faithI had a brief chat recently, with someone that loves just about everything about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, while rejecting the truth of the restored gospel. “All you need do is kneel in prayer and ask Heavenly Father whether this is the true church”, said I.

The response, “But I don’t believe all that other stuff”, meaning our controvertible history, questionable to the outside world, but truth and glory to the LDS heart.

I accused my chum of having the very little faith necessary, to not even consider approaching God in humble prayer, trusting Him to respond as He has promised each of His children. This episode along with ongoing thoughts and desires has me pondering the meaning of faith.

Not at all am I an expert. I am aware of the breadth of this topic and do not even promise to make a dent in its meaning.

Faith. This small word carries the weight of potential huge impact on the lives of mortals and is especially meaningful for our eternal destiny.

When you hear the word faith what comes to your mind? Today, I’d like to share one way I see it.

Picture a ruler.  Let’s make it a scale of one to ten. And let’s begin at where the majority of humankind seems to be. Now, please do remember, this is faith according to Lily…it is not gospel! It’s one concept to ponder in our spare time. 🙂

Where would you say the majority of people fit on a scale of faith? Where are you on this scale?

For fun here is my scale:

1.  Never having heard the gospel, still, most folks believe in something, -science, evolution, philosophies, etc-we’ll give them a one. “Live and let live” is their motto.

“By faith the harlot Rehab perished not with them that believed not” Hebrews 11:31

2.  These believe in Jesus Christ. Might not attend or associate with any church, but they do know of Him.

3.  These believe in Jesus Christ, are members of some church but do not know or follow all of His commandments. They have faith, but do they believe Him and all His words? Do they seek to know more from Him? Do they expect to hear from Him?

“Without faith it is impossible to please Him: for he that cometh to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him.” Hebrews 11:6

4.  Let’s place believers of the atonement of Jesus Christ, the gift of the Holy Ghost  and members of the true gospel at this level.

“By faith Moses…refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter…choosing rather to suffer affliction with the people of God, than to enjoy the pleasures of sin for a season…esteeming the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures in Egypt…by faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the king” Hebrews 11:24-27

5.  These are members of the true gospel. However obeying commandments is not high on their list of priorities.

“Through faith (Moses) kept the passover, and the sprinkling of blood, lest he that destroyed the firstborn should touch them” Hebrews 11:28

6.  These people believe the true gospel and live to obey the commandments of the Lord.

“By faith the walls of Jericho fell down” Hebrews 11:30

7.  Attention to prayer, communication with God and a relationship with Christ is important to this group.

“By faith Abel offered unto God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of his gifts”        Hebrews 11:4

8.  These diligently seek God. Desire to hear from Him. Sacrifice and serve when called upon. They are tested and face trials with His divine help.

“By faith Abraham, when he was called to go out into a place which he should after receive for an inheritance, obeyed; and he went out, not knowing whither he went…For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” Hebrews 11:8-11

9.  These faithful follow directions and build an ark. That is, they have enough faith to accept their God given assignment.

“By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet…prepared an ark to the saving of his house” Hebrews 11:7

10.  These champions offer up all that they have.

“By faith Abraham, when he was tried, offered up Isaac…his only begotten son” Hebrews 11:17

The following inspiring thoughts are written by Michael T. Ringwood of the Seventy in January’s Ensign, page 56 :

“Let’s look at Joseph Smith as an example of faith and of demonstrating the particles of desire, belief, and hope.

Joseph wanted to find the true Church of Jesus Christ. His desire was so strong that it led him to the scriptures, where he read, “if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God” (James 1:5) He thought about this scripture. He desired to have wisdom, and he believed that he would receive it if he asked God. He did the only logical thing: he prayed and asked God.

Now think about this for a minute. Joseph had the desire to know the truth. He believed the words of James. He hoped for an answer. But if he had stopped there, we would not be here today. Exercising faith meant he had to enter the grove and pray.

I believe that when Joseph went into the grove to pray, he expected to walk out with an answer. He might not have expected to see Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, but he did expect an answer. What a great example of faith! He had desire, he believed, he hoped and he took action.

The faith of a 14 year old boy changed the world. Because of Joseph’s prayer in the Sacred Grove, the heavens were opened and God spoke again …”

 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” Hebrews 11:1

So…what do you think of my list? Missing anything?

When you hear the word ‘faith’ what comes to your mind?

What does ‘faith’ look like in your life?

 

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