Each year the Church has tried to spread good throughout the world by using social media to encourage belief in God and to encourage people to do more good. This year’s Christmas time social media campaign is embodied in #LIGHTtheWORLD. We are all being encouraged to go out, starting on December 1, 2016 and do something good for someone else. It doesn’t matter what you choose to do or who benefits from your goodness, just do good for someone somewhere.
I have just completed my commentary on the optional 25th lesson from the Relief Society/Priesthood manual on the teachings of Gordon B. Hinckley for the 2017 year. The further along I got in this lesson on Faith, the more I realized that this lesson is awash with the principles that compel the Saints of God to go out and do good in the world. With that spirit in mind, I offer, for free, what I normally sell at mormonbasics.com.
What follows is part of my commentary on this lesson. Every comment is in response to what President Hinckley said in the lesson from one of his sermons or in his writings. Anything in quotes is a quote from the lesson. Because of size, I will make this a two part series. This is the first part. Tomorrow the second part will follow.
I hope you will go to LDS.org and read this lesson then go out and do good as an expression of your faith in Christ. You can find the lesson here: Chapter 25
Commentary on Moving Forward with Faith
Nature of Faith
As a demonstration of the pragmatic and practical nature of faith in spiritual things, compare our use of faith in spiritual things to the faith required to get a drink of water. If you had no faith that water would flow from the tap then why would you walk across the room and hold a glass under the tap and turn the handle to make the water flow?
Experience has shown us that if we put our glass under the tap and turn the handle, water will flow. We can’t see the water any more than we can see the blessings that come to us from prayer. Does that make them (the blessings) any less real? No, it does not.
If the Lord can create worlds through the power of faith then we can surely pray for help or blessings and expect with surety that we will receive a response to our pleadings. For some strange reason, people will trust in what they can’t see when they want water or light in their room, but they challenge the creator of the universe by saying He can’t hear His child ask a question.
And they are just as reluctant to acknowledge that He has the ability to answer that question. Just because we don’t see how something is done, it doesn’t mean it can’t be done. That goes for physical things in mortality as well as for spiritual things in mortality.
Note the condition in this sentence – “He will give us help WHEN help is sought.” [emphasis added] We cannot expect the Lord to read our minds and hearts and anticipate what we may or may not want. To do that would be a violation of our moral agency. We are responsible for asking for help. We must seek Him out, not the other way around.
Only when our belief in God as our Father and Christ as our Savior becomes so real to us that we are willing to live our lives based on that belief, can faith become a driving factor in our lives.
Fear vs. Hope
Sometimes we are fearful because we cannot see far ahead. We don’t know what lies even a few decisions before us. But when we are called to do something hard we can always see at least as far as our choice to do or not to do. We may not yet be able to see beyond our choice, but that choice alone will light the path for the next choice.
Think of it in terms of a train going around a sharp bend in the tracks. For a moment the tracks vanish from sight, but faith tells the engineer that they have just approached a corner. Once that corner is rounded through action the rest of the track ahead will come into view, he just needs to move ahead.
Join us tomorrow as we discuss the Power of Faith, Trials of our Faith, and how we can keep reaching forward to spread good to the world. And remember that when you go and find someone to serve, if you want to post your idea on social media, be sure to use #LIGHTtheWORLD, and hopefully include a video or pictures.
To be continued….
Kelly P. Merrill
Kelly Merrill is semi retired and writes for https://gospelstudy.us. He lives with his wife in Idaho. His strength is being able to take difficult to understand subjects and break them down into understandable parts. He delights in writing about the gospel of Christ. Writing about the gospel is his personal missionary work to the members of the Church and to those of other faiths who are wanting to know more about Christ's gospel and His Church.