Wednesday, April 25, 2018

President James E. Faust on the abundant life and continuing to learn

President James E. Faust (1920-2007) was called as a Seventy in 1976, then as a member of the Quorum of Twelve in 1978. He served as a counselor to President Hinckley from 1995 until his death in 2007 at age 87.
"The Savior said, 'I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.' (John 10:10.) How is the abundant life to be obtained? The abundant life involves an endless search for knowledge, light, and truth....
"We gain knowledge from two sources. One is the divine and the other is secular. Rex E. Lee has referred to them as the 'rational process and the extrarational process.' (BYU Speeches 1981-82, p. 131.) We are all more familiar with the rational process that we learned in school and through lifelong study. The extrarational, or divine source, is less common. This source is, however, more sure. Both sources may be available to us. Fortunately, we do not have to choose one to the exclusion of the other. Brother Lee continues, 'We should feel equally at home in the academy and in the temple. We should regard each as a center of learning.' (Speeches, p. 132.)
"We are apparently part of an expanding universe. Secular knowledge is expanding very rapidly. Our knowledge of gospel truth is also expanding. Prophets continue to speak. Increased understanding of the scriptures is also possible. And so the opportunities for the abundant life increase as we pursue the quest for truth and knowledge."
- James E. Faust, "The Abundant Life," General Conference, October 1985
Click here to read or listen to the full talk
The Savior taught that through Him and His mission, we might have a more abundant life. The word "might" implies that the result is not guaranteed, but only obtained when proper conditions are met. President Faust teaches that we find that abundant life when we continue to "search for knowledge, light, and truth.." Becoming stagnant in the learning process means a loss of progress and richness.

The second great truth is that we should learn both temporally and spiritually, symbolically "in the academy and in the temple." Or, in the language of the Lord, "seek learning, even by study and also by faith" (D&C 88:118).

There is so much to learn! Temporal knowledge is expanding dramatically as our understanding of the world, the universe, science, life, etc. grows continually. And President Faust teaches that our spiritual opportunities are growing equally as there is an increase of light and understanding being offered to us through today's teachings and technologies. As we apply ourselves to take advantage of all these opportunities, we will truly discover "the abundant life"!

(Compilation and commentary by David Kenison, Orem, Utah, 2018)

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