Hope: “An anchor of the soul.”

Related topics: Faith and Charity; Grace; Justification; Election; Whom do we Worship?; Opposition in all things; Faith and Justification; Faith, certainty, and doubt

In an earlier post (Faith and Charity) I worked out a model for attaining faith which is: belief, hope, faith. First we believe, or desire to believe, or have a particle of faith. We then act on our belief. Then, after investing ourselves in that belief we hope our efforts and beliefs will be rewarded. When the Holy Ghost affirms our hopes and beliefs we attain faith.

Faith is the assurance that comes from a witness of the Holy Ghost. Once we have attained faith, its assurance strengthens our hope and reinforces our belief. Thus, we cannot attain unto faith without hope, but without faith our beliefs and hope will not endure and grow.

I realized I didn’t go into much detail about hope. So this post brings a little more precision to the ideas I sketched out in my Faith and Charity post. Continue reading

Faith, certainty, and doubt

Related Posts: Faith and Charity; Opposition in all things; The First Vision

Faith, certainty, and doubt are interesting subjects. Here I attempt to analyze my experiences with faith, certainty, and doubt about the Church and God.

I can honestly say that I have never had a prolonged crisis of faith. I’ve had moments of doubt wherein I wondered if God really existed, or if the Church is what it claims to be. But those moments never lasted long. All I needed was to remember I have a testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Church.

Like many people with deep Mormon roots I was raised to believe in the Book of Mormon as scripture and that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God’s true, restored Church. Though I never seriously questioned this upbringing I did experience a crisis of sorts, which turned out to be the beginning of my testimony. Continue reading

Faith and Justification

Related Posts: Why Covenants?; Justification; Grace; Election; Faith and Charity

To many of our Protestant brethren the subject of justification is very important. And I confess it is not as central in Mormon beliefs as it is in many Protestant denominations.

Protestants generally view justification as “a legal act, wherein God deems the sinner righteous on the basis of Christ’s righteousness” (Justification, theopedia.com). This understanding of justification is part of their view of salvation by grace and the belief that good works have noting to do with salvation.

In the Mormon view good works cannot be ignored and are seen as essential to how we “put on Christ.” I always felt the Mormon repose to the Protestant belief about justification was lacking. So I thought I would weight in on the subject. As such this post includes a lot of my own interpretation.

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Faith hope and charity

belief_hope_charity

Related Posts: Why Covenants?; Justification; Grace; Election; Faith and Justification

What are the relationships between faith, hope, and charity? If the scriptures say “without faith there cannot be any hope” (Moroni 7:42) and also say “how is it that you can attain unto faith, save ye shall have hope?” (Moroni 7:40). There seems to be a problem. No faith without hope. No hope without faith. So how does this work?

What is faith?

We have definitions of faith such as, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb. 11:1) and, “Faith is things which are hoped for and not seen” (Ether 12:6), and “Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true” (Alma 32:21). The Bible Dictionary says, “To have faith is to have confidence in something or someone” (“Faith,” Bible Dictionary). We know that it was by faith that “Noah…prepared an ark” (Heb. 11:7), “Abraham…obeyed; and he went out…[and] sojourned in the land of promise” (Heb. 11:8-9). By faith “Isaac blessed Jacob and Esau” (Heb. 11:20), and “Moses…refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter…[and] forsook Egypt (Heb. 11:24-27). Their faith was a motivating force. Because of their firm conviction that God would honor his promises Noah prepared, Abraham obeyed, Isaac blessed, and Moses forsook. Continue reading