Thursday, March 11, 2010

More Faith

When my students catch hold of the idea that faith is not just a mental exercise of coming to know that Jesus is the Christ but that it is also a power that gives them strength and allows them to do things they couldn’t possibly do without it, they want to know how to gain more faith. The answer is simple. To gain more faith we must be more obedient.

In King Benjamin’s beautiful sermon he says that the Lord “doth require that ye should so as he hath commanded you; for which if ye do, he doth immediately bless you” (Mosiah 2:24). There are many blessings attached to commandments. For example, one of the blessings of living the Word of Wisdom is that we “shall run and not be weary, and shall walk and not faint” (D&C 89:20). But while that blessing will come to all who live the Word of Wisdom, it is not the immediate blessing.

The immediate blessing that is given every time we obey a commandment of God is increased faith. Every time we choose to do what is right we grow in faith. It is immediate and it is unvarying. Elder Bruce R. McConkie said, “Faith is a gift of God bestowed as a reward for personal righteousness. It is always given when righteousness is present, and the greater the measure of obedience to God's laws the greater will be the endowment of faith” (Bruce R. McConkie, Mormon Doctrine, 2nd Edition, [Salt Lake City: Bookcraft] p. 264).

Knowing how faith comes helps motivate me to keep the commandments. When I’m tempted to do something wrong I know that if I give in I will miss out on the faith that could have been mine if I had obeyed. And I need all the faith I can get!


Martha said...

I have never heard anyone word this principal quite the same way as you. It clarifies things for me. Thank you!

Dani said...

I love the way this explanation makes obtaining more faith so "doable" :)

C Larsen said...

This is a great lesson, Sherrie! Especially the part that our faith is the blessing and is increased after we are obedient.

I think Abraham is another great example of being blessed with increased faith. He had huge trials that I cannot even imagine, and yet he was obedient to the Lord. The blessings he received continue on through our day and into the next generation and the next.

Thanks for your Gospel Insights!

Jenny said...

I remember you teaching us this in our Laurel class. It has stuck with me! I even used it in a talk that I gave last year. Thanks for the reminder again.

Anonymous said...

I love this! Thank you.