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Faith a divine attribute

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The principle of faith does not mean just having faith in God. Rather, the purpose of having faith is so that we can become like God, because having "faith" is one of the attributes of God. Thus, we must have faith in ourselves as well as in God. And this kind of faith comes from gaining self-respect and self-control. The reason why God has given us laws and commandments is so that by obedience to them we can build and strengthen our faith. And when we have faith in both ourselves and in God we increase one of the divine attributes which our Father in heaven possess. Therefore, it becomes extremely important for us to properly define exactly what faith is and how we get it.

"Faith" is the foundation upon which the gospel of Jesus Christ rests because there is power which comes from it. This is why the scriptures put so much emphasis on prayer, because the thing which makes prayer work is the faith we have that God will hear our pleas. Therefore, in order to sincerely pray, we must become like a little child, full of faith to the point we become humble and submissive to the will of our Father in heaven.

Joseph Smith taught, "Now faith is the substance (assurance) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen." From this we learn that faith is the assurance which men have of the existence of things which they have not seen, and the principle of action in all intelligent beings.
If men were duly to consider themselves, and turn their thought and reflections to the operations of their own minds, they would readily discover that it is faith, and faith only, which is the moving cause of all action in them; that without it both mind and body would be in a state of inactivity, and all their exertions would cease, both physical and mental. Were this class to go back and reflect upon the history of their lives, from the period of their first recollection, and ask themselves what principle excited them to action, or what gave them energy and activity in all their lawful avocations, callings, and pursuits, what would be the answer? Would it not be that it was the assurance which they had of the existence of things which they had not seen as yet?

"Was it not the hope which you had, in consequence of your belief in the existence of unseen things, which stimulated you to action and exertion in order to obtain them? Are you not dependent on your faith, or belief, for the acquisition of all knowledge, wisdom, and intelligence? Would you exert yourselves to obtain wisdom and intelligence, unless you did believe that you could obtain them? Would you have ever sown, if you had not believed that you would reap? Should you have ever planted, if you had not believed that you would gather? Would you have ever asked, unless you had believed that you would receive? Would you have ever sought, unless you had believed that you would have found? Or, would you have ever knocked, unless you had believed that it would have been opened unto you? In a word, is there anything that you would have done, either physical or mental, if you had not previously believed? Are not all your exertions of every kind, dependent on your faith? Or, may we not ask, what have you, or what do you possess, which you have not obtained by reason of your faith? Your food, your raiment, your lodgings, are they not all by reason of your faith? Reflect, and ask yourselves if these things are not so. Turn your thoughts on your own minds, and see if faith is not the moving cause of all action in yourselves; and, if the moving cause in you, is it not in all other intelligent beings? As we receive by faith all temporal blessings that we do receive, so we in like manner receive by faith all spiritual blessings that we do receive. But faith is not only the principle of action, but of power also, in all intelligent beings, whether in heaven or on earth. Thus says the author of the epistle to the Hebrews, 11:3 --

"Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God; so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. By this we understand that the principle of power which existed in the bosom of God, by which the worlds were framed, was faith; and that it is by reason of this principle of power existing in the Deity, that all created things exist; so that all things in heaven, on earth, or under the earth exist by reason of faith as it existed in Him. Had it not been for the principle of faith the worlds would never have been framed neither would man have been formed of the dust. It is the principle by which Jehovah works, and through which he exercises power over all temporal as well as eternal things. Take this principle or attribute -- for it is an attribute -- from the Deity, and he would cease to exist. Who cannot see, that if God framed the worlds by faith, that it is by faith that he exercises power over them, and that faith is the principle of power? And if the principle of power, it must be so in man as well as in the Deity? This is the testimony of all the sacred writers, and the lesson which they have been endeavoring to teach to man.

"We here understand, that the sacred writers say that all these things were done by faith. It was by faith that the worlds were framed. God spake, chaos heard, and worlds came into order by reason of the faith there was in Him. So with man also; he spake by faith in the name of God, and the sun stood still, the moon obeyed, mountains removed, prisons fell, lions' mouths were closed, the human heart lost its enmity, fire its violence, armies their power, the sword its terror, and death its dominion; and all this by reason of the faith which was in him.

