Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Thoughts vs. deeds ~~ Belief vs. faith.

I think it important to remember that faith is in the doing, not in the thinking.

Whether you do something because you are absolutely sure of it, or merely with the least degree of confidence, the exercise of faith is having done it.

Granted, an internal attitude may be reflected in the vigor of the action. The liveliness of the physical motions, and the individual’s bearing, countenance and tone of voice may all betray the individual’s degree of confidence. And those tell-tale signs may then have a bearing on the efficaciousness of the action. So there is a marriage between thought/attitude and deed.

But regardless of the thoughts and attitudes, there is no faith until there is a deed. And if there is a deed, that is faith. James 2:17-20.

Here is a suggested exercise to develop faith in using the Book of Mormon to share the gospel. Use a blue missionary edition Book of Mormon. If you don't have one, use the church pass-along card. If you don't have a church pass-along card, make one up with a 3x5 index card, or use any piece of paper:

Just offer someone a free Book of Mormon. Don't just give the book to them. Don't just give them a pass-along card if you're using that. Make the verbal offer first: "Would you like a free Book of Mormon?" And then, if they accept the offer, then you can give them the book or the card.

And if they decline your offer, you have not failed. You succeeded in making an offer. You did your part, and you respected their agency by not forcing anything on them.

If you make an offer with the attitude that you don't mind if they turn you down, your confidence will increase. And if nothing else, even if you are turned down, you will have proven to yourself that you can offer the Book of Mormon.

That action, making the offer, is an act of faith. Exercising faith grows faith, and it brings spiritual growth and blessings. Once you cross that threshhold, knowing that you can make such offers, the Lord will likely reward that, as in the parable of the talents, and provide you with more opportunities.



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