Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Faith and Character

                We can bring the greatest of all liberties into our individual lives by living true and correct principles.  This liberty comes to us as we learn to live as though Jesus Christ were walking beside us.  We gain this freedom as we invite the Holy Ghost into our lives.

                  The liberty principle for today is number nineteen in a series of true principles suggested by Elder Richard G. Scott in his book
21 Principles – Divine Truths to Help You Live by the Spirit.  I will merely introduce the principle and suggest that you obtain Elder Scott’s book in order to truly understand this principle.  Elder Scott explained that principles “are concentrated truth, packaged for application to a wide variety of circumstances.  A true principle makes decisions clear even under the most confusing and challenging circumstances.”  You can see principle #1 “True Principles of Freedom” here.  

                  Principle #19 is the simple fact that there is a relationship between faith and character.  Elder Scott stated, “The greater our faith in Jesus Christ, the stronger our character, and increased character enhances our ability to exercise even greater faith.”  That is a powerful statement, and it provides a map of how to gain greater faith.

                Elder Scott continued, “When faith is properly understood and used, it has dramatically far-reaching effects.  Such faith can transform an individual’s life from maudlin, common, everyday activities to a symphony of joy and happiness.  The exercise of faith is vital to Father in Heaven’s plan of happiness.
                “Faith is a foundation building block of creation.  I am confident that the Savior Jesus Christ uses faith in His capacity to act under the direction of Father in Heaven.  The Master used it to create the most remote galaxies as well as to compose quarks, the smallest elements of matter we know of today.

                “Faith and character are intimately related.  Faith in the power of obedience to the commandments of God will forge strength of character available to you in times of urgent need.  Such character is not developed in moments of great challenge or temptation.  That is when it is intended to be used.  Your exercise of faith in true principles builds character; fortified character expands your capacity to exercise more faith.  As a result, your capacity and confidence to conquer the trials of life is enhanced.
                “We become what we want to be by consistently being what we want to become each day….
                “Strong moral character results from consistent correct choices in the trials and testing of life.  Such choices are made with trust in things that are believed and when acted upon are confirmed.  Faith is an important element in developing that trust” (pp. 90-93).

                It takes faith to do many of the things that we do in life.  It takes faith in God to bring children into this life.  It takes faith in God’s plan of happiness to be consistent in prayer, scripture study, and family home evening.  It takes faith in God to keep the Sabbath Day holy when there are so many enticing and exciting things happening on Sunday.  I am currently in a situation where I have to exercise faith in a new church assignment.  The calling requires a lot of time, and it takes me out of my comfort zone.  It is my faith that I am doing what God wants me to do that keeps me going.  Faith in God is powerful, and it is necessary for us to become like our Heavenly Father.

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