How do we gain faith?

31 Jul

As missionaries, we are encouraged to spend a little time every morning exercising. And so it was that the other day at about 6:45 in the morning I was out jogging.

Jogging for me is hard because it is ALWAYS so painful at first! It doesn’t even feel like natural movement. But as my legs and lungs wake up and I begin to get into the rhythm, it gets better. And it ALWAYS feels good when I’m done. Running has become more and more enjoyable for me as I have done it consistently.

So as I was out running the other day, I was thinking about how developing faith is like going on a good diet. We all know what a good diet is: you eat healthy foods in moderate amounts and you exercise. We all know that’s how you lose weight, so why is it so hard to do? It’s hard because we’ve gotten used to fatty foods that taste so good and we’ve gotten used to sitting around and being lazy! At least I have.

Healthy living is a challenge. Sometimes it’s a complete lifestyle change. But over time, we can see all the benefits. We feel healthier, we feel happier, and we look better.

There are other diets out there–those six-week programs that promise you the pounds will just melt away. And you really will lose weight if you follow those plans, but will it last? Chances are, as soon as you go off the plan you’ll gain it all back and be more unhappy than before. These other plans lead to a fleeting, temporal happiness, but if you followed one of these diets all the time, you would find yourself becoming more and more unhealthy–malnourished and unbalanced.

There are alternatives in this life to God and the plan that He outlined for us. There are alternatives that can make you feel really good for a short time. But will it last? God’s plan is the healthy diet–the one that is balanced and nutritious. And it involves exercise. It involves us doing some things that seem hard and painful at first, but as we keep going and pushing through we can see the benefits. And when we’re done, when we’ve crested the hill, when we can finally collapse on the floor in front of the air-conditioning at home, it feels so good!

Alma 32

27   But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words

28 Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves–it must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to enlighten my understanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.


One Response to “How do we gain faith?”

  1. zo-ma-rah December 10, 2010 at 12:18 am #

    Interesting comparison. Have you read the Lectures on Faith? I haven’t finished them, but they offer interesting insights into faith.

    A great blog post I’ve read about faith is here:

    The hardest part, for me, in developing faith is the trial. After I have something revealed to me I must then act on that. It’s easier for me to just sit here and blog about what I should be doing rather than actually doing it. I can definitely sympathize with just wanting to be lazy.

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