Faith to Act

A Very Good Week

This week was pretty spectacular for a couple reasons:
  1.  Elder Bednar came to Kumasi
  2.  My teaching and understanding of the Gospel have both significantly improved

We have a few progressing investigators and they are really doing well. Everything is looking up. 🙂  Even Thomas is looking to be baptized soon! So hopefully everything will work out.

SO!  I have something I want to share and I got so excited thinking about it that I just want to share it with the whole world!    (Heads up, sorry if this is blunt in some areas)

Things I’ve Learned About Faith

So Faith!

What doctrinally is faith?

Faith is the first principle of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

In Hebrews 11:1 we understand that faith is the evidence of things not seen, that are true.
In the Book of Mormon (Alma chapter 32:21) this is supported by stating, “faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things… if ye have faith you hope for things which are not seen which are true.”

We can further understand that “Faith WITHOUT WORKS is dead, being alone” (James 2:17).  So, we see that faith is evidence and hope for things not seen that require work.

What kind of work?   The work of ACTING upon that which we BELIEVE.

We must understand that unless we act, we do not have real faith, at least not as the Bible teaches. The Bible says in many places that we need to pray in faith. So how do we make our prayers full of faith? We can’t just sit in a chair close our eyes and believe that it will come. We need to Go and Do (1 Nephi 3:7).

In order for our prayers to be full of faith, we need to try to achieve what we ask our Heavenly Father to help us accomplish.  “But, Elder Gilbert, doesn’t that take away from faith if we try to do it by ourselves and not leave it up to God?”  Not in the least bit!

In fact, if we understand the way that Jesus taught, He didn’t just hand people answers on a silver platter and say “Here you go! Now you’re saved because you thought I could do it.”
So, what did Jesus do and how did He teach?  How did He reward faith?  In St. John 1:46 Nathaniel asked Christ if any good thing could come from Nazareth, Jesus of Nazareth answered “come and see.” Christ invited Nathaniel to act. Faith is a principle of Action and Power.

“Elder Gilbert what about the others that Jesus healed?”  What about them? In a frail state of leprosy wouldn’t it take great courage and audacity to ask someone that was known as a king for a favor when in those days people of leprosy were outcasts and looked upon as endlessly filthy? What about the woman with an issue of blood?  She acted. They all acted. Because Christ will never take someone’s agency (their freedom to choose) away. That would make someone an object, rather than an agent.

Ultimately I have to say that if we honestly ask ourselves if we have faith in Christ, we need to ask ourselves, “Where is my action supporting my belief?”  If all we do is believe that Christ lives and that he sacrificed himself for us and then sin knowingly, we are mocking his sacrifice and denying him. If we do that, we do not have faith.  Just as actions speak louder than words, faith without works is dead.

I know that as we really put into our hearts the principle of faith the way that Christ taught, we will be rewarded according to our faith (that is our belief and actions).
I know that Christ lives and that The Book of Mormon testifies of this.

In the sacred name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Stay Strong,

Elder Gilbert

P.S.  I’ll attach a photo of me and Elder Nuamah. It’s not very nice but it’s us!  He’s from Takoradi, Ghana. I think thats how you spell it. (TAHK-ah-rah-day)

2016 8 15  Elder Nuamah from Takoradi
Elder Gilbert with his new companion, Elder Nuamah, from Ghana.

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