Tag Archives: faith

Faith is not Conditional – Week 15

As I lay pondering my life and the New Year the morning of January 1, I reflected on an article I had read in this month’s Ensign magazine.  The Ensign is a monthly periodical published by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

In the article, the author mused on an experience early in the management of his family business.  He inherited leadership of that business upon the death of his father.  Needing assistance, the author prayed for guidance, but he felt no particular help.

One night, he was visited in a dream by his deceased father.  After chiding him for not helping more, the father explained.  “We’re very busy here, and no one here cares very much about the business.  You see, it’s not the result of the business that really matters.  It’s who you become while operating the business.”

This idea resonated strongly with me, as I had felt a similar prompting from heaven while pondering my business.  And, yet, as I lay pondering after my study, I could see an important truth:  faith is not conditional.  Real faith has no conditions.  In other words, if I act or pray expecting a particular result in order for me to have faith in God’s care for me, that action is without faith.

Real faith would be more like this: God cares for me, and He always wants the best for me.  Therefore, every circumstance that comes to me is designed for my best good, provided I am willing to see it that way.  In articulating that thought, I can see that God is unconditional in His love and in His care for His children.  My life’s circumstances are simply a form of test to see whether I am willing to see the benefit, together with the potential grace, in whatever happens.

Not coincidentally, Charles Haanel’s Master Key system in completely consonant with this idea.  Haanel, in Lesson 15, is at some pains to explain this notion.  In paragraph 7, for example, he says, “All conditions and experiences that come to us do so for our benefit.  Difficulties and obstacles will continue to come until we absorb their wisdom and gather from them the essentials of further growth.”

Paragraph 15-3 expresses a similar thought:  “Difficulties, inharmonies, and obstacles, indicate that we are either refusing to give out what we no longer need, or refusing to accept what we require.”

Continuing in this vein, it struck me yesterday that my plan of action was faulty in that it did not accord well with my definite major purpose.  I feel significant peace in coming to that realization and in adjusting the plan of action.  This accords well with Haanel’s paragraph 15-20 instruction to choose words carefully.

I also resonated with Haanel’s instructions in paragraph 15-36 to learn to use the power of perception to see where and how to apply knowledge.  The study of the Master Key System has been a joy and a challenge so far, and I look forward to further progress in learning how to more constantly think in accord with my expressed desires.

Paragraph 14-26 is my watchword here.  I have spent 30+ years creating my current conditions, and I’m not going to expect 15 or 20 minutes of right thinking to undo all that past effort.  Paragraph 15-26 reinforces this point reassuringly:  thoughts in accord with truth eventually, but surely and certainly displace negative thoughts, which by their very nature can contain no vitality.

And again in the study questions and answers to Lesson 15.  The answer to #9 says, “… Truth invariably destroys error.  We do not have to laboriously shovel the darkness out; all that is necessary is to turn on the light.”

My task, then, is to keep the light on.  I’m tired of shoveling out the darkness.  🙂  I heartily recommend the same for you.

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather

Week 03 – Faith or Fear?

All my life I’ve espoused and proclaimed an active faith in a loving God and in my Savior, Jesus Christ. That faith informs me that God, my Heavenly Father, cares for me and holds me lovingly in His hands. I also have faith that Heavenly Father extends to me His grace through the sacrifice and Atonement of His Son, Jesus Christ. I have experienced that grace many times.

And, yet, something has been missing. Or, more correctly, I’ve missed something. The concept is permission to prosper.

I thought I understood this concept, as it struck me several months ago that I needed to give myself permission to prosper. I thought I’d done that. And, perhaps I did, though not completely.

Enlightenment began to dawn yesterday as I was reading and pondering my current definite major purpose document. I sensed a lack of clarity of purpose in my writing, and I felt driven to discover the crystal within my intent.

And today, as I read again my purpose statement, the fog lifted. I saw in my writing the face of fear in a hypothetical assertion of faith. What a shock! Fear is the exact opposite of faith! I feel grateful to have seen the light and humble that Heavenly Father would extend to me the tender mercy of inspiration and clarity.

Here’s the essence of it. My writing exposed two fear-based beliefs:
1. That I somehow needed (or didn’t have) God’s permission to prosper; and
2. That I could not prosper under my own power.

Faith allows me to see the error of those beliefs.

The Savior, in the Sermon on the Mount, already told me, “Ask, and ye shall receive. Seek, and ye shall find. Knock and it shall be opened to you.” I already had God’s permission to prosper!

As if to reinforce the point, Jesus matter-of-factly discussed the power of merchant stewards to double their investments in the Parable of the Talents. And here I was, hiding my talent as did the slothful servant! Thank goodness for the gift of repentance!

And He had given me a third witness of the same truth in Doctrine and Covenants Section 58: “… men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness; for the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves.” (Emphasis mine)

Praise God for the power to change and the power to act! I am re-writing my purpose statement with a proper assertion of faith. God is the source of power, and He has imbued me with it. I get to go forward and use that power to prosper. I have His permission and His loving instruction in the form of gentle, loving commandments. It is my will to obey, and I rejoice in the power to prosper with which He has endowed me. Thank you!

Facebooktwittergoogle_plusredditpinterestlinkedinmailby feather