Joseph Smith, a man of great faith

All religous people agree that faith is of great importance. But we don’t all agree what faith is, or how it should be obtained. There is one belief of faith that says that those that practice it best, know the least about what they put their hope in. Knowledge has no place with faith and in fact diminishes it. This could be described as blind faith and tells us how we should hold belief.

I disagree with this brand of faith. Instead I think faith explains our actions not our beliefs. I think true biblical faith could be described as “active trust”. We put faith in many things throughout our day. I put faith in the chair I’m sitting in. I have faith that a bridge is safe and I have faith that drivers in other cars have control of their vehicles. I can claim confidence and strong belief in all of these things, but I don’t actually practice faith in them until I actively trust them (by sitting in the chair for instance). The same is true of God. I put my faith in Him when I listen to his calling and obey his commands.

The problem with blind faith is that it automatically disqualifies many of the men that we set as examples of great faith. For example how can we say that Moses had faith when he frequently heard the audible voice of God and practiced so many great miracles. How could he deny a belief in God? Or what about the Disciples; they were direct witnesses of the resurrection. They had no choice but to acknowledge that Jesus was Christ. And finally, Joseph Smith. He stands as the only man in all of history to see both the Father and the Son and recieve instruction from them. If blind faith is our model, then no one can by any means describe Joseph Smith as a man of great faith. He had more knowledge of God than anyone.

Faith is not just a matter of belief it is active trust. Satan and the demons have extrodinarily accurate belief in God, but they have no faith.

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4 thoughts on “Joseph Smith, a man of great faith

  1. I was mostly with you until the last sentence. For Satan and his followers it is a matter of rebellion from what they know to be true. Satan and his followers believe and have ‘faith’ that they will win in the end or at least at some point in time believed that. Moses and all that came before him and all that came after have the choice, just as we do, whether we will obey or disobey what we know to be true. I could have rejected my ‘experiences’ but instead chose to accept them and hold to them.

    And I think that the only reason Joseph Smith had his experience is because he had faith already. Joseph went to the grove EXPECTING an answer to his simple, heartfelt prayer. He had FAITH that his prayer would be answered. At that point it could be said to have been blind faith. You could call his prayer ‘active trust’ if you prefer. What came from acting on that faith was the vision he then experienced. And after that, regardless of how much tribulation or persecution he suffered, he never denied that which he knew to be true.

    Just like you said, listening and obeying his commands. But I think obedience requires faith.

    Hey look Dando, we agree on something! lol Actually, we agree on quite a bit. I’m just teasing you. :o]

    Good topic.

  2. That is not a 1:1 correlation. Knowledge and faith co-exist.
    If this existance did not exist, but God was assured it could, could it not be said that He exercised faith to call it into existence? He acted on His knowledge, but His act was an assurance that His knowledge would produce the desired result.

  3. From my experiences, I have things that I KNOW… and some things I accept by faith and act accordingly. But whenever I pray, I try to make sure I’m in a state of mind to expect an answer. Or when I make life choices, I look at the options and then pray and act on it if I receive specific guidence.

    Much knowledge comes after the extention of your faith. You act in faith that something is true, and then you get the answer or whatever and that brings knowledge. I hope that makes sense. So in many senses they at least overlap or you can’t have one without the other.

    And no, I don’t believe knowledge diminishes faith, I think it GROWS faith. The only way for that mustard seed of faith to grow into a large tree is to excersise our faith and push our faith and then we gain knowledge by getting results, and then push our faith further… So I believe knowledge enhances our faith and makes it stronger.

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