WTF is Faith, anyway?

Public forum to discuss questions about Mormon history and doctrine.
jbelli21
Posts: 34
Joined: 20 Nov 2009, 13:32

Re: WTF is Faith, anyway?

Post by jbelli21 » 02 Feb 2010, 16:29

I equate the word faith with the modern definition of the word confidence. someone told me the other day that their personal definition of confidence was "action without thinking" in the church it is taught, correctly i believe, that "faith is a principle of action" sure we can believe that service is a great thing but if we sit on our butts all day and never really go out and love or serve or be charitable to someone that belief is just in vain and hasn't done us any good. we must use faith to go out and "become" or "be" what we believe god wants us to be and the only way to do that is through faith.

i think that faith is the bridge between hope and charity. it is often said in the church that doubt is the opposite of faith. i'm not sure i entirely believe this. hope precedes faith and the thinking process is the hope part in my mind. the scriptures say that this hope must be anchored on the other side of the veil. i have lots of doubts about what's on the other side of the veil and so resolving them is a necessity preceding my action. once i have resolved all "current" doubt i can then act in faith to produce a result. that result, if done in good faith, is charity or at least "brotherly kindness" which leads to true love. i then think that the action, if repeated, refined, exercised, and perfected will grow from charity to knowledge. in 2 peter, the apostle exhorts us to make "our calling and election sure" and he gives the formula to do this. "add to your faith virtue....and to brotherly kindness charity. for if these be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfriuttful in the knowledge of our lord jesus christ. the brother of jared had faith before he saw god, but after he saw god he no longer had faith, he knew. so the repeated action of righteous living created for the brother of jared a perfected way of life until he saw god which imo according to 1 john 3:2 requires us to be like him so that we may see him as he is. he had "become" godlike through faith. so in a nutshell i think it probably goes something like this

reducing iniquity (we can all do this on the basic level because we all have the light of christ) leads to hope(mere belief, longing, expectations) which must be formulated in the mind (resolving doubt, questions, concerns) and anchored on the other side of the veil, leads to faith (confidence) which produces an action of charity (love) repeaded charity (love) refines that love until it is perfect and it becomes a knowledge and we become "godlike" (charitalbe, loving, serving, sacrificing)

sorry lots of jumbled thoughts that changed as i wrote this

nightwalden
Posts: 73
Joined: 05 Sep 2009, 19:34

Re: WTF is Faith, anyway?

Post by nightwalden » 02 Feb 2010, 18:00

I think faith is choosing to believe something. When we choose to believe something we put a measure of trust in that belief. I think that is the confidence idea that you mentioned. I don't think that there is a clear line of distinction between faith and hope. Maybe with faith you have put more trust in the belief. I don't know. But I don't think that you're going to come up with a clear picture like you want by trying to piece together all of these ideas from different scriptures. Ultimately, you need to choose what you believe concerning these matters.

AmyJ
Posts: 560
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: WTF is Faith, anyway?

Post by AmyJ » 09 Feb 2018, 07:33

Heber13 wrote:
12 Jul 2009, 10:30
... that faith is a requirement [confidence/hope/focus/intellectual understanding/cultural setting], indeed...the first principle of the gospel. It is not to replace the drive for knowledge or truth, it is to accompany it.
NOTE: Bracket contains alternate applicable definitions.

I phrased it this way because we ask our new members to study specific gospel principles, integrate into the Mormon cultural setting, and have the confidence/hope/focus to continue on the path - whether 8 or 88, that is how it works (and it works wonderfully for some). I think that part of moving beyond stage 3 is resolving the cognitive dissonance that occurs when the intellectual understanding/cultural setting shifts to the point where it hurts to continue to practice that confidence/hope/focus until a new balance is reached. I see this as an ongoing process - and a sign of progress and spiritual development.
Heber13 wrote:
12 Jul 2009, 10:30
Without faith, I believe we give up. We stop trying. Faith is our motivation in all we do. You take a step with faith your foot will be upheld by a firm floor that will move you where you want to go (have you ever missed that last step on the stairs when you had faith something was there? Weird feeling).
I struggle with this faith a lot now. If I can't trust my understanding of what I know about God, myself, and everything I thought I knew, what can I trust? It is made worse by knowing that a) my husband is not in a place to understand or help me besides loving me, b) I don't know what I need or what would help, c) leadership roulette could go against me and I could be kicked out of the social group of the branch and the Pathways program/BYU-Idaho online program [currently a very slim change - but not outside the realm of possibility, stranger things have happened].

