This is my language; I have been experiencing a tiny struggle concerning faith and works. I say tiny because this isn’t a crisis so to speak, but a “growing pain”. Do I have faith enough? How do I know when my faith is flowing and doing the thing it was designed to do? This is an age old struggle of “words” by people who haven’t bothered to define those “words”, which are more than words, but also precepts, and stepping stones in our “journey “of progression. When I am confronted with the magnitude of all that is “before me”, I feel inadequate and wonder if what I am doing is on the right track.
I love this quote:
“I gloried in it and loved the reality of God the Father and His son no longer being an object of belief or faith. Their existence was a held law, a moment-to-moment reality, and this reality permeated all that was in this place, and all that this glorious habitation was about. It was the glue, the order, and the kingdom of God that made this place what it was”. Spencer from Un-blog my Soul.wordpress.com
Spencer is a real person, and a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of LDS; who has experienced a series of near death episodes because poor health and disease in his physical body. He wrote a book about those experiences and he also host’s a blog where he writes as a counselor to help people. This is a quote that details one of his near death episodes. Spencer noted in his book that during these episodes he was given a vision of what the Savior had prepared for him and his “work” in Zion. What stood out to me was his statement of what I call the “end of all faith” or the fullness. (I believe that “faith” is the key to any communication with the Savior, and it seems that the more grounded we are in our faith, then there is a possibility of a greater degree of communication).
“I gloried in it and loved the reality of God the Father and His son no longer being an object of belief or faith.”
What an interesting concept, that in the presence of the Father and the Son, when the veil is lifted from our “hearts”, we will “see” or comprehend Him as he is. We will know him and we will no longer be strangers. That knowledge or comprehension will render faith and belief unnecessary.
Psalms 46:10 Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth.
Faith is the substance or the tangible proof to us in this journey; and that substance being the perfect knowledge or comprehension of God, that if we could “know” Him in His fullness; we would be overwhelmed in knowing. So faith in its most tangible form is belief. To believe is to see, but we cannot literally see the Savior or the Father in our fallen state, so we need “glasses” so to speak. For now we see through a glass darkly:
1 Corinthians 13:9; for we know in part, and we prophesy in part.
So as we now know in part, the substance of our faith, which substance is Jesus Christ, the anchor or validity or Urim and Thummin of our faith is hope, which is validated by the witness of the Holy Spirit. I can understand now, why it is so important that we not fall into “idolatry” or dependence on those things we can see, or touch. (Instant gratification speaks of idolatry).
Alma 32:21 and now, as I said concerning faith: faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith, ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.Alma is right on target, the Faith that we manifest in this fallen state is not the “fullness”, but it is “sufficient in all things” for its purpose. And “sufficient” implies great potential on our part.
2nd Corinthians 12:9 And he said unto me, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
Moment to Moment Reality: I love this quote and I would have never thought about this in this manner.
“Their existence (the Father and the Savior) was a held law, a moment-to-moment reality, and this reality permeated all that was in this place and all that this glorious habitation was about”
Job 36:26 Behold, God is great, and we know him not, neither can the number of his years be searched out
What is my reality, or even, what is yours from day to day? Is it getting up every morning to face “yet another day” in this lone and dreary world? Does your day, week, month and eventual year contain much of the same? The same struggles, the same food, dress, or routine. Now I am sure that a part of your routine may be prayers, scripture reading, FHE, callings, etc. I have those too, but I ask the question, can we experience a “moment to moment” reality of the Savior and the Father in our lives? How is this done? There has to be more than the “routine”. How do we “kick up” this routine and actually see results in our lives?
Alma 31:37-3837 And after that they did separate themselves one from another, taking no thought for themselves what they should eat, or what they should drink, or what they should put on.
38 And the Lord provided for them that they should hunger not, neither should they thirst; yea and he also gave them strength, that they should suffer no manner of afflictions save it were swallowed up in the joy of Christ. Now this was according to the prayer of Alma; and this because he prayed in faith.
Alma brings up a good point: separate; taking no thought for themselves, not worrying about food, or shelter, the basic necessities of life. This is a Zion concept, that anyone, including myself will have a hard time wrapping ourselves around. Can we “separate” ourselves from the “burden” of the daily life? I know; I can hear you: What about my kids, mortgage, cars, this and that. There is a lot of talk about “separating”. But I feel that the separation from our dependence on the world and learning to fully depend on the Savior is a process, sort of like Preparedness,
Doctrine and Covenants 98:11-1311 And I give unto you a commandment that ye shall forsake all evil and cleave unto all good, that ye shall live by every word which proceeds forth out of the mouth of God.
12 For he will give unto the faithful; line upon line, precept upon precept; and I will try you and prove you herewith
13 And whoso lays down his life in my cause for my name’s sake, shall find it again, even life eternal.
What is the reward for this, and this reward is not one that we have to “die for”, or wait until we achieve a state oF nirvana for; Faith sufficient is all that is required.
John 14:18; 21-2318: I will not leave you comfortless; I will come to you
(Who is coming? Jesus is coming to us)
21: He that has my commandments, and keep them, he it is that loves me; and he that loves me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and will manifest (appear to us in a tangible form) myself to him.
Did you ask this question as Judas (not Iscariot) did?
22 Lord, how is it that thou will manifest thyself unto us and not unto the world?
23 Jesus answered and said unto him, “If a man love me, he will keep (guard, keep sacred) my words (commandments); and my Father will love him and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
I have an exercise that “we”, but I know, I will do. Think about a 40 item “non-food” fast. I know, I almost lost you with the number 40 and the word fast. My book of Mormon teacher talked about this in class. The story is that 2 Elders decided to do Non-food 40 item fast in an effort to strengthen their testimony of the Gospel, so that they would be able to do better on their Mission. The objective is to soul search. Take a hard look at your life in general, your habits, dreams, aspirations, etc. Can you narrow down 40 distractions that tend to take your mind off God? Now for some people, that could be everything, every day. But in this fast and it is a fast, pray every day for an illumination of those dark corners and spaces. You know what they are, but we have to find them and name them. For instance, here is an example of one of my distractions: Clutter. Not just physical clutter, but mental and emotional clutter or baggage that I haven’t checked yet. One thing the Savior promised is that he would “make all things new”. Just like physical clutter, this mental and emotional clutter is a stumbling block. I will name it and put them on the top of my list. My prayer is to have the Father show me not only what they are, but how are they tripping me up from “seeing and hearing him”. How does this hinder building my testimony, strengthening my faith?
So going forward, this is a 40 item, non food fast. There is no time limit on when it should be completed. It will be done when you are satisfied that the Lord has worked these things through with you.
We are marching to Zion