Sunday, October 27, 2013

Faith vs. Doubt, Hope vs. Fear, Charity vs. Pride

When I was at BYU, a religion professor taught that the opposite of love was not hate but fear based on the scripture that perfect love casteth out all fear.  I think that was only partially correct. Mormon and Moroni labored to make sure we understand the original meanings of these words. After considering other scripture, it seems to me that the scriptural opposite of faith is doubt, the scriptural opposite of hope is fear, and the scriptural opposite of charity (pure love of Christ) is pride (enmity with God).

Faith is obedience with real intent. Faith is not blind belief without action. Faith obeys first waiting for the witness that comes only after a trial of our faith. Also faith knows that only by obeying first will we know of the doctrine, whether it is of God or our leaders speak of themselves. 

Doubt passive-aggressively says we won't obey or submit until we understand or God proves it to us.  Those who Doubt may also refuse to obey because life doesn't seem fare.

Real Intent is an eye single to the glory of God. Real Intent doesn't seek to be seen of men. Real Intent is not giving primarily for a tax break or good public relations. 
Real Intent doesn't hide evil behind a facade of humanitarianism.

Hope is an assurance through obedience of God's providence and blessing. Hope is not a casino, wishing upon a star mentality. Hope is not fear of scarcity but a trust in God's promise that "The Earth is full and there is more than enough and to spare", or trust that "Thy days are known and thy years shall not be numbered less" and a trust to "take no thought fir the morrow". and that God will provide us "sufficient for our needs". Thus people with Hope don't take bribes or illegal kickbacks and payoffs.

Charity is a motivation to act based on pure love of Christ, a desire to build Zion, and an eternal perspective. Charity is not a motivation based on fear of scarcity: not enough time, not enough resources, not enough oil, contemplation of death, overpopulation, climate change, peak oil, war on terror, etc, etc. Charity is not charity without righteous obedience. An evil man cannot cannot give a good gift any more than a rich man can pay indulgences to the Church for forgiveness of sins. Charity will give a good gift and exhibit faith through repentance and righteous obedience. Charity is the "perfect love casteth out all fear". Charity doubt's not and fears not.  Charity says "Not as I will but as thou wilt" instead of "Do as you will".

Many people really are turned off by the LDS Church because it is led by a living prophet and a local bishop that are going to tell them what to do and how to live their lives.  Many cannot stand to be told what to do, even by God and especially God's annointed servants.

Consequently, the most popular religion in the world is where individuals worship the god in their hearts.  While the true and Living God can dwell in our hearts through His Holy Spirit, most people worship an imaginary god after their own likeness that never really expects or demands much of them.

A religion that does not require the sacrificeof all things, never has power sufficient to produce the faith necessary unto life and salvation - Joseph Smith, Lectures on Faith

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