What is Faith?
On average, over 60 people every day on the internet ask, "What is faith?" Yet without realizing it all people live by faith, though the focus of their faith will differ whether in science, religion, or health care. Faith is simply a trust or confidence in someone or something. Faith is an action word, as opposed to its precursor; belief. When we act on belief as if it were reality, we are exercising faith.
One’s faith can be either highly educated or blind. But, problems arise when the belief is not based on true principle. Expectations based on a false principle leads to disappointment. Often, loss of faith is a product of belief in things that aren’t true. In science, this leads to further research to correct the belief and any associated actions taken. This should be the same in religion or any other field of research.
In a modern information age, with its accompanying skepticism, it is increasingly difficult to act without credible, measurable proof of some proposed belief. In other words, the attempt is to live without faith, acting only on proven principles. The catch is that in so doing, the seeker puts faith in a system of proof that will always prejudice the conclusions.
Is it possible then, to learn a skeptical faith? Is an intelligent, thoughtful faith desirable; is it risk free? Should one plan on gaining an understanding before or after exercising faith? Can understanding come without experience or do they come in tandem? Can one exercise faith, or take certain actions, dictated by a certain belief, for a trial period, and then skeptically analyze the variables and results?
Good pragmatic answers to these questions can be found in the writings of an ancient religious skeptic named Alma, as recorded in The Book of Mormon. You can further your research today by asking for your free copy:
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Most, asking about faith, are seeking to understand faith centered in God. A viable test process would include reading what God has taught about the process, acting on those teachings over time, and then honestly analyzing the results.
One Biblical writer explained faith as "the substance (from the Greek meaning: assurance, or basis) of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen" (Hebrews 11:1). In other words, one acts with assurance, in the present, on a hoped-for divinely promised future outcome, based on a certain belief, and substantiated by trusted evidence experienced in the past. As indicated above, if the belief is centered on true principle then one’s action should produce the desired outcome. If the source of the belief in question is a prophet, book, or Jesus Christ and the outcome is consistent with the recommended belief, then confidence in that source is increased; hence faith is increased, leading one to want more. If actions over time, produce increased personal capacity and integrity then the evidence becomes measurable, verifiable. In the end, relationship with the source grows more real, reliable and personal. Hence, both the Bible and the Book of Mormon teach that faith in Christ should be the center pursuit during our mortal state. The hope is that faith in God will access God’s wisdom and power in our lives as He has promised in scripture. You can also order a free DVD “Faith in Christ” to further your research and experience His influence.
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Faith is therefore the first principle in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. He taught that faith is unto repentance which then leads to baptism and reception of the Holy Spirit. His power and influence is experienced in real-time, on condition that we believe Christ as opposed to just believing in Him. That means we must exercise faith in Him through our obedience to His teachings. The first prophet/leader of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints taught, “Let us here observe, that three things are necessary in order that any rational and intelligent being may exercise faith in God unto life and salvation.
First, the idea that he actually exists.
Secondly, a correct idea of his character, perfections, and attributes.
Thirdly, an actual knowledge that the course of life which he is pursuing is according to his will.
For without an acquaintance with these three important facts, the faith of every rational being must be imperfect and unproductive; but with this understanding it can become perfect and fruitful, abounding in righteousness, unto the praise and glory of God the Father, and the Lord Jesus Christ.” (Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith, 3:2-5)
To learn more about faith, or ask questions online to a representative of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.
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This FARO article revised by Dr. Craig R. Frogley https://plus.google.com/u/0/collection/w5b6lB