"Faith, then, is the first great governing principle which has power, dominion, and authority over all things; by it they exist, by it they are upheld, by it they are changed, or by it they remain, agreeable to the will of God. Without it there is no power, and without power there could be no creation nor existence! and we have seen that it was human testimony, and human testimony only, that excited this inquiry, in the first instance, in their minds. It was the credence they gave to the testimony of their fathers, this testimony having aroused their minds to inquire after the knowledge of God; the inquiry frequently terminated, indeed always terminated when rightly pursued, in the most glorious discoveries and eternal certainty. Is there a being who has faith in himself, independently? There is. Who is it? It is God.

"How do you prove that God has faith in himself independently? Because he is omnipotent, omnipresent, and omniscient; without beginning of days or end of life, and in him all fullness dwells. (see Ephesians 1:23 and Colossians 1:19) How did men first come to the knowledge of the existence of a God, so as to exercise faith in him? In order to answer this question, it will be necessary to go back and examine man at his creation; the circumstances in which he was placed, and the knowledge which he had of God. (Lectures on Faith, p. 7-10)

When man was first created he stood in the presence of God (see Genesis 1:27, 28.) Because of this, he had a perfect knowledge of God and who He was and what our relationship was to Him. Adam lived more then 900 years and during all that time he shared his perfect knowledge of God, which he had gained in the garden of Eden, along with all the other things which he had learn, with his posterity. However, on the other had, the children of Adam had to put their faith in the words of Adam to gain the same knowledge. From the very beginning, the knowledge of God has always been transmitted to man through the testimony of witnesses. As we are told in Romans 10:14 "How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?"

The apostle Paul taught the gospel and converted others to Jesus Christ, not through performing great miracles and producing wondrous signs, but by sharing his testimony as an eye witness of Christ. In fact, Paul declared that he was determined to only preach about "Jesus and him crucified" (I Cor. 2:2, see also 1 Cor. 1:23). Those who exercised their faith eventually received their own personal knowledge and then they shared their personal knowledge of God to others, who then had to believe on them through faith.

As I said before, this knowledge doesn’t come because of miracles or signs. Instead, it can only come through a sincere search for the truth. And the reason for this is that miracles can’t produce faith. Rather, it takes the power of faith to produce miracles. In other words, miracles happen because of faith, not the other way around. Where there is no faith there can be no miracles. Miracles are a natural outgrowth of faith. (see Hebrews 11)

The scriptures tell us, "For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith." (Ether 12:12 ) "But though he had done so many miracles before them, yet they believed not on him: But, behold, faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe." (John 12:37 )

In Matthew 13:58 we read, "And he [Jesus] did not many mighty works there because of their unbelief." In Matthew 17:16-20 we read, "And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him. Then Jesus answered and said, O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked the devil; and he departed out of him: and the child was cured from that very hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus apart, and said, Why could not we cast him out? And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If we have faith as a grain of mustard seed, we shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you."

In Matthew 21:19-21 we read of this incident in the life of Christ: "And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marveled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this [which is done] to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done."

Miracles are things which the human mind cannot explain by natural means. They are extraordinary events that defy logic and science. And the reason for this is because they are things which can only be generated by the power of God through faith. Faith is a principle of power and that power resides in our mind. Our mind is what makes us different from all other creations of God. Our mind is the place in which the germ of divinity is placed and no other animal possess this quality. Our mind is the place where our thoughts come from.

However, we usually say that it is in our heart where our desires come from, not our mind. It was Jesus who taught that where a person’s treasure is, there also is their heart But, in reality, it is our mind we must work on, not our actual heart! We must first be able to focus our mind on the thing we wish for the most and then become convinced that we can obtain it. That is what’s referred to as "faith."

However, to turn our dreams into reality requires more than just wishing. It takes work. What many people don't understand is that faith is a principle of work, not a principle of laziness. I have known many people who were sure they were going to get the desires of their heart just because they had faith. This is a great mistake! James explained that faith without works is dead, and this is true not only where salvation is concerned but in all other things we do in life which requires faith.

