A View of Faith I Have Come to Love

For the discussion of spirituality -- from LDS and non-LDS sources
Roy
Posts: 6724
Joined: 07 Oct 2010, 14:16
Location: Pacific Northwest

Re: A View of Faith I Have Come to Love

Post by Roy »

No problem. I admit that I do not know much about electrons. However, that doesn't stop me from using them on a regular basis. As far as experimentation and the scientific method goes, they bring consistent repeatable results.

I do believe that some people have had experiences with G-d or received blessing that might not have easy explanations. I try to honor that by suspending my disbelief and allowing those individuals to have their truth that is true for them.

I also recognize that I cannot scale those experiences to others and promise that they could have the same if only they do XYZ. I must honor those individuals by believing them that they have done everything right and still have not received the promised results.
"It is not so much the pain and suffering of life which crushes the individual as it is its meaninglessness and hopelessness." C. A. Elwood

“It is not the function of religion to answer all the questions about God’s moral government of the universe, but to give one courage, through faith, to go on in the face of questions he never finds the answer to in his present status.” TPC: Harold B. Lee 223

"I struggle now with establishing my faith that God may always be there, but may not always need to intervene" Heber13
Old-Timer
Site Admin
Posts: 17060
Joined: 21 Oct 2008, 20:24

Re: A View of Faith I Have Come to Love

Post by Old-Timer »

I think the central difference between faith and the issue of lights coming on when we flip the light switch is important. I know it is a common example, but I see it as confusing faith with knowledge in an important way:

There is no "gray area" with light switches. They work or don't work completely independent of any person's beliefs. They either work or they don't. Period. They either turn on lights (most of the time) or they don't (some of the time). In each case, we know why either result happens. There is no "evidence of things not seen", in the Biblical sense, because the results have been seen - without any dependence on the person flipping the switch. In other words, when anyone with any decent degree of experience with light switches flips the switch, they know exactly what will happen - one way or the other. It isn't an issue of faith; it is universally observed knowledge.

Of course, we might think a switch will work when it doesn't. We don't have perfect knowledge of each and every instance. However, we know why it works or doesn't in the instant the light comes on or doesn't - even if it is a general knowledge (something in the circuit failed) and not an exact knowledge (the failure occurred exactly here).

I am speaking of faith in the realm(s) where we literally can choose among possibilities when we have no way of knowing which possibility is correct. Why did my mother die? Was it simply a physical malfunction? Did God make it happen so she wouldn't suffer for a long time? Is there a time allotted for each person's life, when they will die one way or another? Is there a God who has anything to do with death, much less when it happens? (etc.) There is no clear-cut, universally-accepted, One True Answer - so I can be an "agent unto myself" and choose based on which answer makes the most sense to me - or has the most meaning - or brings me the most comfort - or something else.
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
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