Sunday, May 30, 2010
Developing Your Faith
I've been thinking on the different kinds of questions I get, and what those questions reflect about the one asking. There are two conditions that cannot be overcome by me or any other person by answering your question. The first one is your insecurities. The other is your curiosity. Your insecurities about whatever is going on in your life will not go away because you received an answer to a question. Your curiosity will not be satisfied by hearing a spiritual experience recounted by another person.
Insecurities are a result of a lack of faith. You deserve them. You have not acquired knowledge yet. You have them as a gift, as a warning that you have not yet received what you need. Nor have you developed faith yet. I've given you a post that repeats very important and true doctrine from the Lectures on Faith. It is a blueprint for how you develop faith. I cannot do it for you. Neither can Joseph or Jesus Christ. Faith comes from within you, developed by the same process through which every man who has ever had faith developed it. There are no shortcuts, no independent conferral by sprinkling something on you, and no method different than what has always been required. To the extent I am able to explain the process, I have done so in The Second Comforter. If you are still insecure, then you have not done what that book teaches you to do. Getting an answer from me, or from any other man, will not replace the hollow feeling inside you springing from the absence of saving faith.
The scriptures are filled with spiritual experiences and doctrine. Adding another account to those already there will not benefit you nor bring you closer to developing faith. It will not fill you. That is why my experiences have never been told. (Only in my testimony of the truthfulness of what I teach have I touched briefly upon my experiences.) The focus of all I have done is doctrine. Teaching correct principles will allow you to both govern and develop yourself.
Asking for details from my experiences will add absolutely nothing to you. Those experiences will only weaken you. It will also weaken me. It will make me seem more than I am. It will cause you to surrender to another the responsibility devolving upon yourself. You will only err in thinking that having another "spiritual story" to retell has made you closer to the Lord. It doesn't happen that way. Get your own spiritual experiences. Then, if you want more, keep them sacred. That is what I do. I teach principles. I do not reveal experiences.
I read many years ago about Abraham being the "friend of God." I read also in the D&C about the Lord calling some early Saints His "friends." As I reflected upon that word ("friend") I thought about what it meant ("friendship"). After pondering the word for many days, and observing the people around me, thinking about what I saw in society, and considered the sermons I heard in church, I reached the conclusion that there wasn't a "friend" of God upon the earth any longer.
As I considered the conclusion, I thought about it from God's perspective. What must it mean to a Heavenly Father who has no friend upon the earth. How must He sorrow over His children who have departed from friendship. The thought grew in me until I determined I would become the "friend" of God; not for my sake, nor for any benefit which may come to me because of it. I thought of it only as a way to honor Him; to show Him that despite earth and hell there would yet be another "friend" of His upon the earth.
I have remained true to that determination from that time till now. It defines the choices I have made, the opportunities I have forfeited, the places I have been, and the doors which have opened. I may not be much of anything in this world, but I do have a Friend whose love I value and whose companionship I cherish. If I were to tell you all the details of that it would do you no good and would betray trust.
Asking about it is the clearest indication that you have misunderstood both the process and what I am trying to do to help others.