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Faith of the brother of Jared

posted Mar 14, 2017 09:29:20 by David.Clark
I've been studying Ether chapter 3 for the last week or so. In verse 9, Christ tells him that no one before him has had such exceedingly great faith. I can understand the difference between someone who has faith and someone who has little to no faith. The one with faith believes Christ although he has never seen Him. The person who has little to no faith either has tons of doubt or completely doubts.

But, if you're comparing Noah, for example, to the brother of Jared, what might be the difference? Obviously, Noah demonstrated great faith. What was it about the brother of Jared that set him apart from the previous Prophets? And, more importantly, what does such exceeding great faith look like today such that we can gain such faith??? Any thoughts?
Formerly known as Alabama LDS
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23 replies
MichaelClaridge said Mar 16, 2017 01:29:52
I have come to learn a different aspect of faith that I rarely, if ever, hear anything said about it. I think it’s one of the hidden mysteries, because it is so difficult to fully understand unless you have gone through this particular trial of your faith. It also somewhat flies in the face of the “faith without works” argument, because it feels so much like “not working,” but is actually some of the hardest work you will ever do.

I hope I can explain this aspect of faith with clarity.

Faith is waiting on the Lord. Waiting on the Lord is surrendering your will completely to His and believing the Holy Spirit’s word in absolute.

Now let me explain with an example: Abram was told about an event that would happen in his life. He believed the Lord. I’m sure he never knew his faith was going to be tried and tested to its limits.

Put yourself in Abram’s shoes, and try to understand him. How did he exercise his faith in the Lord regarding the promise the Holy Spirit had made him? Don’t you think he went to great lengths working his faith? I’m almost positive Abram became such a good astronomer because he was checking the lunar cycles to correlate them with the cycles of his wife. He was probably praying ferociously too. He probably tried every remedy he could find to cure a barren woman, all to no avail. He was working his faith. For years he worked his faith. Nothing.

So you’re Abram. You have worked your faith to what you think is its limits. You have prayed and fasted and prayed and fasted, you have tried everything you can think of, you are running out of ideas in which to place your faith (clue).

Do you give up? Do you keep trying? Do you start to doubt the message you got from the Holy Spirit? Do you doubt your faith? What do you do?

Abram tried something else. Now think of this next thing in the light of faith. What was the thing Abram did? He slept with Haggar, and had a son, finally. But was that faith? Or was that desperation? Was that waiting on the Lord, or was that taking things into your own hands and forcing the issue. There’s a difference, isn’t there? Have you ever considered that difference?

How many times do we think our actions are faith driven, but really they are forcing the issue when we grow weary of “waiting on the Lord?” I have come to learn that Abram’s story is more the latter than a demonstration of true faith. And look at the consequences of those actions. His two son’s posterity have been warring against each other ever since.

The scriptures don’t explicitly tell the story this way, but when you have lived through it yourself, you come to understand there’s an entirely different kind of faith required for “waiting on the Lord.” It takes everything you’ve got to keep believing and keep waiting, especially when the evidences were presented to you so many years ago and you are required to hold onto them with complete confidence the Lord and the Holy Spirit really will keep their promise, even when everything points to the contrary.

I think Abram’s story is quite revealing. It was when he repented of his lack of faith that he humbly changed his heart, and changed his life, and became Abraham, or in other words, had the heavenly experience we are seeking, and got a new name.

It wasn’t until then that the Lord fulfilled His promise and Sarah became pregnant. Or in other words, it wasn’t till after the trial of his faith that Abram became Abraham and received the promise, the sure promise that was made so many, many years ago.

That’s our biggest problem today. We want the Lord to give it to us NOW. But if not we think it’s because our faith is weak. I believe our faith is strongest when we truly “wait.” Which doesn’t feel like work at all, but like I said, is the hardest work you will ever do.
[Last edited Mar 16, 2017 01:32:37]
David.Clark said Mar 16, 2017 01:47:00
Thank you, Janette, for the suggestion. I'll take a look at the Elder Holland article!!
Formerly known as Alabama LDS
David.Clark said Mar 16, 2017 04:30:37
Thank you, Michael, for your thoughts. How we put our faith into action can vary depending on the circumstances, if I'm understanding you correctly. Great insight!
[Last edited Mar 16, 2017 04:36:21]
Formerly known as Alabama LDS
LoryVanValkenbur said Mar 16, 2017 04:58:59
Thanks Janette. Thst is certainly worth exploring too. Absolutely love Elder Holland!
LoryVanValkenbur said Mar 16, 2017 05:04:35
Wow, Michael. Your post and insight have really helped and taught me today. Right now I am "waiting" on the Lord regarding several prayers. I guess the most important key for me is "patiently waiting". Not always easy, but I'm sure it's worth the wait.
JoanneCrook said Mar 16, 2017 15:16:57
Amen Michael. It is the hardest work you will ever do.
JulieK said Mar 16, 2017 16:19:08
Thank you for your comments Michael! "Wait on the Lord" is something I've spiritually sensed for over a year now. I'm sure that most of us have something that we are "waiting" to discover the answer or resolution. The act of "waiting" in and of itself builds Faith as longer as the waiting includes action on ones part (searching, praying, serving, sacrificing), for there is demonstrated confidence and trust in God and His timing and power.

Some great quotes to ponder:

"As we receive by faith all temporal blessings that we do receive, so we in like manner receive by faith all spiritual blessings that we do receive. But faith is not only the principle of action, but of power also, in all intelligent beings, whether in heaven or on earth. . . .

"By this we understand that the principle of power, which existed in the bosom of God, by which the worlds were framed, was faith; and that it is by reason of this principle of power existing in the Deity, that all created things exist--so that all things in heaven, on earth, or under the earth, exist by reason of faith, as it existed in Him. . . .

"It is the principle by which Jehovah works, and through which he exercises power over all temporal, as well as eternal things. (Lectures on Faith #1)
HelenPirtle said Mar 17, 2017 00:54:26
Here is the link to Elder Holland's talk Janette mentioned.
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