Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Faith in Perfection

Faith is everything. When sharing one's beliefs something that is often said is, "I have faith in..." or "I believe..." or "I know..." and then they add whatever they feel strongly about at that time. I know that I have faith in family, friends, the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, modern-day prophets, priesthood blessings, the Holy Ghost, and a ton of other things! But the one thing that has been pressing on my mind lately is the unparalleled importance of faith in Jesus Christ. He is the center of everything. Without Him I wouldn't have a family that is full of love. Without Him there would be no Bible or Book of Mormon. Without Him there would be no priesthood or the need to restore it to the earth. Without Christ there would be nothing of importance for the Holy Ghost to bear witness of. Christ is all that I hold dear. There is nothing or no one that even comes close to the love and reverence that I have in Him.

Jesus Christ

I have been taught these things since I was a little boy. I have always believed in Christ and I have always known that He is important. Recently, I was looking something up in the Bible Dictionary (found in the back of the LDS Edition of the King James Version of the Bible) and I came across the definition of Faith. I have always been told that faith is to believe in something even though you can't see it  but what I found in the definition shows that there is more to it than that. This definition explains faith in a way that has made me think and think and think. Here is a portion of that definition of faith:
Faith is to hope for things which are not seen, but which are true (Hebrews 11:1; Alma 32:21), and must be centered in Jesus Christ in order to produce salvation. To have faith is to have confidence in something or someone. The Lord has revealed himself and his perfect character, possessing in their fulness all the attributes of love, knowledge, justice, mercy, unchangeableness, power, and every other needful thing, so as to enable the mind of man to place confidence in him without reservation. Faith is kindled by hearing the testimony of those who have faith (Romans 10:14-17) . Miracles do not produce faith but strong faith is developed by obedience to the gospel of Jesus Christ; in other words, faith comes by righteousness, although miracles often confirm one's faith. (See my blog: God Lives.)

Many people will say that they have faith in Christ because He suffered and died for all men and performed many miracles. While this is definitely true it is important to note that He was only able to do these things because He is perfect. He is perfect in every single way. I'll try to explain the importance of Christ being perfect by using an analogy.

Say that there is an up and coming basketball star that every professional team wants on their team. This guy is better than  Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, Lebron James, Karl Malone, and Shaquille O'Neal all put together. He is a perfect player. He is the perfect passer, rebounder, scorer, screener, defender, team player, etc. There are a lot of great basketball players in the world. There is not a single perfect one out there. No not one. What does it mean to be perfect? Well, to be perfect (from a basketball perspective) you can't have a single turn-over, miss a single block-out, miss a single shot, screen, or defensive assignment. You also need to be perfectly humble. (Man...I want this guy on my team!) He would teach and encourage his teammates to give it all that they have and then when they fell short due to their own imperfections he would step in and give the team the push that they need and they would win every game. In a sense, he would help each individual be more exact and as a whole the team would be perfect.

LeBron James

Karl Malone: The Mailman
Do we really believe Christ when He said, "If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever things that is expedient in me" (Moroni 7:33). The promise that He gives in this verse is extremely powerful. He is saying that anything is possible through Him (because of His perfections).

When we are suffering heartache Christ's perfect empathy will soothe us. When we are down-trodden Christ will lift us. When we are confused Christ will speak peace to us. When we want to know the truth Christ will let us know. However, He only will do these things if we show faith. We must pray for, strive for, and hope for His influence in our lives. With Him nothing is out of reach. It is written that "his hand is stretched out still" (Isaiah 10:4). All we need to do is grab it.

The Cristus