Is It Possible To Do Today What Jesus Did Then
By Alan on Apr 29 in Blog tagged action and power, doubt not, every thought, evidences of things not seen, faith, fear not, Jesus turns water into wine, ket from the truth, look unto me, not know where to find it, principle, things hoped for, video | Comments Off
Is it possible to do today what Jesus did then:
The Apostle Paul taught that “faith is the substance [assurance] of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11: 1).
Alma made a similar statement: “If ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true” (Alma 32: 21).
Faith is a principle of action and power. Whenever we work toward a worthy goal, we exercise faith. We show our hope for something that we cannot yet see.
Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ
In order for faith to lead to salvation, it must be centered in the Lord Jesus Christ (see Acts 4: 10-12; Mosiah 3: 17; Moro. 7: 24-26; Articles of Faith 1: 4). We can exercise faith in Christ when we have an assurance that He exists, a correct idea of His character, and a knowledge that we are striving to live according to His will.
Having faith in Jesus Christ means relying completely on Him—trusting in His infinite power, intelligence, and love. It includes believing His teachings. It means believing that even though we do not understand all things, He does. Because He has experienced all our pains, afflictions, and infirmities, He knows how to help us rise above our daily difficulties (see Alma 7: 11-12; D&C 122: 8). He has “overcome the world” (John 16: 33) and prepared the way for us to receive eternal life. He is always ready to help us as we remember His plea: “Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not” (D&C 6: 36).
Faith In Jesus Christ
By Alan on Dec 16 in Blog tagged a seed, action, angels appear, attend church, begins to grow, Elijah, eternal life, exercise faith, faith, gift, healings, hope, in Jesus Christ, listen, miracles, Moses, motiate, Nephi, Noah, obey his commandments, power, practice, pray, principle, prophet, read, scriptures teach, Spencer W. Kimball, spiritual gifts, study and learn, tongues, trust in Him, try, work, work at it | Comments Off
Why Should We Have Faith in Jesus Christ?
We must center our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
To have faith in Jesus Christ means to have such trust in Him that we obey whatever He commands. As we place our faith in Jesus Christ, becoming His obedient disciples, Heavenly Father will forgive our sins and prepare us to return to Him.
The Apostle Peter preached that “there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12; see alsoMosiah 3:17). Jacob taught that men must have “perfect faith in the Holy One of Israel [Jesus Christ], or they cannot be saved in the kingdom of God” (2 Nephi 9:23). Through faith in the Savior and through repentance, we make His Atonement fully effective in our lives. Through faith we can also receive strength to overcome temptations (see Alma 37:33).
We cannot have faith in Jesus Christ without also having faith in our Heavenly Father. If we have faith in Them, we will also have faith that the Holy Ghost, whom They send, will teach us all truth and will comfort us.
How Can We Increase Our Faith in Jesus Christ?
Knowing of the many blessings that come through exercising faith in Jesus Christ, we should seek to increase our faith in Him. The Savior said, “If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, … nothing shall be impossible unto you” (Matthew 17:20). A mustard seed is very small, but it grows into a large tree.
How can we increase our faith? The same way we increase or develop any other skill. How do we develop skills in woodcarving, weaving, painting, cooking, making pottery, or playing a musical instrument? We study and practice and work at it. As we do so, we improve. So it is with faith. If we want to increase our faith in Jesus Christ, we must work at it. The prophet Alma compared the word of God to a seed that must be nurtured by faith:
“But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.”
“Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding. …
“Now behold, would not this increase your faith?” (Alma 32:27–29).
So we can increase our faith in God by acting on our desire to have faith in Him.
We can also increase our faith by praying to Heavenly Father about our hopes, desires, and needs (see Alma 34:17–26). But we must not suppose that all we have to do is ask. We are told in the scriptures that “faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone” (James 2:17). The following story is about a man whose faith was shown by his works.
This man wanted to study the scriptures, but he could not read. He prayed for Heavenly Father to help him learn to read. In time a teacher came to his village, and he asked the teacher to help him. He learned the alphabet. He studied sounds and learned to put the letters together to make words. Soon he was reading simple words. The more he practiced, the more he learned. He thanked the Lord for sending the teacher and for helping him learn to read. This man has increased his faith, humility, and knowledge to such a degree that he has served as a branch president in the Church.
President Spencer W. Kimball explained, “There must be works with faith. How foolish it would be to ask the Lord to give us knowledge, but how wise to ask the Lord’s help to acquire knowledge, to study constructively, to think clearly, and to retain things that we have learned” (Faith Precedes the Miracle , 205; italics in original).
Faith involves doing all we can to bring about the things we hope and pray for. President Kimball said: “In faith we plant the seed, and soon we see the miracle of the blossoming. Men have often misunderstood and have reversed the process.” He continued by explaining that many of us want to have health and strength without keeping the health laws. We want to have prosperity without paying our tithes. We want to be close to the Lord but don’t want to fast and pray. We want to have rain in due season and to have peace in the land without observing the Sabbath as a holy day and without keeping the other commandments of the Lord. (SeeTeachings of Presidents of the Church: Spencer W. Kimball , 142.)
An important way to increase our faith is to hear and study the word of the Lord. We hear the word of the Lord at our Church meetings. We can study His word in the scriptures. “And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith” (D&C 88:118).
What Are Some Blessings That Follow Faith?