Here is what I have faith in and rely on (and so far it hasn't failed me too much):
1.There is a God (or technically I think a team we call God).
2. I have a spark of "God" within me (I don't know how it works or if there are multiple names attached to it).
3.That the 2 Great Commandments hold true. I don't know how to show my love for God in a way that both of us understand, but I know I am working on it (outside a religious construct - I don't know how God feels about religions or the religion I am in - but we will figure it out). Until I know what and how God wants me to show my love for Him/Them, I focus on living the 2nd commandment and loving those around me as best I can.
4.I can pray - and in praying sometimes I will receive inspiration/revelation that comes from God, or comes from the God-Spark within me. I am beginning to think that the majority of the benefit of prayer is a) verbal sorting and organizing of thoughts, b) verbal journalism, c) humility/flexibility/hope to believe that there is Anyone out there who cares what is going on and is interested in helping/cheering me on.
5. There are people out there who can explain/model principles I need to learn.
6. When in doubt, show love (in a way the other people/persons can understand), don't accidently contaminate others with your opinions/theories (they don't need them and you don't need to take the time to explain them however tempting), and go slowly and carefully - avoiding burning bridges you might need later on or burning yourself out by burning resources you don't have.
Heber13 wrote:
12 Jul 2009, 10:30
The scientist trying to prove a theory is exercising faith. The baby lunging for dad's safe arms is exercising faith. The blogger posting thoughts is showing faith.

It is faith in God and His characteristics and His plan that is of significance to our eternal welfare. Faith in false doctrine will lead to a point where the limitations are learned (i.e. damnation). Faith in truth will lead to a never ending search for further truth and light and progression.
This.

AmyJ
Posts: 560
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: WTF is Faith, anyway?

Post by AmyJ » 09 Feb 2018, 07:41

swimordie wrote:
12 Jul 2009, 20:44
I think Tom used the art analogy in another post. I like that here, too. I taught a humanities class a few years ago and we spent two hours in class trying to define what "art" is; and we never came up with a definition that even the majority agreed with. I agree with you LaLa, that faith can't be imposed or presupposed, it's just too personal.

So, could F&T meeting just be like going to an art museum, everyone just sharing their faith for everyone else to observe and interpret in their own individual way, without qualitative judgments?

I'm liking that as a concept; reality, mmmmm..... dunno. I do feel that staylds.com has approached this ideal. For me anyways. Thanks everyone. :P
I like the analogy of F&T meeting being like going to an art museum (except they allow children into F&T meeting). That would explain why Primary Program Sunday is either greatly loved or feared (in the sense of letting the kids have a field day at the museum and control the programs/exhibits) ....

NOTE: I personally am not a huge fan of the program because I get hung up on technicalities, and it is always awkward because my daughter does not sing the songs and/or memorize her part and/or requires additional unpredictable support on those days. I don't do as well with giving additional support in unpredictable situations - especially those where my parenting may or may not be judged... However, most sisters I talk to (even outside of primary) give me weird looks when I am not enthusiastic about the Primary Program and always parrot how special a program it is for them. I used to think they had to be deluding themselves into it for social reasons, but now I think they are just built to enjoy it (and that part was left of this model).

User avatar
SamBee
Posts: 4661
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Re: WTF is Faith, anyway?

Post by SamBee » 09 Feb 2018, 07:44

I take it the F in WTF stands for faith?
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

AmyJ
Posts: 560
Joined: 27 Jul 2017, 05:50

Re: WTF is Faith, anyway?

Post by AmyJ » 09 Feb 2018, 07:50

SamBee wrote:
09 Feb 2018, 07:44
I take it the F in WTF stands for faith?
Buried somewhere in the email chain was the word intended... if not, find a favored "F word" and insert it there I guess :P

User avatar
SamBee
Posts: 4661
Joined: 14 Mar 2010, 04:55

Re: WTF is Faith, anyway?

Post by SamBee » 09 Feb 2018, 10:09

Wiggle the fork?
DASH1730 "An Area Authority...[was] asked...who...would go to the Telestial kingdom. His answer: "murderers, adulterers and a lot of surprised Mormons!"'
1ST PRES 1978 "[LDS] believe...there is truth in many religions and philosophies...good and great religious leaders... have raised the spiritual, moral, and ethical awareness of their people. When we speak of The [LDS] as the only true church...it is...authorized to administer the ordinances...by Jesus Christ... we do not mean... it is the only teacher of truth."

User avatar
dande48
Posts: 748
Joined: 24 Jan 2016, 16:35
Location: Wherever there is danger

Re: WTF is Faith, anyway?

Post by dande48 » 09 Feb 2018, 10:26

SamBee wrote:
09 Feb 2018, 07:44
I take it the F in WTF stands for faith?
You can have faith that it does, but that doesn't make it true. :lol:
"But there's no sense in crying over every mistake. You just keep on trying, til you run out of cake." - Still Alive

"Even though there are no ways of knowing for sure, there are ways of knowing for pretty sure."
-Lemony Snicket

Post Reply