Monday, September 16, 2013

Knowledge of Some Things Does Not Eliminate the Need for Faith in Others

I believe that there is an element of faith within Mormonism that is completely absent from most of the rest of Christianity - the idea that we literally have the potential to become like God.  It's one thing to believe in God - and even to have "faith" in God; it's quite another thing to have faith in what I believe the Bible actually teaches about our relationship to God, the Father, and God, the Son. 

The capstone condemnation in JSH 1:19 is that people can have a form of godliness but deny the power of God - and I believe the element of faith that can be missing even in the very presence of God is not that God exists but that God can and will take us from our imperfect, ungodly state and change us into His perfect, godly state.  According to most of the rest of Christianity, that is Mormonism's central heresy - while I believe its lack is the central abomination of their theologies, since it eliminates the Biblical concept that requires the deepest, most empowering faith. 

To apply that to the after-life, I look at the pre-mortal life and see, perhaps, that aspect of faith as the great divider of those who accepted the Father's plan and those who didn't.  Perhaps the 1/3 said, in essence, "We are scared to take the chance you outline in mortality, since we can't believe it will work out as you say it will. We will accept Lucifer's plan, since he has an obvious guarantee - even if it means we will return in the exact same condition as we leave."  Perhaps the 2/3 said, "We don't understand what we can't see, but we believe, nonetheless." 

I know this is reading our theology into a parable that might not have been meant to convey this message, but it's interesting to look at the parable of the talents in that light.  Two (of three) servants took what was presented to them and acted in confidence, while the other one (of three) was too scared of what he couldn't conceive to act as he was required to act.  Two had "active faith" - but all three knew the Master and what kind of man he was.  That applied to when they were away from the Master's presence, but it could apply just as easily to tasks given in his presence.

In that regard, knowledge of one thing (the Master's existence AND his demands of them) didn't eliminate the need for faith in other things - especially in the fundamental nature and potential result of their relationship with the Master.

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