Why a bridge of faith?

It is very easy to find counsel from other sources besides the lord. From the Doctrine and Covenants Section 56, verse 14, comes this seminal counsel:
Behold, thus saith the Lord unto my people—you have many things to do and to repent of; for behold, your sins have come up unto me, and are not pardoned, because you seek to counsel in your own ways.
And your hearts are not satisfied. And ye obey not the truth, but have pleasure in unrighteousness.
I personally have amply thought about this truth for many months. There are many ways to assign meaning to a certain particular set of circumstances or realities. For instance, there are many ways to find meaning or purpose to life. This is provable by driving down the main street of a small town and noting all of the different churches or religious buildings. Many religions have similarities among their doctrines. Many also have copious amounts of contradictory explanations. Beyond religion is the subject of philosophy, where great thinkers delve into the great questions that have perplexed mankind for centuries. These different teachings and ideas come to a head articulately with a quote from the Dean of undergraduate studies, Dr. John Bell. In a cell biology class, he once said to me, “It is a difficult task to look at the realities around us and try to assign meaning to them. The realities have always existed. We try to determine their cause and meaning.” With all of the different realities around us and perplexing explanations, it is important to continually seek out answers.
God encourages our enquiry into his plan. It is when we seek counsel beyond what God has given us to justify our own actions that he is disappointed. Why would god be upset at our inquiries if we look at following other explanations? Many convincing evidences and arguments exist for and against God, let alone a certain definition of God. In many forms of debate, a position is taken on a particular matter and then pieces of evidence are used to prove the validity of either side. A certain source could be used by either side, manipulated in a certain way to prove something one way, and then manipulated differently to prove the other, even though both views are totally contrary to one another. With this difficulty in mind, why wouldn’t God provide a more sure or convincing way of knowing his truth, that we more fully follow it?
God has certain laws for us to abide, and He has a particular way that He wants us to follow which begins with faith. Faith, I believe, is the crux to why obeying this counsel is so difficult, yet it is also the key to God’s plan for us.
In my own personal quest for truth, I find it difficult accepting things I have no hard-line evidence for. Many may say that the gospel provides hundreds of pieces of evidence, yet I believe each one of those purported evidences still require some degree of faith in order for it to perpetuate a belief in the gospel as the LDS church teaches. Sometimes, I intimate that if we only knew by seeing an angel or by some other undeniable experience that God had a specific plan for us then we would certainly follow. But this would be contrary to God’s purpose. I don’t suppose to know his full purpose or how He will bring it about, but I suppose it has something to do with our desire. Since faith is what bridges the gap to everything within the gospel, we must cross it because we want to, and not because we are compelled to through knowledge.
It is in this way that God truly proves us. This is what defines the nature of our hearts. By providing a certain path and asking us to exercise faith, we choose to trod it out of desire and nothing else. It is our prerogative to find other counsels that fit our desires, like finding evidence for an argument we aim to win. It may be that in seeking counsel other than that from God, it is because these are the counsels we truly want, not because they are more convincing or irr-refutable.

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2 thoughts on “Why a bridge of faith?

  1. Kate says:

    Great post, Ben. You are very well-worded and always seem to really encompass the whole thought you’re trying to convey- something I struggle with! I’m always rambling. But it brought up a lot of good points, and things all of us encounter at some point or another. It’s a tricky thing, this matter of Faith. For me I think the reason Heavenly Father allows His answers to be so unique each time, to be sometimes hard to single out, is because of His huge amount of trust for us. He created us, and by doing so He knows just how smart we really are and what we’re able to discover about ourselves and the world. So He keeps it simple and says, essentially, “Go about your life and learn as much as you can, better yourself and gain knowledge- but while doing this, ALL you have to do is rely on me throughout, because some things you won’t understand, and some things are out of your control. These are the things I am *especially* there to help you through.” I recently was reminded how important it is WHERE our faith is. If someone has a testimony of the gospel, sort of, but finds themselves going to church because they really like the bishopbric, then what happens when that bishop offends them in some way? No more sacrament meeting. If someone loves and respects Thomas Monson, and that turns into a sort of worship of him, then what will happen to the testimony when he passes? This is why I’ve (and everyone else who says they have a testimony for themselves) had to really strive to be sure my testimony is rooted in Jesus Christ Himself, all the time. I might love and argue for other aspects of the Gospel, but if I truly believe Jesus Christ is my Savior and gave His life for me, then all of the technicalities naturally fit into place.But that requires Faith, and I think the Lord knows you’re capable of so much faith, AND so much knowledge.Think if some of the geniuses out there DID bridge the gap between their huge amounts of knowledge and what they don’t KNOW for fact… they would then have an entirely new path to walk on once they crossed the bridge. The new advances they could make would be astounding. They’d have the worldly knowledge, and be on their way to a heightened amount of knowledge that could help us here.

  2. paulmhutchings says:

    Good post Ben. It sounds like you are answering some of your own questions. I don’t all of the answers as to why God requires a bridge of faith. The accountability factor is probably one piece… You know, for our own protection. One other reason is that He may want to manifest his love for us in ways that cannot be done by facts and proof. Yesterday, a friend and I went to our stake priesthood meeting. There was a pretty good feeling present the entire meeting but while the Stake President was sharing a recent experience he had while visiting Carthage jail where Joseph and Hyrum were shot and killed—-The feeling in the room was almost tangible. There was a HUGE difference in the atmosphere and in the way that I felt while he was talking about those events. My friend noticed the same thing. I feel that because I was trying to learn and be obedient by attending that meeting – God rewarded me with a manifestation that communicated his awareness of me in a way that no facts or figures could ever do. I am more grateful for that type communication than others. I think that your point on desire is another big one. God doesn’t want to prove himself to everybody. He wants to prove himself to those who want to know Him. In that regard – the bridge of faith may be more in line with His purposes.

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