True faith generates works. It is a principle of activity, not idleness. That is why faith generates miracles because faith accomplishes things, even things that are unexplainable to the human mind. But when the mind is devoid of faith, then that person’s life is devoid of works, including miraculous works.

In life, there are two paths we can follow. We can either have faith or we can follow the path of doubt and fear. One is a positive influence, the other is a negative energy. When we exercise faith, we cannot exercise doubt, because faith is the opposite of doubt. As the scriptures tell us "And if we have no hope we must needs be in despair; and despair cometh because of iniquity" (Moroni 10:22) . When we have done our part God will do His part, because God acts by our faith. Every good thing we do brings a positive outcome and will help develop our faith. On the other hand, doubt and fear produce a negative result and will therefore weaken our faith.

Because of this principle, good works and faith must go hand in hand. The scriptures tell us, "What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone" (James 2:14-17). Faith is like anything else. If we don't work on it and exercise it, then it will diminish and possibly die. But if we nurture and nourish it, then it will grow stronger and stronger

And part of that work includes enduring to the end. Calvin Coolidge once said: "Nothing in the world can take the place of the capacity to endure until the end of our tasks and duties." Jesus taught, "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved" " (Matthew 24:13, also see Mark 13"13, James 1"12).

As I said before, faith is one of the attributes of God. In fact, God possess it to perfection. Since God never doubts, we too must learn not to doubt as well. Since faith is the opposite of doubt, it stands to reason that the more faith we have the less doubt there can be in us. Therefore, it’s important to learn how to develop our faith. The scriptures show us how to do this.

In Alma 32:26-41 we read, "Now, as I said concerning faith--that it was not a perfect knowledge--even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge. 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, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me. Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.

"But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow.

And now, behold, are ye sure that this is a good seed? I say unto you, Yea; for every seed bringeth forth unto its own likeness. Therefore, if a seed groweth it is good, but if it groweth not, behold it is not good, therefore it is cast away.

"And now, behold, because ye have tried the experiment, and planted the seed, and it swelleth and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, ye must needs know that the seed is good. And now, behold, is your knowledge perfect? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your faith is dormant; and this because you know, for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your mind doth begin to expand. O then, is not this real? I say unto you, Yea, because it is light; and whatsoever is light, is good, because it is discernible, therefore ye must know that it is good; and now behold, after ye have tasted this light is your knowledge perfect? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither must ye lay aside your faith, for ye have only exercised your faith to plant the seed that ye might try the experiment to know if the seed was good.

"And behold, as the tree beginneth to grow, ye will say: Let us nourish it with great care, that it may get root, that it may grow up, and bring forth fruit unto us. And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit. But if ye neglect the tree, and take no thought for its nourishment, behold it will not get any root; and when the heat of the sun cometh and scorcheth it, because it hath no root it withers away, and ye pluck it up and cast it out. Now, this is not because the seed was not good, neither is it because the fruit thereof would not be desirable; but it is because your ground is barren, and ye will not nourish the tree, therefore ye cannot have the fruit thereof. And thus, if ye will not nourish the word, looking forward with an eye of faith to the fruit thereof, ye can never pluck of the fruit of the tree of life. But if ye will nourish the word, yea, nourish the tree as it beginneth to grow, by your faith with great diligence, and with patience, looking forward to the fruit thereof, it shall take root; and behold it shall be a tree springing up unto everlasting life"

God has provided us with many different ways to help us develop this divine attribute. One way He does this is by giving us trails. Perhaps the greatest example of this is the story of Abraham and his son Isaac.

In Genesis 12:1 we read, "Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father's house, unto a land that I will shew thee." At this point Abraham was obedient and followed the counsel of God. In other words, he exercised his faith in God. I am sure that it was not easy to leave his beloved country and go to an unknown place, but he had CONFIDENCE in God.

