WTF is Faith, anyway?

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Poppyseed
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Re: WTF is Faith, anyway?

Post by Poppyseed » 31 Aug 2009, 08:46

Poppyseed, you asked so i'll give my opinion. I think it's wrong to look inward for God. I don't think you'll find Him there. I don't believe that any of us have any righteousness in us ourselves. I agree that when were born again, the old dies and we become new creatures. What I would call sactification, but there's nothing in me that is Godly apart form the spirit, But that would be God and not me. It sounds Deepak Chopra esque to look into ourselves to find God, I don't think it's right and could become an Idol for us. That's what I think.
Hi J pip. Been a while since I visited this thread. Thank you for your response.

I don't think what I am saying is that we look inward to find God. I am not God and I am dependant on God for my very breath. I look to God to lead me and answer my prayers. I look inside to hear his messages, but I know who I am and I know who he is and you are right that there is nothing to be worshipped inside of me or you.

But I see God like the perfect parent, and since I am his spirit child, there are parts of me that are divine -- part of me waiting to be nurtured and developed into maturity. We are also taught that we have talents and capacities and certainly as we come to Christ our spiritual capacities increase. I believe that God wants us to cultivate those gifts and talents. I think He wants to help us turn our weak places into strong ones and I think he wants us to learn to trust ourselves and stand immoveble on our own without the sting of the whip and the bite of the dog. I think He wants to trust us. There is a scripture in the D&C that I think of often that refers to "without compulsory means". I think that God is leading us to be independently righteous. I am not quite sure how that works exactly as it is thru Jesus that any perfection happens. Perhaps there is a point in eternal progression where we do become independent....independent in that thing. Perhaps we become independent inside of Grace "bringing to pass much righteousness of our free will and choice." I think we underestimate ourselves if we don't recognize the divinity within and recognizing it in no way underminds the Atonement or the reality of the natural man. Certainly if any of us forgets where our power comes from, the Lord can help us quickly remember. ;) Which actually brings me to my excitement about faith. With faith in Christ, anything is possible! As we trust and join our force with God's, great things happen......even if they seem insignificant to others. I think this is why God invites us to trust Him because he not only leads us to our own power, but gives us access to His.
“Be not afraid of growing slowly; be afraid only of standing still.” --old Chinese proverb

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MisterCurie
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Re: WTF is Faith, anyway?

Post by MisterCurie » 31 Aug 2009, 09:31

Thanks for bringing this thread back up. I've been thinking alot about faith recently as I've been struggling with church history. This scripture exactly has been sticking in my mind:
HiJolly wrote: Alma 32:21 And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.


Mormonism seems to place a strong emphasis on something being true in order to be faith. Is the current "white-washing" of church history actually keeping people from developing true faith as they are not exposed to the actual facts? What do you think? Do you need to know the actual history of Joseph Smith before you can have faith in him as a Prophet of God (assuming of course he was actually a prophet)? Or is this "true" concept something in Mormon doctrine that people decide to ignore in their buffet approach?

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timpanogos
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Re: WTF is Faith, anyway?

Post by timpanogos » 31 Aug 2009, 09:48

Alma 32:21 And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.

This is the softer/gentler definition we are used to hearing. In some ways it’s almost a contradiction of the industrial strength version I’ve referenced previously.
Maybe we need a new thread titled WTFlip is hope?
Last edited by timpanogos on 31 Aug 2009, 10:19, edited 1 time in total.
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MisterCurie
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Re: WTF is Faith, anyway?

Post by MisterCurie » 31 Aug 2009, 10:13

timpanogos wrote:
This is the softer/gentler definition we are used to hearing. In some ways it’s almost a contradiction of the industrial strength version I’ve referenced previously.
Maybe be need a new thread titled WTFlip is hope?
I'm struggling with the softest definitions of faith right now. Faith as a principle of power was something I used to ponder and grapple with, but now I'm just trying to hold on to the smallest bit of any faith I can muster.

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timpanogos
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Re: WTF is Faith, anyway?

Post by timpanogos » 31 Aug 2009, 11:05

MisterCurie:

I made a comment in the Temple thread, which I expected would have excited a few.

“Maybe the Temple ceremony is not as Christ centered as we might want to believe.”

The contrast I’m pointing out here is along the same lines.

There is the Alma chapter 13 type of High Priest which we might be inclined to seek after (Patriarchal Holy Order King and Priest, miracle/power based on Calling and Election faith).

