Monday, November 27, 2017

Elder Dallin H. Oaks on the power of faith in Jesus Christ

Elder Dallin H. Oaks (born August 12, 1932) served as president of BYU from 1971-1980.  He was then appointed as a justice of the Utah Supreme Court, and resigned when he was called to the Quorum of Twelve Apostles in 1984.
"When we try to develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ rather than merely cultivating faith as an abstract principle of power, we understand the meaning of the Savior’s words: 'If ye will have faith in me ye shall have power to do whatsoever thing is expedient in me' (Moro. 7:33).
"Similarly, the Savior taught the Nephites that they must always pray to the Father in his name, adding: 'And whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, which is right, believing that ye shall receive, behold it shall be given unto you' (3 Ne. 18:20).
"Here the Savior reminds us that faith, no matter how strong it is, cannot produce a result contrary to the will of him whose power it is. The exercise of faith in the Lord Jesus Christ is always subject to the order of heaven, to the goodness and will and wisdom and timing of the Lord. That is why we cannot have true faith in the Lord without also having complete trust in the Lord’s will and in the Lord’s timing. When we have that kind of faith and trust in the Lord, we have true security in our lives. President Spencer W. Kimball said, 'Security is not born of inexhaustible wealth but of unquenchable faith' (TSWK 72–73)."
- Dallin H. Oaks, “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ," General Conference, April 1994
Click here to read or listen to the full article

Elder Oaks teaches that there is a difference between "cultivating faith as an abstract principle" and working to "develop faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." The specific target and focus of our faith makes all the difference! But then once we begin to develop the seed of that faith in Christ, we have to know how it functions in order to exercise it. This is crucial:

Having faith also requires having trust—in the Lord's timing, and in His "goodness and will and wisdom" that He will always do what is right and best for us. No faith can bend His will. Having true faith in Him brings ultimate confidence and security, so that come what may, we will be prepared to confront and carry on. What a priceless gift!

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

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