Sunday, October 25th, 2009: [Lesson] – "Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ" : Elder Kevin W. Pearson Of the Seventy   Leave a comment

It is increasingly difficult in the age of technology, with instant communications, instant transactions and instant information to be kept safe from the wiles, the weapons of the adversary; Since we all know that there is a sad increase (And so will the unfavorable trend continue) for the world, and the weary hearts of the men who live there-in to constantly sin… and live in fear, the significance of Faith in much more significant and even more important than we all ever give enough credit to. 

This very fact is what brought me to the desire to study this talk as a Quorum. This talk stood out to me due to the significance of what Faith was doing for me then, (6 & 1/2 months ago) and what it can and will do for me in the days, weeks and months to come. Stay rooted in Christ, and firm in Faith and as the Savior said, 

“If ye will have Faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me.” (See Moroni 7:33 By Clicking Here) I hope this talk will help all who prayerfully apply it to their life as it has mine brethren. 

I leave this message with you in the name of Our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen.

(Brother Rexford G. Beardsley Jr. : Monday October 19th, 2009)

Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ

Elder Kevin W. Pearson
Of the Seventy
 
In a household of faith, there is no need to fear or doubt. Choose to live by faith and not fear.

Elder Kevin W. PearsonIhumbly invite the companionship of the Holy Ghost as we discuss a vitalprinciple of the gospel: faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. I acknowledgewith deep appreciation and love great examples of true faith andfaithfulness in my own life. To goodly parents, family, priesthoodleaders, beloved missionaries, wonderful children, and a preciouseternal companion, I express my deepest love and gratitude. Iacknowledge my own need and desire for greater faith as a disciple andwitness of Christ. There has never been a greater need for faith in myown life than now.

As parents, we have been commanded to teach our children “tounderstand the doctrine of . . . faith in Christ the Son of the livingGod” (D&C 68:25).This requires more than merely recognizing faith as a gospel principle.“To have faith is to have confidence in something or someone” (BibleDictionary, “Faith,”669). True faith must be centered in Jesus Christ. “Faith is aprinciple of action and of power” (Bible Dictionary, 670). It requiresus to do, not merely to believe. Faith is a spiritual gift from Godthat comes through the Holy Ghost. It requires a correct understandingand knowledge of Jesus Christ, His divine attributes and perfectcharacter, His teachings, Atonement, Resurrection, and priesthoodpower. Obedience to these principles develops complete trust in Him andHis ordained servants and assurance of His promised blessings.

There is no other thing in which we can have absolute assurance.There is no other foundation in life that can bring the same peace,joy, and hope. In uncertain and difficult times, faith is truly aspiritual gift worthy of our utmost efforts. We can give our childreneducation, lessons, athletics, the arts, and material possessions, butif we do not give them faith in Christ, we have given little.

“Faith is kindled by hearing the testimony of those who have faith” (Bible Dictionary, 669; see also Romans 10:14–17).Do your children know that you know? Do they see and feel yourconviction? “Strong faith is developed by obedience to the gospel ofJesus Christ” (Bible Dictionary, 669).

Elder Bruce R. McConkie taught: “Faith is a gift of God bestowed as a reward for personal righteousness.It is always given when righteousness is present, and the greater themeasure of obedience to God’s laws the greater will be the endowment offaith” (Mormon Doctrine, 2nd ed. [1966], 264). If we desire morefaith, we must be more obedient. When we teach our children by exampleor precept to be casual or situational in obeying God’s commandments,we prevent them from receiving this vital spiritual gift. Faithrequires an attitude of exact obedience, even in the small, simplethings.

Desire is a particle of faith that develops within us as weexperience divine truth. It is like spiritual photosynthesis. Theinfluence of the Holy Ghost, acting on the Light of Christ within everyhuman being, produces the spiritual equivalent of a chemical reaction—astirring, a change of heart, or a desire to know. Hope develops asparticles of faith become molecules and as simple efforts to live trueprinciples occur.
As patterns of obedience develop, the specific blessings associatedwith obedience are realized and belief emerges. Desire, hope, andbelief are forms of faith, but faith as a principle of power comes froma consistent pattern of obedient behavior and attitudes. Personalrighteousness is a choice. Faith is a gift from God, and one possessedof it can receive enormous spiritual power.

