Sunday, May 21, 2017

D&C 88:118 -- On Learning by Faith

"And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith."
Doctrine and Covenants 88:118

The first part of this verse is interesting, and it seems to imply that if we all had enough faith, we might not need to study... we could learn everything through faith instead.  I have no idea if that is actually true, of course, since I am decidedly in the need-to-study group, but it's interesting to think about how our lives would change if we had more faith.

We learn a lot from faith already.  It's how we build our testimonies and gain confidence before God. We take the little faith we have--faith enough to pray, faith enough to go to church--and we act on it. And as we exercise our faith and do more and more, God shows us, through the spirit and through blessings, that our faith was well-founded.  Thus we receive a witness, after the trial of our faith (Ether 12:6).  If we had more faith we could probably learn much more--perhaps even how to walk on water as Peter did for a few steps, or how to make stones shine in darkness or move mountains as the Brother of Jared did with God's help.  Faith unlocks the door to seemingly unlimited potential.

None of this is to say of course that we should give up reading and studying.  In fact, reading the scriptures is another thing that we can do by faith.  If we have faith enough to read, then God blesses us with his spirit and his guidance.  The more we read and study, the more we are blessed.

Today, no matter how much faith we have, let's seek learning.  Let's read the best books and find words of wisdom, especially from the scriptures.  As we do, let's recognize that studying the scriptures is also learning by faith.  Let's have faith enough to go to church, pray, visit the temple, and do things that the Lord has asked us in other areas as well.  As we are faithful and obedient, we will learn through our faith in listening to the Lord and doing as he asks.  Who knows, maybe someday in the world to come, we won't even have to hit the books anymore because we will know everything that is in them by heart, through our faith.  For now, though, let's seek learning through study *and* faith.  We still have a lot to learn in both ways. :)

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