Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Faith: A Word of Action

Faith: A Word of Action

          If faith is steps that we take in the dark, and those steps take us toward "the light of the world" (John 9: 5) who is Christ. I would imagine that our next step would be to try and become more like Him who we profess to follow. As a rule, faith in our Lord and Savior should lead us to become closer to Him in word and deed. To take those steps of faith toward Jesus Christ, we first need to know something about Him and what his teachings and principles can bring into our lives. That is where today's post will begin:

Opening Our Hearts To The Gospel

          There is a story in The Book of Mormon of a man named Enos that illustrates this principle wonderfully. Allow me to elaborate, Enos was a man who grew up learning from his father about the gospel of Jesus Christ, but he had never quite taken it all to heart. I imagine he was in the same situation that many find themselves in as they can rattle off all of the textbook answers to gospel related questions, when you can get away with the answer "pray about it" the majority of the time. But where is the trust in that? Where is the faith, the love, or the desire to follow our Savior? It hasn't reached our hearts, at least not yet. For this is how Enos found himself, a man who knew what he should do and who I imagine did most of it, but for some reason or another never invested his heart. All of that was about to change for Enos, as it has for me, and as it has for all those who have put their trust in the Savior enough to follow Him. Enos was out on the hunt, but while searching for game, he also was searching his thoughts and his heart. He says of his experience: "the words which I had often heard my father speak concerning eternal life, and the joy of the saints, sunk deep into my heart." (Enos 1:3). He had finally found room within to let the gospel of Jesus Christ sink in and take meaning into his soul. "And my soul hungered" Enos said, and he immediately took action and he knelt down to pray unto the Lord (Enos 1:4). 

Hungering After Righteousness 

          In Christ's Sermon on the Mount, as well as in his discourse to the Nephites, a people living on the American continent during the time Christ was on the earth and whom he visited after his resurrection. He states to those who he taught that "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after righteousness" (See Matthew 5: 6 & 3 Nephi 12: 6). Enos was blessed, not only because of his desire to accept the gospel, but because he actually did something about it. His soul was hungry for the truth, so he sought it out and prayed, and that is when the blessings came. Now to make a quirky analogy that I hope will solidify my point, I want to compare this situation to a man sitting in a kitchen with full cupboards, working appliances, and all the cook books that he could ever need, but he is slowly starving to death. "Why?" you may ask. Because he won't get up and use all the tools he has been given. How many of us are in the same situation spiritually? Do we sit and wait for someone to come and force feed us the things of the gospel? To we allow the ingredients, our faith, desires, and good intentions, to rot in the cupboards or our heart until they are useless? Do we sometimes turn to the Lord and expect Him to give us anything we haven't done our part to receive? We can turn on the oven, but unless we put something in it, nothing will cook. How many times do we send empty prayers to our Father in Heaven expecting Him to fill them and give them meaning? How often do we try to throw a few random good intentions and actions into our lives and expect them to help if we don't follow the recipe for happiness found in the scriptures? How do I know that if I follow a recipe and put it in the oven that it will turn into a chocolate cake? I'll never know unless I try  it out. I use my faith that what I'm doing will provide the desired result and I act accordingly. Faith in this sense is a verb. Faith isn't merely something we have, it is something that we must live by everyday. "I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because you see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith." (Ether 12: 6).

Receiving The Blessings

          "I will tell you of the wrestle which I had before God, before I received a remission of my sins" (Enos 1:2) It is my testimony that to receive blessings from on high, we need to do our part to receive them. We have been given our ability to choose right from wrong and until we choose what is right, we cannot be blessed for righteousness. I know that I am imperfect and have much room to grow, but I, as Enos of old have opened my heart and begun moving down the path or righteousness. I know that God can show me the way to go if I only put my faith in Him. He has provided me with all the supplies, equipment, and knowledge to follow his path for me. I know that it is up to me to use the tools that He has given me as I try to follow his Son.  I know these things to be true and there is nothing that can change my mind. I love the Lord and will follow Him! These things I leave with you in the sacred name of Jesus Christ. Amen.


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