Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Alma 37:38-40 -- On Faith and Miracles

"And now, my son, I have somewhat to say concerning the thing which our fathers call a ball, or director—or our fathers called it Liahona, which is, being interpreted, a compass; and the Lord prepared it.
And behold, there cannot any man work after the manner of so curious a workmanship. And behold, it was prepared to show unto our fathers the course which they should travel in the wilderness.
And it did work for them according to their faith in God; therefore, if they had faith to believe that God could cause that those spindles should point the way they should go, behold, it was done; therefore they had this miracle, and also many other miracles wrought by the power of God, day by day."
Alma 37:38-40

The part that says "and it did work for them according to their faith in God" is fascinating to me.  It makes me think of all the possibilities of faith-based technology. :)  Which is an interesting thought, but I am not sure how well we would do with that.  If our blenders worked by faith, I think it would help us a lot because we'd have that tangible feedback each time we used it... but then, who knows.  The frustration might make us angry, driving the spirit away and making it less likely that we could use it.  And you know, I think that really, our lives already work this way.  We just don't pay as much attention to the way it happens.  Our lack of faith might not turn off the blender, but it changes our outlook and our level of hope, and our faith really does affect our day-to-day lives.
When bad things happen, whether we have faith makes a huge difference.  Are we ready to give up, or do we have confidence in God that we will be able to get through this and come out on the other side better and happier?  Definitely not saying that it is always easy to see things that way, but I think it really does come down to that sometimes.  Just like having faith that the Liahona could point them in the right direction made a difference to Nephi and his whole family, our faith that God can lead us and get us through anything makes a big difference in our lives.  And our faith in ourselves also makes a huge difference... are we committed to following God's directions as he helps us through the obstacles of life?  God can give us perfect directions on how to slam-dunk this challenge and make it to heaven, but if we don't follow those directions, then we're still going to be stuck.
Doubts and fears are natural and understandable, of course, but faith isn't something that we can hang back and prove without some investment.  We can't prove that a marriage or a career is going to work before we make the commitment either.  We have to do our homework, of course, but at some point we have to jump in and live it.  The cool thing about faith in God is that unlike with marriages and careers sometimes, God always holds up his end of the bargain, and as we jump in and trust him, and live that faith, we learn more and more about it, and our trust and faith can become stronger, and we, like Nephi and his family, can see miracles wrought, day by day.
Today, even though we don't have a Liahona, or a faith-powered blender, our lives are still guided by our faith in God.  Let's look to him, trust him, and follow his directions, and we will get to the happy ending, and a better future than we could ever have hoped.  Because God is faithful.  Let's work on being the same. :)

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