Saturday, October 28, 2017

Elder Richard G. Scott on learning to exercise faith in Jesus Christ

Elder Richard G. Scott (1928-2015) served as a Seventy from 1977-1988, when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles.  He passed away in September 2015 at the age of 86.
"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. But true faith, faith unto salvation, is centered on the Lord Jesus Christ, faith in His doctrines and teachings, faith in the prophetic guidance of the Lord’s anointed, faith in the capacity to discover hidden characteristics and traits that can transform life. Truly, faith in the Savior is a principle of action and power....
"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. The more your character is fortified, the more enabled you are to benefit from exercising the power of faith. You will discover how faith and character interact to strengthen one another. Character is woven patiently from threads of applied principle, doctrine, and obedience....
"We exercise faith by doing. Joseph Smith said that 'faith [is] the principle of action and of power' (Lectures on Faith [1985], 72)."
- Richard G. Scott, "The Transforming Power of Faith and Character," General Conference October 2010
Click here to read or listen to the full talk

Elder Scott teaches, echoing Joseph Smith, that "faith in the Savior is a principle of action and power." It is not possible to have faith without feeling the call to action; and further action generates greater faith. Power comes as faith and righteousness access divine strength.

It was interesting to see how Elder Scott linked faith and character. Faith leads to character, and is something that we must develop in order to cope with the challenges that arise in our lives:

So one of the quests of life is to be weaving our strength of character, gradually and patiently, "from threads of applied principle, doctrine, and obedience." As we follow the path of discipleship in humble obedience, we grow in faith, and our character is strengthened and prepared for times of need. It's a beautiful process!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2017)

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