We gotta get Faith right. I continually hear reference to faith as being simply something we believe in, which is not seen, which is true. This is not as a complete definition as the Lord intended to give us. The Lord gave Joseph Smith greater detail of a definition upon which the saints can build their faith. Faith is the beginning. Without faith, the rest of the doctrine has no foundation, and will eventually become vain repetition. Faith consists of three parts:
- Belief in God– This is a flip of a switch with commitment to act like you believe in God
- Know the correct attributes, perfections and Characteristics of God– This requires scripture study
- Know that the path you are on is acceptable to God– This requires the opening up of the heavens through revelation, angelic visitation, or the visitation of Diety
In the school of the prophets the first set of lessons that were taught was the Lectures on Faith. That was the fundamental doctrine upon which all other doctrine could build upon. Without it, our foundations are sandy. Without a correct understanding of faith, our faith will become weary and weak, and one, void of the necessary faith, cannot endure the trial of their faith.
It was a major mistake to remove the Lectures on Faith from our cannon of scripture in 1921. You will not violate any law by personally recognizing it as doctrine still. When this foundation is replaced, suddenly things that never made sense before will become clearer.
It is by faith that all things are created. You are in a process in becoming a God. You cannot obtain that objective without first developing faith properly. Scripture study without faith can easily become a checklist, vain repetition, babble, and a waist of time. Prayers are always heard and recognized, but it is the prayer of faith that makes the connection to the heavens. Take any duty or job done in or out of the church, take away the faith, and the deed his little power. However, replace that same action with faith and it becomes magnified 10-fold.
Lets get this definition down. When we finally believe that Joseph Smith actually knew what he was talking about, then we can recognize the faith he describes is a little different than the traditional faith that we are used to. Recognizing the truth in the Lectures on Faith will produce a desire for reading the scriptures, because how else are you going to know the correct attributes, characteristics, and perfections of God, other than the scriptures?
So when speaking about a persons faith, remember there are three components to proper faith: Belief in God/ Know God’s correct traits/ and know your path is acceptable to Him. Much will be clarified through this definition. I really think Joseph had a correct idea about what he was talking about.