Abraham was so obedient to God, that God made him a great promise. In Genesis 15:5-6 we read, "And he [God] brought him [Abraham] forth abroad, and said, Look now toward heaven, and tell the stars, if thou be able to number them: and he said unto him, So shall thy seed be." Abraham believed in the LORD; and God counted it unto him for righteousness." And because of his righteousness, Abraham spoke to God face to face . (see Genesis 17:22, Genesis 18:1) . In other words, Abraham gained his own personal, eye-witness testimony of God. On the dollar bill there is an inspire motto " in God we trust" that is very different from In God we believe. In that motto believe is included to an higher level.

Once Abraham had seen God face to face he no longer needed faith to know that God was a living being. But he still needed faith for other things. Therefore, God sought to increase Abraham’s faith by putting him through a severe trial.

In Genesis 22:1 we read, "AND it came to pass after these things, that God did tempt Abraham, and said unto him, Abraham: and he said, Behold, here I am." Then God asked Abraham to sacrifice his only begotten son, Isaac. What we have to keep in mind is that this was against all the rules that God gave to man. God had previously said in, Genesis 9:5,6 "And surely your blood of your lives will I require; at the hand of every beast will I require it, and at the hand of man; at the hand of every man's brother will I require the life of man. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made he man."

More than that, Abraham was also well aware that human sacrifices were an abomination to God. Then why would God ask Abraham to perform one? Not only that, but Abraham was as asked to sacrifice the very person through whom God had promised that Abraham would have a great posterity. Since at this point in time, Isaac had no children, killing him would also mean killing the promise of God. But rather than arguing with God, Abraham quietly did as he was told. True faith is not just to believe in God but TO TRUST HIM IN EVERYTHING, and Abraham had perfect trust in God. He was ready to live by every word which proceeded forth from the mouth of God.

As we know, God didn’t intend for Isaac to be slain, but Abraham didn’t know that. Nevertheless, he remained confident in God and his faith in God was not shaken. As a result of this kind of faith, God told him, "By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son: That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice" (Genesis 22:16-18).

Jesus taught, "And this is the eternal life: to know the true God and Him who sendeth Jesus Christ." To know the true God means to know that we can TRUST HIM in everything. It also proves that we acknowledges Him to be PERFECT IN ALL HIS WAYS. When a person is missing this kind of knowledge and trust, then their faith is limited and so is the power of God in their life. Paul wrote in Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." But a man who has doubts is like a wave of the sea, driven with the wind and tossed about. Psalms 26:1 says, "Judge me, O LORD; for I have walked in mine integrity: I have trusted also in the LORD; therefore I shall not slide."

To help to develop this faith or trust, God has always used simple means to accomplish great tasks to Lehi He gave the Liahona, a simple means but it worked just when Lehi had Faith. This was a device to make Lehi think that without faith it is impossible to please Him and also that Priesthood without faith is just nothing more than a title.

Then there is the faith of Moses. God asked Moses to tell Pharaoh to let His people go. "And Moses said unto God, Who am I, that I should go unto Pharaoh, and that I should bring forth the children of Israel out of Egypt?" (Exodus 3:11). "AND Moses answered and said, But, behold, they will not believe me, nor hearken unto my voice: for they will say, The LORD hath not appeared unto thee... And Moses said unto the LORD, O my Lord, I am not eloquent, neither heretofore, nor since thou hast spoken unto thy servant: but I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue. And the LORD said unto him, Who hath made man's mouth? or who maketh the dumb, or deaf, or the seeing, or the blind? have not I the LORD? And he said, O my Lord, send, I pray thee, by the hand [of him whom] thou wilt send. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart." (Exodus 4:1, 10-14)

"And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod. And he said, Cast it on the ground. And he cast it on the ground, and it became a serpent; and Moses fled from before it. And the LORD said unto Moses, Put forth thine hand, and take it by the tail. And he put forth his hand, and caught it, and it became a rod in his hand: That they may believe that the LORD God of their fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath appeared unto thee. And the LORD said furthermore unto him, Put now thine hand into thy bosom. And he put his hand into his bosom: and when he took it out, behold, his hand was leprous as snow. And he said, Put thine hand into thy bosom again. And he put his hand into his bosom again; and plucked it out of his bosom, and, behold, it was turned again as his other flesh. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe thee, neither hearken to the voice of the first sign, that they will believe the voice of the latter sign. And it shall come to pass, if they will not believe also these two signs, neither hearken unto thy voice, that thou shalt take of the water of the river, and pour it upon the dry land: and the water which thou takest out of the river shall become blood upon the dry land." (Exodus 4:2-9).

