Last Sunday we had a wonderful lesson in Relief Society about Faith. I have been thinking about it all week long and wanted to share my thoughts and insights. I will be referring to Alma 32:21-42 during this posting.
First I thought of hope. "if ye have faith ye hope for things..." I thought of how to build faith we must start with hope. The first time I poured my heart out to The Lord in honest prayers it was with a hope that there was a God and he answered prayers. I had never met with Him face to face. He had never spoken to me so it was with a hope He was there. I found that He was. My prayers were answered and continue to be. This hope has grown to a faith. I now know that if I am sincere and pour my heart out he will answer me.
I do not have a perfect knowledge of things and therefore I continue to grow my faith with a hope that one day I will have a perfect knowledge.
We are asked to experiment upon the word. The word being the teachings of our Heavenly Father. By excersisng even a small particle of faith we can learn of the plan our Heavenly Father has for us.
We compare the word of God to a seed that must be planted in our hearts. When the seed is placed it can grow or wither and die. For the seed to grow it must have sun, water, nutirients, and soil. If any of these are missing then it will die or at least be very weak.
The analogy of the seed being planted and the conditions needed to grow the seed made me think of my own gardening experience. When planting seeds in CO they would grow just about anywhere with very little care. Our hearts are like this when they are tender and humble. When they are tender and ready to receive the teachings we must act and grow the plant as strong as possible.
Many times the soil we try to plant our seed of faith in is like the hard clay of AZ. This has been baked and lost many of its nutirents. We must then tend to the soil by augmenting it and working it and loving it. This is true of our hearts as well, the harshness and negativity of this world has baked the soil and leached many the nutrients out.. We must tend to our hearts by prayer, study and humility. As we do this even in the harsh environement of the world we can have a folourishing garden of faith in our hearts from the many seeds we have planted.
I also see faith as being many seeds. We can gain faith in the redeeming powers of the atonement but it takes another seed to have the faith that we can be forgiven of our sins and still another to believe in the revelations given by the prophet.
I hope that we all can enjoy the blessings of faith and continue to cultivate the seeds that have been planted, the soil they are going it, and the environment that they grow. May the trees of faith bring forth much fruit that is good and desirous.