Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Faith-Obedience: An Inspirational Thought

This is in part the article which truly inspired the preceeding blog post about faith and obedience:
In this world in which we live, things are not always what they appear to be. We sometimes are unaware of the powerful forces pulling on us. Appearances can be very deceptive....

One of the sneaky ploys of the adversary is to have us believe that unquestioning obedience to the principles and commandments of God is blind obedience. His goal is to have us believe that we should be following our own worldly ways and selfish ambitions. This he does by persuading us that “blindly” following the prophets and obeying the commandments is not thinking for ourselves. He teaches that it is not intelligent to do something just because we are told to do so by a living prophet or by prophets who speak to us from the scriptures....

Our unquestioning obedience to the Lord’s commandments is not blind obedience. President Boyd K. Packer in the April conference of 1983 taught us about this: “Latter-day Saints are not obedient because they are compelled to be obedient. They are obedient because they know certain spiritual truths and have decided, as an expression of their own individual agency, to obey the commandments of God. … We are not obedient because we are blind, we are obedient because we can see” (“Agency and Control,” Ensign, May 1983, 66)....

“Faith obedience” is a matter of trust. The question is simple: Do we trust our Heavenly Father? Do we trust our prophets?...

Sometimes it is necessary to be obedient even when we do not understand the reason for the law. It takes faith to be obedient. The Prophet Joseph Smith, in teaching obedience, said that whatever God requires is right, though we may not know the reason until much later (see Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, sel. Joseph Fielding Smith [1976], 256).

From: R. Conrad Schultz, “Faith Obedience,” Ensign, May 2002, 29

Monday, February 2, 2009

Trying Times

I am a firm believer of Faith in Jesus Christ. Lately in the last month or two the themes of Faith and Obedience have been a common occurrence. I have often admired a friend of mine for her great faith in times of almost insurmountable difficulty. I honestly thought to myself, "I bet that there are people who think of me as an example of a woman of great faith amid adversity (like I do her)." Little did I suspect that I would soon have much more in common with her than I ever imagined.

I have learned along the way that obedience to the commandments of God bring happiness more than easiness. Often, the things we cherish most are those that require the most work, patience, and love--and most likely stretch us beyond what we are comfortable with. It is in these trying times that I truly must rely upon and lean upon my Savior for my greatest source of strength and unfailing support. Truly becoming a "saint through the Atonement of Christ" is a process of the refiners fire. It is difficult at times to feel comfort (other people are human after all), and yet have charity and compassion enough to still be a source of strength, comfort, and support to a loved one who is struggling spiritually. And still, I know that I am not alone and that there are many other people around me that can relate to my current situation.

It is in these trying times that I am tested and tried more than before. I have hope, for I know that "things will work out" as they always do somehow (though not always how I think it should) and that some day years from now I will see how it is that the Hand of God was in my current today's.

As I reflect upon the many difficulties I have experienced so far in this life, I realize that I am grateful for those trying times in my life: I would never want them to happen again in my life, nor on anyone else, but I would not nor could I take back the sweet lessons I have learned from them. Indeed the price of knowing and becoming like unto Jesus Christ is high and requires a sacrifice, consecration of all things in order that we may become sanctified. It is faith in Jesus Christ that allows me to stand strong and immovable in the gospel and in life.

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