I’m sure that if it were left up to Moses he would have preferred to ask for a great army to go with him when he talked to Pharaoh. Instead, God gave him just a rod. But it wasn’t the rod which performed the miracle, it was the faith and confidence which Moses had in God that gave the rod any power. And it was because of his faith that Moses not only became the deliverer of his people but he performed many other miracles that few men of God have ever done. Remember that when the apostles were not able to heal some people, Jesus remarked it was simply because they lacked the faith to do so.

However, we must also remember that there were times when even Jesus was not able to perform miracles. Was it because He was lacking in faith? The scriptures tell us "And he did not many mighty works there because of THEIR unbelief" (Matthew 13:5, emphasis added). And so we see that the unbelief or doubts of others can prevent miracles from being performed by those whose faith is strong.The lacking of faith is able to nullify the power of priesthood, how sad this is. Jesus had the perfect faith and the supreme righteousness, but the principle of free agency can't be broken and also the power of priesthood is indeed fixed by the limits of the divine righteousness. We can't impose anything to our fellow man, even though you are trying to do good things to them, they have to exercise their faith, otherwise they would lose their free agency.

Faith is not only a divine attribute but it is indeed the governing power of the universe. But how does a person gain this power? The Lord revealed to Joseph Smith, "That the rights of the priesthood are inseparably connected with the powers of heaven, and that the powers of heaven cannot be controlled nor handled only upon the principles of righteousness. That they may be conferred upon us, it is true; but when we undertake to cover our sins, or to gratify our pride, our vain ambition, or to exercise control or dominion or compulsion upon the souls of the children of men, in any degree of unrighteousness, behold, the heavens withdraw themselves; the Spirit of the Lord is grieved; and when it is withdrawn, Amen to the priesthood or the authority of that man." (D&C 121:37).

Moroni further explained, "Behold I say unto you, Nay; for it is by faith that miracles are wrought; and it is by faith that angels appear and minister unto men; wherefore, if these things have ceased wo be unto the children of men, for it is because of unbelief, and all is vain. For no man can be saved, according to the words of Christ, save they shall have faith in his name; wherefore, if these things have ceased, then has faith ceased also; and awful is the state of man, for they are as though there had been no redemption made. But behold, my beloved brethren, I judge better things of you, for I judge that ye have faith in Christ because of your meekness; for if ye have not faith in him then ye are not fit to be numbered among the people of his church.

"And again, my beloved brethren, I would speak unto you concerning hope. How is it that ye can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope? And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise. Wherefore, if a man have faith he must needs have hope; for without faith there cannot be any hope. And again, behold I say unto you that he cannot have faith and hope, save he shall be meek, and lowly of heart. If so, his faith and hope is vain, for none is acceptable before God, save the meek and lowly in heart; and if a man be

seek and lowly in heart, and confesses by the power of the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Christ, he must needs have charity; for if he have not charity he is nothing; wherefore he must needs have charity. And charity suffereth long, and is kind, and envieth not, and is not puffed up, seeketh not her own, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evil, and rejoiceth not in iniquity but rejoiceth in the truth, beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Wherefore, my beloved brethren, if ye have not charity, ye are nothing, for charity never faileth. Wherefore, cleave unto charity, which is the greatest of all, for all things must fail-- But charity is the pure love of Christ, and it endureth forever; and whoso is found possessed of it at the last day, it shall Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure. Amen" (Moroni 7:37-48 ).

In order to possess the kind of faith which has real power - the kind of power that can produce true miracles - a person needs to be meek and have a humble heart. But even more than that, a person must be full of charity, even like Christ had, because these are the kind of attributes which cultivates and encourages the development of faith. To illustrate what I mean, let’s look at what happened to Lucifer.

