is to hope for things which are not seen, but which are true.

OK- so you can only have faith faith in things that are "true".

All true faith must be based upon correct knowledge or it cannot produce the desired results.

OK- so faith must be based on correct knowledge.

In Moroni 7, Mormon explains how to receive "every good thing"

ie- how can I get Paco to come to church?

20 And now, my brethren, how is it possible that ye can lay hold upon every good thing?

21 And now I come to that faith, of which I said I would speak; and I will tell you the way whereby ye may lay hold on every good thing.

His first clue- he says it is by faith.

22 For behold, God aknowing all things, being from beverlasting to everlasting, behold, he sent cangels to minister unto the children of men, to make manifest concerning the coming of Christ; and in Christ there should come every good thing.

God's knowledge of all things is one reason we can have faith in him.

If God TOLD us that Paco was coming to church (through personal
revelation-) THEN we could believe (have faith) that he would come.

We can have faith in the ministering of angels. Through the
ministering of angels we have the priesthood. We can have faith in the
power of the priesthood.

If we received a priesthood
blessing wherein we were told Paco would come to church, THEN we could have
faith that he would come.

23 And God also declared unto prophets, by his own mouth, that Christ should come.

If the prophet or one of the apostles, who are called and set apart as prophets
told us that Paco would come to church, THEN we could have faith that he would

25 Wherefore, by the ministering of aangels, and by every word which proceeded forth out of the mouth of God, men began to exercise faith in Christ; and thus by faith, they did lay hold upon every good thing; and thus it was until the coming of Christ.

"every word which proceeded forth out of the mouth of God"- these words are
found in the scriptures. If in the scriptures we were promised that Paco
would come to church, we could have faith in the promises made in the

The word faith is kind of like the word "love" it has more than one meaning, and can be a little overused. But- if we expect there to be power associated with our faith, it must be centered in Jesus Christ. (not in people)

We have hope or confidence in people, but there is no power to having "faith" in people.

And so, because we had no witness through personal revelation, no ministering angel, no promise in a priesthood blessing, no promise from a prophet, or in the scriptures- we had nothing but hope to go on with Paco. Faith needs one of those anchors to have power. We can have faith that if we pay our tithing, the windows of heaven will be opened- why- promises in the scriptures. We can have faith in the promises in our patriarchal blessings- why- the priesthood. We can exercise faith in promises made by prophets and apostles, living and those in the scriptures, but we can not have faith in people.

We can know that Heavenly Father heard our prayers. We can know that he loves us and he loves Paco. But Paco has his agency.

That was probably a longer explanation than you wanted- :)- I just kept going :) I hope it was clear.


Jim Hutchings said...

Hey...what ever happened to "Corahor's-a-punk.blogspot"

Christine said...

I did consider it- really, I did- and maybe I still will one day change the name :)