And then there is the meek and mild Elder who’s only desire is to obtain to a level of Christ like charity.

Throughout my previous quest … I had a very blind eye to the lowely Elder.

For me, any new quest would be for a goal that is opposite my personality and previous experience … a kinder/gentler faith, with charity being the sustaining factor for the hope.

edit:

Poor Nick ... really I feel for him
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swimordie
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Re: WTF is Faith, anyway?

Post by swimordie » 18 Dec 2009, 00:19

I'm bumping this because of a recent epiphany.

I guess, it may seem obvious to many but I just never put it in this context.

I now feel that faith is simply one's world-view. One's place in one's meaning. This concept, of course, calls into question the other part of faith, the not knowing part. I'm not sure this exists in almost any paradigm. People with "strong" faith, believe in their "perspective" so deeply that doubt isn't allowed. Not that they aren't capable of it, but that they will not let it have any mental real estate. And, those of us with "weak" faith, simply can't make our minds and hearts be so sure of something that seems so unknowable. This may sound elitist, but I don't intend it that way. Like I said in another post, I'm under no pretense that my "perspective" is any better than anyone else's. My "illusion" may be just as cussed up as anyone else's.

So, is there merit in that? Is faith just the name we put on our belief of what the meaning of life is to us?
Perfectionism hasn't served me. I think I am done with it. -Poppyseed

Curt Sunshine
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Re: WTF is Faith, anyway?

Post by Curt Sunshine » 18 Dec 2009, 06:04

Great thought, swim. My simplest definition of faith is, "Belief that is so strong it motivates action."

That absolutely is vital, but it's a two-edged sword.
I see through my glass, darkly - as I play my saxophone in harmony with the other instruments in God's orchestra. (h/t Elder Joseph Wirthlin)

Even if people view many things differently, the core Gospel principles (LOVE; belief in the unseen but hoped; self-reflective change; symbolic cleansing; striving to recognize the will of the divine; never giving up) are universal.

"For every complex problem there is an answer that is clear, simple, and wrong." H. L. Mencken

swimordie
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Re: WTF is Faith, anyway?

Post by swimordie » 18 Dec 2009, 12:40

Ray Degraw wrote:My simplest definition of faith is, "Belief that is so strong it motivates action."
Can belief also be so strong as to motivate inaction?
Perfectionism hasn't served me. I think I am done with it. -Poppyseed

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Heber13
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Re: WTF is Faith, anyway?

Post by Heber13 » 18 Dec 2009, 15:00

swimordie wrote:Can belief also be so strong as to motivate inaction?
I usually don't equate belief with motivation as much as faith, whether for action or inaction. Belief is more mental.

I think you can believe in something and act on those beliefs, or you can believe and only think about it without acting on it.

I don't think you can have faith without action. Faith isn't faith until you do something.
Luke: "Why didn't you tell me? You told me Vader betrayed and murdered my father."
Obi-Wan: "Your father... was seduced by the dark side of the Force. He ceased to be Anakin Skywalker and became Darth Vader. When that happened, the good man who was your father was destroyed. So what I told you was true... from a certain point of view."
Luke: "A certain point of view?"
Obi-Wan: "Luke, you're going to find that many of the truths we cling to...depend greatly on our point of view."

swimordie
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Re: WTF is Faith, anyway?

Post by swimordie » 18 Dec 2009, 15:24

So, your level of certainty would motivate that action/inaction, in this way making "faith" a measure of your certainty of the belief?

That would make sense in the paradigm of "faith-promoting"; not in hearing something faith-promoting but in acting on your certainty, self-promoting the "faith" and finding oneself in a more certain place, to then repeat the process until the certainty is "unshakable". That feels self-reinforcing which makes sense in the paradigm of total immersion in the pursuit of faith, ie, praying constantly, reading scriptures regularly, bearing testimony, going to church, etc, etc.

It also makes sense in the troubling context of orthodox believers being so resistant to concepts which contradict their belief. In the self-promoting process of "faith" building, it would be counter-intuitive to let anything derail that process.

The end-game for orthodox believers, then, seems to be absolute certainty.

And, if the endgame is certainty, what is motivating the action at that point? Keeping score? If you know, with absolute certainty, that would call into question the true intention of any action as altruistically selfish.

Maybe??
Perfectionism hasn't served me. I think I am done with it. -Poppyseed

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