In the beginning, before the world was formed, Lucifer lived in heaven with great authority and power as a one of the grand angels. If that is so, then why did he fall? The answer is simple. He did not trust in God. Since he could see God face to face, he didn’t need faith to believe in his creator, but he didn’t put his trust in God’s words and promises. He didn’t trust the plan which God presented for the salvation of mankind and so he sought to replace it with a plan of his own. Because he lacked the qualities of humility, meekness and charity, he rebelled about God and tried to take God’s power by force. But in so doing, he lost all the power he had. On the other hand, because Jesus was full of humility and charity, he became the author of salvation and was given all power both in heaven and on earth.

The same is true for us. Humility and charity are principles of righteousness, and righteousness comes by obeying certain rules and laws. The reason God gives us commandments is to teach us what the laws of righteousness are. And, as I’ve said earlier, faith and doubt cannot exist together. Therefore the less righteous we are, the more subject we become to fear and doubt which, in turn, destroys the power which faith brings.

However, there is another aspect of keeping the commandments which God gives us. In order to follow the laws of righteousness we have to develop self-control. And in doing that, we also learn to control the powers of faith. If it were possible to possess the power of faith without rules or self discipline, it would prove to be a curse to us instead of a blessing. It would be like giving a lethal weapon to a child. However, by following the principles of righteousness, especially charity towards others, we can use this power to bless the lives of others and be the cause of much good. And that is exactly what God does with the power of faith which He has.

Furthermore, an unrighteous person only believes in that which the mind can logically and rationally understand. But a righteous person is willing to believe in something he cannot see or fully comprehend. This is the difference between what I call "rationality" and "emotions". The scriptures define it as the difference between the mind and the heart. Since we cannot fully comprehend the commandments of God, it takes an act of righteousness to believe in them. By that I mean we have to use our emotions rather than our rationality. To illustrate what I mean, take the example of when Moses led the children of Israel to the promised land.

When the Israelites came to the boarders of the land which God had promised to Abraham, Moses sent spies to scout out the land. However, when they reported back, they said, " We be not able to go up against the people; for they are stronger than we. And they brought up an evil report of the land which they had searched unto the children of Israel, saying, The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature." (Numbers 13:31,32). This is an example of rationality. Rather than relying on the promises of the Lord through faith, they instead relied on the logic of their own minds to determine how they should behave. If it were left unto them, they would never have entered the promised land because of their doubt. As such, the logic of their mind gave them no power to defeat their enemies.

Paul explained it this way: "The carnal mind is enmity against God: for it is not subject to the law of God, neither indeed can be" (Romans 8:7). In order to have faith, we first have to strip away our carnal nature and become a saint by listening to the whisperings of the spirit.

Those who seek a miracle without exercising any faith rely upon the rationality of their mind rather than believing in something they cannot see, touch, smell, taste, or hear. However, the plan of God is not based on rationality and logic but on faith. God gives us no absolute proof because to do so would take away the need for faith. And without faith, there can be no divine power. That is why the Lord showed himself only to certain of his closest disciples after he was resurrected. He could have appeared to millions of people who didn’t believe in him to prove he was the Christ, but he didn’t do that. Instead, he appeared only to a hand full of his closest disciples who already believed that Jesus was the Christ before they saw the proof. On the other hand, everyone else had to believe in Jesus by faith through the teachings and testimony of those "special witnesses."

The same is true about the gold plates which Joseph Smith received. At first, he was the only one who was allowed to see them. Afterwards, however, they were shown to three of Joseph’s closest followers, and then to an additional eight more people, which interestingly enough brings the total number of witnesses to twelve. The skeptics say that if these plates really did exist, surely God would have shown them to the world to prove their existence. But, for the past 2,000 years God has required people to reply on the testimony of twelve specially chosen eyewitnesses to prove that Jesus rose from the grave as an immortal and glorified being, rather than giving us proof. Why should God change His policy now?

This principle has been explained by the scriptures which tell us, " For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world.

