Friday, July 30, 2004


This topic of faith was a mighty elephant to eat!   I wasn’t sure where to get started, so I began in the bible dictionary.  At the end of the entry was this line which intrigued me greatly:
  • The most complete and systematic exposition on faith is the Lectures on Faith, prepared for and delivered in the School of the Prophets in Kirtland, Ohio, in 1832.
Although I had heard of Lectures on Faith, I had never actually thought to read them or think about what they might be.  To make a long story short, I immediately researched them and began to read through them to look for Book of Mormon references.  They were so interesting that it took some effort to get myself back into the Book of Mormon.   If you are interested, here is a link to a copy of Lectures on Faith online:

Anyway, what Lectures on Faith did for me was to open my mind up considerably to the thought that maybe I’ve been underestimating faith.  It’s the first principle of the gospel, and I felt like I understood it, but once I started reading some careful and ponderous material on it, I realized that I had a great deal to learn. 

Another thought I had as I got started was this idea that we needed to have the faith of a little child to enter the Kingdom of God, so I searched for scriptures containing “faith” and “child”.  It turns out there is no such scripture.    What the scriptures do say, however, is interesting and pertinent.

First, the correct doctrine is that whosever becomes as a little child will be received into the kingdom:
  • 3 Ne. 9: 22 Therefore, whoso repenteth and cometh unto me as a little child, him will I receive, for of such is the kingdom of God. Behold, for such I have laid down my life, and have taken it up again; therefore repent, and come unto me ye ends of the earth, and be saved.

Second, the scriptures give a key on how to become like a little child:

  • Mosiah 3: 21 And behold, when that time cometh, none shall be found blameless before God, except it be little children, only through repentance and faith on the name of the Lord God Omnipotent.

The treatment of children in the scriptures is certainly special and significant.  Isn’t it interesting that all around us are the prototypes of beings that are assured eternal salvation?  How humble we must be to truly comprehend this!  How evil we must be to suggest children are not blameless!

So this thought stuck with me that a little child is an example for me to consider as I try to exercise my faith.  I am trying to become like a little child.  I will know how well I am exercising my faith by examining the extent to which I have become like a child.   During family home evening, I wanted to teach this principle to my family.  I was sitting down teaching and Freja (3 years old) had wandered off into the kitchen.  I told my family that heavenly Father wanted us to become like children so they could enter the kingdom of Heaven.  I asked them what it meant to be like a little child.  They all were not quite sure what that meant, so I decided on an object lesson.  I called out to my daughter, “Freja!  Come here, Love.”   She immediately obeyed and walked over to me.  “Freja, would you please go run around the stairs?”  There is a loop in my house that goes around the stairs, and she cheerful ran over to that and began running top speed around it- not just once, but many times.  I could see the lights going on in my children and I felt a spiritual light turning on inside of me.  Freja’s cheerfulness and perfect obedience were clear to see.  I bet the Lord would love for me to be obedient like that.  To faithfully obey not in just the thing he said, but going beyond the requirement out of pure love. 
  • Mosiah 18: 21 And he commanded them that there should be no contention one with another, but that they should look forward with one eye, having one faith and one baptism, having their hearts knit together in unity and in love one towards another.
  • Alma 13: 29  Having faith on the Lord; having a hope that ye shall receive eternal life; having the love of God always in your hearts, that ye may be lifted up at the last day and enter into his rest
There is more I could write, but I am going to stop with the above as my complete thought and offer a couple of pointers to some other interesting things I found, but can’t expound on right now.

First, the search for scriptures that contain “faith” and “child” yields a very interesting crop of scriptures from the Book of Mormon that largely follow a common theme.  Here is a sample:
  • Ether 12: 12 For if there be no faith among the children of men God can do no miracle among them; wherefore, he showed not himself until after their faith.
Second, consider the stories of Ether and Nephi.  Both received marvelous instruction after they faithfully followed the direction to go to the top of a high mountain.  Saints should recognize that high mountains are natural temples.  I believe that there are interesting lessons to be had about temples from both of these stories.

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