There is a quality of faith which develops as we focus all of ourheart, might, mind, and strength. It is seen and felt in the eyes of agreat missionary, a valiant and virtuous young woman, and righteousmothers, fathers, and grandparents. It can be seen in the lives ofindividuals young and old, in every land and culture, speaking everylanguage, in every circumstance and station in life. It is the “eye offaith” spoken of by the prophet Alma (see Alma 5:15–26)—theability to focus and be steadfast, continually holding fast to trueprinciples, nothing wavering, even when the mist of darknessconfronting us is exceedingly great. This quality of faith isexceedingly powerful.

However, “it must needs be, that there is an opposition in allthings. . . . The Lord God gave unto man that he should act forhimself. Wherefore, man could not act for himself save it should bethat he was enticed by the one or the other” (2 Nephi 2:11, 16). And so it is with faith. It can be enticing to choose doubt and disbelief over faith.

As Jesus returned from the transcendent spiritual experience on theMount of Transfiguration, He was approached by a desperate father whoseson needed help. The father pleaded, “If thou canst do any thing, havecompassion on us, and help us.”

Jesus replied, “If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth.

“And straightway the father . . . cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (Mark 9:22–24).

Faith and fear cannot coexist. One gives way to the other. Thesimple fact is we all need to constantly build faith and overcomesources of destructive disbelief. The Savior’s teaching comparing faithto a grain of mustard seed recognizes this reality (see Matthew 13:31–32).Consider it this way: our net usable faith is what we have left toexercise after we subtract our sources of doubt and disbelief. Youmight ask yourself this question: “Is my own net faith positive ornegative?” If your faith exceeds your doubt and disbelief, the answeris likely positive. If you allow doubt and disbelief to control you,the answer might be negative.

We do have a choice. We get what we focus on consistently. Becausethere is an opposition in all things, there are forces that erode ourfaith. Some are the result of Satan’s direct influence. But for others,we have no one but ourselves to blame. These stem from personaltendencies, attitudes, and habits we can learn to change. I will referto these influences as the “Six Destructive Ds.” As I do, considertheir influence on you or your children.

First is doubt. Doubt is not a principle of the gospel. Itdoes not come from the Light of Christ or the influence of the HolyGhost. Doubt is a negative emotion related to fear. It comes from alack of confidence in one’s self or abilities. It is inconsistent withour divine identity as children of God.

Doubt leads to discouragement. Discouragement comes frommissed expectations. Chronic discouragement leads to lowerexpectations, decreased effort, weakened desire, and greater difficultyfeeling and following the Spirit (see Preach My Gospel [2004], 10). Discouragement and despair are the very antithesis of faith.

Discouragement leads to distraction, a lack of focus.Distraction eliminates the very focus the eye of faith requires.Discouragement and distraction are two of Satan’s most effective tools,but they are also bad habits.

Distraction leads to a lack of diligence, a reducedcommitment to remain true and faithful and to carry on through despitehardship and disappointment. Disappointment is an inevitable part oflife, but it need not lead to doubt, discouragement, distraction, orlack of diligence.

If not reversed, this path ultimately leads to disobedience, which undermines the very basis of faith. So often the result is disbelief, the conscious or unconscious refusal to believe.

The scriptures describe disbelief as the state of having chosen to harden one’s heart. It is to be past feeling.

These Six Destructive Ds—doubt, discouragement, distraction, lack of diligence, disobedience, and disbelief—all erode and destroy our faith. We can choose to avoid and overcome them.

Challenging times require greater spiritual power. Considercarefully the Savior’s promise: “If ye will have faith in me ye shallhave power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me” (Moroni 7:33).

I humbly declare that God, our Heavenly Father, lives and loveseach of us, His children. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer. Helives and personally leads His Church through President Monson, Hisanointed prophet. Because He lives, there is always hope smilingbrightly before us. In a household of faith, there is no need to fearor doubt. Choose to live by faith and not fear. In the sacred name ofJesus Christ, amen.

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Posted October 19, 2009 by rexfordgbeardsleyjr in Faith In The Lord Jesus Christ

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