Wednesday, April 8, 2015

“F” is for Faith

FFaith: a strong or unshakeable belief in something, especially without proof or evidence; a trust in God and in his actions or promises.1 The Book of Mormon defines faith as not having a perfect knowledge of things, but having things means to have hope in things that can’t be seen, but which are true.2

The fourth Article of Faith declares: “We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: First, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ…”3 The reason behind this is stated quite clearly in John 3:16: “For God so loved the world that he gave His Only Begotten Son, that whosoever believeth (has faith in) in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Therefore, faith is essential for anyone who wishes to enter God’s kingdom and gain eternal life therein.

But faith needs also to be nurtured, just like anything else. Faith that has not been nurtured will not grow, nor will it be able to withstand the difficulties and trials that life will throw at it if not nurtured. It is like a farmer who plants seeds in a field; he has faith that he will have a good crop, followed by a good harvest. But, if he doesn’t water the plants, pull the weeds, loosen the soil around the plants and eliminate parasites, his faith that the seeds will grow will probably avail him very little, because without proper care, the seeds will probably die.

James said, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and hath 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.”4

1Reverso Dictionary

2 Alma 32:21; also see the entire chapter 32.(Book of Mormon)

3 Articles of Faith, 4

4 James 2:14-17 (New Testament)

“E” is for Easter: the Atonement and the Resurrection


“For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish but have everlasting life.”1

Easter is one of my two favorite holidays. It is the day that we, together with all Christianity celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ. However, we believe that every person who has ever lived, because when Jesus rose from the dead, He triumphed over the physical death that was brought upon the world through Adam’s transgression, for all mankind, regardless of who they are.2 The resurrection is the literal reuniting of our soul with our physical body, rendered immortal. As Job said, “And though after mySLC_replica_of_the_Christus skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.”3

The part of Easter that is so important for believers in Christ actually began several days before Easter Sunday, in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus, knowing what was to come, withdrew to a solitary place, asking his closest friends to wait for him and to keep watch. There, he took upon himself the weight of the sins of the people of the world. The physical and spiritual pain that He alone could bear was so great that the scriptures say that he “bled from every pore”.4 And after he had finished praying, he went out and found that his friends had fallen asleep and that he had been betrayed by one of his own disciples into the hands of those who wished him no good.

Still bearing the weight of the world’s sins, mocked, derided, and whipped, a thorn crown pushed onto his head he was dragged from one illegal “kangaroo court” to another, until he was condemned to die on the cross by the same people he had come to save. And there, in the midst of thieves, he completed His atonement, for all those who would accept the gift of his sacrifice, with the words, “It is finished”.5

“We believe that through the Atonement of Christ, all mankind may be saved, by obedience to the laws and ordinances of the Gospel.”6 


1John 3:16

21 Corinthians 15:21-24

3Job 19:26

4Luke 22:44

5John 19:28-30

6The Articles of Faith

The painting in the upper left corner: The Crucifixion of Christ, by Harry Anderson

The statue on the Right: The Christus, by Thorvaldsen