Monday, February 22, 2016
Learn by Faith
Family and Friends,
Every other transfer cycle, Presidente and the assistants have a conference with each of the 10 zones in the mission. The conferences this transfer are focused on the Holy Spirit and His role in our work. I wanted to share a thought with respect to one of the principles we have be studying. I quote from a talk by elder Bednar titled “Learn by Faith”.
We firmly believe in the power and strength that comes through acting by faith. We believe in God and in His Son and know that they will guide us, but often times we find our self asking, questioning, or even doubting the faith filled footsteps before we even take them. We let uncertainty take the place of our faith and begin to search for evidences to anchor ourselves to instead of just acting. Elder Bednar explains how Faith is the evidence upon which we can anchor ourselves:
Assurance, action, and evidence influence each other in an ongoing process. This helix is like a coil, and as it spirals upward it expands and widens. These three elements of faith—assurance, action, and evidence—are not separate and discrete; rather, they are interrelated and continuous and cycle upward. And the faith that fuels this ongoing process develops, evolves, and changes. As we again turn and face forward toward an uncertain future, assurance leads to action and produces evidence, which further increases assurance. Our confidence waxes stronger, line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little and there a little.
We find a powerful example of the interaction among assurance, action, and evidence as the children of Israel transported the ark of the covenant under the leadership of Joshua (see Joshua 3:7–17). Recall how the Israelites came to the river Jordan and were promised the waters would part, and they would be able to cross over on dry ground. Interestingly, the waters did not part as the children of Israel stood on the banks of the river waiting for something to happen; rather, the soles of their feet were wet before the water parted. The faith of the Israelites was manifested in the fact that they walked into the water before it parted. They walked into the river Jordan with a future-facing assurance of things hoped for. As the Israelites moved forward, the water parted, and as they crossed over on dry land, they looked back and beheld the evidence of things not seen. In this episode, faith as assurance led to action and produced the evidence of things not seen that were true.
As we exercise faith though our actions, we find that “faith [becomes an], anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works” Ether 12:4. As we abound in faith-full works, that same faith becomes something tangible in our lives, to which we may secure ourselves and our families.
Faith is a requirement if we hope to receive divine guidance in this life, but it is also a left-over to spiritual experiences brought about by our faith (evidence of things not seen). It is at the beginning and the end. “Assurance, action, and evidence influence each other in an ongoing process”, and “These three elements of faith—assurance, action, and evidence—are not separate and discrete; rather, they are interrelated and continuous and cycle upward.”
Thank you for the emails and letters and packages. I read every single one. I don't respond to almost any of them, but know that they do get read.
I love you all,
Élder Hampton | Misión Argentina Salta