Thursday, August 28, 2014

We Need to Develop Both the Gift of Faith and the Gift of Study, Not One or the Other

What happens if you try to paddle a boat using only one oar? You go around and around in circles. If you paddle hard, you go fast. If you paddle slowly, you turn gently. But you still just go around in circles. It’s the same with trying to make study replace faith or trying to exercise faith but without study. We can often find ourselves just going around in circles. I think that the Holy Ghost cannot give us some answers until we are actively seeking knowledge.

Think what great progress has been made in medicine by those who use both oars in their training. For example, Elder Russell M. Nelson, a member of the Council of the Twelve Apostles, used both oars in his former profession as a heart surgeon. With the trained skills of his hands, the knowledge stored in his mind from his study and his experience, and the faith in his heart that he would be sustained by the Holy Ghost as he operated, he has performed modern miracles that have spared the lives and prolonged the vigor and energy of so many people, including Presidents of the Church and many General Authorities. If he had relied only on faith, he still would have been a great man, but he would not have been a great surgeon. If he had relied only on study, he might have been a great surgeon, but I think there are many assignments that the Lord would not have entrusted to him.

It is the same with us. Each woman needs to develop both gifts, the gift of faith and the gift of study, to the utmost of her capacity. We need to exercise both study and faith to become self-reliant. We need to understand their relationship to each other and to us.

Chieko Okazaki (October 1994 General Conference, "Rowing Your Boat") 

I believe this is a very important concept - worded differently, that we need to study things out in our hearts AND in our minds.  Focusing on just one leads to imbalance and distortion - and, eventually, if left unchecked, extremism.

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