"And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.... But because of the faith of men he has shown himself unto the world, and glorified the name of the Father, and prepared a way that thereby others might be partakers of the heavenly gift, that they might hope for those things which they have not seen. Wherefore, ye may also have hope, and be partakers of the gift, if ye will but have faith. Behold it was by faith that they of old were called after the holy order of God. Wherefore, by faith was the law of Moses given. But in the gift of his Son hath God prepared a more excellent way; and it is by faith that it hath been fulfilled. For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith. Behold, it was the faith of Alma and Amulek that caused the prison to tumble to the earth. Behold, it was the faith of Nephi and Lehi that wrought the change upon the Lamanites, that they were baptized with fire and with the Holy Ghost. Behold, it was the faith of Ammon and his brethren which wrought so great a miracle among the Lamanites. Yea, and even all they who wrought miracles wrought them by faith, even those who were before Christ and also those who were after. And it was by faith that the three disciples obtained a promise that they should not taste of death; and they obtained not the promise until after their faith" (Ether 12:7 and Ether 12:6, 8-17).

We are children of God. As such, our destiny is to become like our Father in heaven. But, in order for us to become like God we must possess the same attributes which he possesses. The power by which God governs the universe is based on faith. Therefore, without faith it is impossible for us to exercise the same kind of power which our Father has. That is why it is so important for us to understand and develop this divine attribute of God.

Today we have a clearer vision, even though no perfect, of our universe. I love the concept of space and time that they are connected and that they can be changed from something that, for the moment, it is no understandable. Anyway thinking about dreams, visions, that many times break this dimension, and show us future events, or thinking about levitation or the moving of the matter by the thinking, I'd like to think that our mind it is indeed the God's mind in embryo, and like consequence mind can navigate and even modify this our dimension. Not only on the time, with the possibility to see the future, but even on the space, in fact Jesus
Matthew 17:20
20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.

Faith can changed space.
Matthew 21:19
19 And when he saw a fig tree in the way, he came to it, and found nothing thereon, but leaves only, and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward for ever. And presently the fig tree withered away. 

Matthew 21:20
20 And when the disciples saw [it], they marveled, saying, How soon is the fig tree withered away! 

Matthew 21:21
21 Jesus answered and said unto them, Verily I say unto you, If ye have faith, and doubt not, ye shall not only do this [which is done] to the fig tree, but also if ye shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; it shall be done.

If ye have faith, and doubt not, this means the exercise of our mind with our heart, the wish comes from our heart and the mind shouldn't doubt.
Is not this wonderful? Why should this be impossible, Jesus taught this principle to His followers, our mind contains the germs of divinity, we are sons of God, our mind is the mind of God in embryo
John 10:34
34 Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? 

John 10:35
35 If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; 
the scripture can't be broken!!!!!
The priesthood is given to help us to explore, to understand our son ship with God and the bounds and limits by which the priesthood is confined are the wisdom of God, everything is finalized to develop our faith in God and our self, because this power works in these two ways faith (trust) in God and in our righteousness and self-confidence. When this kind of faith become real, in this case even this knowledge become rational for our mind because is proven! We have a lot of proofs that Jesus and the apostles have broken many times the laws of nature, for time, space and matter. Peter was walking on the water, Jesus change the water in wine, Moses divided the sea, Elijah, Jesus and Peter resurrected people and in these particular cases, matter, space and time were affected by their faith and power. Without faith there is only rationality, but rationality can't accept these things, rationality in this case generate just confusion and many doubts.
mankind only when overcome doubts and rationality will obtain the fullness of truth.
Ether 12:21 t
21 And after the brother of Jared had beheld the finger of the Lord, because of the promise which the brother of Jared had obtained by faith, the Lord could not withhold anything from his sight; wherefore he showed him all things, for he could no longer be kept without the veil.
Luke 18:8
8 I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth? 

How come Jesus asked this question?
Because faith is the principle on which the Gospel is based, this is the reason why Jesus said
Matthew 12:38
38 ¶ Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee. 

Matthew 12:39
39 But he answered and said unto them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh after a sign; and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas: 
every people has to walk by faith to have the "vision". It is in this way that people can obtain the "proofs" first faith and not vice versa.
All of this is connected to what that more than anything else connect us to God. The glory of God is intelligence and mind is the natural center of it.

Last Updated on Monday, 17 May 2010 09:39  

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