Friday, May 10, 2013

Faith: It's a Process

" 41 And what is it that ye shall ahope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have bhope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life ceternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise.

42 Wherefore, if a man have afaith he bmust needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope.
43 And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be ameek, and lowly of heart.
44 If so, his afaith and hope is vain, for none is bacceptable before God, save the cmeek and lowly in heart; and if a man be meek and lowly in heart, and dconfesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity.
45 And acharity suffereth long, and is bkind, and cenvieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily dprovoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things.

46 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail—

47 But acharity is the pure blove of Christ, and it endurethcforever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall be well with him.

48 Wherefore, my beloved brethren, apray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true bfollowers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall cbe like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be dpurified even as he is pure. Amen."

I recognize that that passage of scripture was a little bit lengthy. It was taken from Moroni Ch. 7. I was reading the section of Preach My Gospel that teaches how to effectively study (which was good for me, because I am potentially the least effective studier on the planet). One of the exercises involved reading this passage and then finding a few points that I can work on or apply to my life. I found that everything in this segment is something I need to work on. Faith is such a nebulous idea. It's something that I've been raised to believe I have grasped, when in actuality I exercise a surface level strength of faith. I've read the Book of Mormon multiple times, but these verses have never stuck out to me before. I realized faith is a lot like a modified "If you give a mouse a cookie" scenario. Instead of if you give a mouse a cookie he will then want a, b, and c it is if you don't have a, b, c...x, y, and z, faith won't be the same. This is what I gathered: the love of Christ is charity and without charity you're nothing; you need charity to be meek and lowly of heart which are both prerequisites to acquiring hope; and without hope, you can't have faith. Essentially I need to start at the bottom and work my way up. You don't take calculus without taking algebra, and you can't have real faith if you're not living a Christlike life. I was also impressed to remember that faith doesn't automatically mean you have a perfect knowledge of something. Today was a meaningful day of study for me. I've been a little off the last few weeks and have been desperately wanting to return to my normal demeanor. I've been quiet lately, to the point that people have noticed and asked if I'm alright. I set out today's study session with the hope of learning something that would help me to put life back into perspective and as a result make me a little more carefree again. This was definitely what I needed to hear. I needed to remember that even though I have no clue where my life is headed I can still have faith in the Lord's plan. Faith doesn't mean the clouds have lifted, it just means I know that I can journey through the clouds and make it to the other side. I can start at the grassroots now and work to build my faith by being Christlike, charitable, meek, lowly of heart, and hopeful.