- In my last post I asked why God wants us to spend our mortal probation in the thick fog of faith. Sure, I understand that this is a test to prove us. But I think faith has a much broader purpose than a mere test. To me, faith is the very foundation of our relationship with deity. When I look at faith as a relationship, then I begin to understand God a bit better. So, let’s first explore the concept of a relationship.
- While serving at BYU, I had ample opportunity to work one-on-one with young adults who were starting to explore, for the first time, the depths of relationships. Sure they had family and friends prior to attending BYU. Plus many of these students were returned missionaries so they had gone through the crucible of companionship issues. But in spite of their previous experiences, living in a singles ward tested their relationship skills like never before. This was especially true as they prepared for marriage.I saw many potentially great relationships tragically crumble because one or both individuals failed to grasp the concept that relationships demand work – constant work. That work included:
- Putting the other person’s needs above your own
- Demonstrating a sincere willingness to change small and sometimes fundamental things
- Learning to compromise
- Admitting that you cannot solve every issue by motivating the person to read the scriptures, pray, and attend church
Those couples who were willing to roll up their sleeves and invest in the relationship were more likely to overcome the hard times that always come and create a sustainable relationship. Those couples who clung to the Disney version of love, that it just simply happened, saw promising relationships end.
Now, that is relationships, but what about faith?
I think the same concepts I alluded to about relationships are a vital part of the faith God wants us to develop. Faith in God takes work.
- It a forged in our desire to find purpose to the complexities of life
- It is refined through our desires to serve others
- It stretches us as we are required to make small and sometimes fundamental changes
- It requires that we cannot have an answer to every question
- It demands that we accept difficult concepts that sometimes cannot be resolved through reading the scriptures, praying, and attending church.
The best part of seeing faith as a relationship is the we have hope that God is equally invested in our journey of faith as we are. That means the more we strive to work out our faith, the closer our connection to God will be. That does not mean we will have all our questions answered and our concerns resolved. But it does mean the we can have peace amidst the storm. I am convinced that peace is really all God wants us to achieve in mortality.
But, what about doubts. Are doubts the enemy of faith?