Through the gift of faith, miracles are wrought, angels appear, other gifts of the Spirit are given, prayers are answered, and men become the sons of God (see Moroni 7:25–26, 36–37).
“When faith comes it brings … apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, teachers, gifts, wisdom, knowledge, miracles, healings, tongues, interpretation of tongues, etc. All these appear when faith appears on the earth, and disappear when it disappears from the earth; for these are the effects of faith. … And he who possesses it will, through it, obtain all necessary knowledge and wisdom, until he shall know God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, whom he has sent—whom to know is eternal life” (Lectures on Faith , 83).
“Then, my brethren, ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you.” Alma 32: 43
Strenthening The Family - Spiritually
Freedom To Choose (AGENCY) Is An Eternal Principle
By Alan on Oct 28 in Blog tagged actions, children of God, choices, commandments, DANGER, darkness, disobey, eternal principle, eternally, exaltation, free agency, Freedom, freedom to choose, Heavenly Father, Jesus, judgement, liberty, light, like father like son, obey, principle, progress, resitance, results, right, Satan, temptation, The Plan of Salvation, warning, wtong | Comments Off
Agency Is an Eternal Principle
If someone asked you why it is important to have agency, what would you say?
“Thou mayest choose for thyself, for it is given unto thee” (Moses 3:17).
God has told us through His prophets that we are free to choose between good and evil. We may choose liberty and eternal life by following Jesus Christ. We are also free to choose captivity and death by following Satan. (See 2 Nephi 2:27.) The right to choose between good and evil and to act for ourselves is called agency.
In our premortal life we had moral agency. One purpose of earth life is to show what choices we will make (see 2 Nephi 2:15–16). If we were forced to choose the right, we would not be able to show what we would choose for ourselves. Also, we are happier doing things when we have made our own choices.
Agency was one of the principal issues to arise in the premortal Council in Heaven. It was one of the main causes of the conflict between the followers of Christ and the followers of Satan. Satan said, “Behold, here am I, send me, I will be thy son, and I will redeem all mankind, that one soul shall not be lost, and surely I will do it; wherefore give me thine honor” (Moses 4:1). In saying this, he “rebelled against [God] and sought to destroy the agency of man” (Moses 4:3). His offer was rejected, and he was cast out of heaven with his followers (see D&C 29:36–37).
Agency Is a Necessary Part of the Plan of Salvation
Agency makes our life on earth a period of testing. When planning the mortal creation of His children, God said, “We will prove [test] them herewith, to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them” (Abraham 3:25). Without the gift of agency, we would have been unable to show our Heavenly Father whether we would do all that He commanded us. Because we are able to choose, we are responsible for our actions (see Helaman 14:30–31).
When we choose to live according to God’s plan for us, our agency is strengthened. Right choices increase our power to make more right choices.
As we obey each of our Father’s commandments, we grow in wisdom and strength of character. Our faith increases. We find it easier to make right choices.
We began to make choices as spirit children in our Heavenly Father’s presence. Our choices there made us worthy to come to earth. Our Heavenly Father wants us to grow in faith, power, knowledge, wisdom, and all other good things. If we keep His commandments and make right choices, we will learn and understand. We will become like Him. (See D&C 93:28.)
How does making right choices help us make more right choices?
Agency Requires That There Be a Choice
- Why is opposition necessary?
We cannot choose righteousness unless the opposites of good and evil are placed before us. Lehi, a great Book of Mormon prophet, told his son Jacob that in order to bring about the eternal purposes of God, there must be “an opposition in all things. If not so, … righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad” (2 Nephi 2:11).
God allows Satan to oppose the good. God said of Satan:
“I caused that he should be cast down;
“And he became Satan, yea, even the devil, the father of all lies, to deceive and to blind men, and to lead them captive at his will, even as many as would not hearken unto my voice” (Moses 4:3–4).
Satan does all he can to destroy God’s work. He seeks “the misery of all mankind. … He seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself” (2 Nephi 2:18, 27). He does not love us. He does not want any good thing for us (see Moroni 7:17). He does not want us to be happy. He wants to make us his slaves. He uses many disguises to enslave us.
When we follow the temptations of Satan, we limit our choices. The following example suggests how this works. Imagine seeing a sign on the seashore that reads:
“Danger—whirlpool. No swimming allowed here.” We might think that is a restriction. But is it? We still have many choices. We are free to swim somewhere else. We are free to walk along the beach and pick up seashells. We are free to watch the sunset. We are free to go home. We are also free to ignore the sign and swim in the dangerous place. But once the whirlpool has us in its grasp and we are pulled under, we have very few choices. We can try to escape, or we can call for help, but we may drown.
Even though we are free to choose our course of action, we are not free to choose the consequences of our actions. The consequences, whether good or bad, follow as a natural result of any choice we make (see Galatians 6:7; Revelation 22:12).
Heavenly Father has told us how to escape the captivity of Satan. We must watch and pray always, asking God to help us withstand the temptations of Satan (see 3 Nephi 18:15). Our Heavenly Father will not allow us to be tempted beyond our power to resist (see 1 Corinthians 10:13; Alma 13:28).
God’s commandments direct us away from danger and toward eternal life. By choosing wisely, we will gain exaltation, progress eternally, and enjoy perfect happiness (see 2 Nephi 2:27–28).
“Now, repentance could not come unto men except there were a punishment, which also was eternal as the life of the soul should be, affixed oppositeto the plan of happiness, which was as eternal also as the life of the soul.” Alma 42: 16