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Showing posts from July, 2016

Red alert! Spiritual self-destruction initiated

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I have a burning question. I've had it for a long time.

What is the difference between someone whose faith strengthens when faced with adversity and someone whose faith weakens when faced with adversity? The question takes on an even more mystifying air when I realize that I myself have fallen into both camps at various points in my life.

After years of pondering this question, I may have reached an answer that satisfies my curiosity.

A person whose faith strengthens when faced with adversity wants their faith to strengthen, so they choose to tell themselves a faith-strengthening story about what they experience.

A person whose faith weakens when faced with adversity wants their faith to weaken, so they choose to tell themselves a faith-destroying story about what they experience.

What do I mean by adversity?
Well, anything that introduces discomfort into a person's life. It doesn't have to be cancer. It could be something as simple as getting fired from a job or as stupid …

Fasting...am I getting the point?

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I'll never forget the first powerful experience I had with fasting. I was sitting in a big meeting of missionaries as a 19-year-old kid. I don't remember a lot of details. Someone played the piano. It was summertime. I was hungry.

But instead of feeling hunger, I felt humility. I felt close to God, and I knew I was experiencing the point of fasting. At least part of it.

Skip ahead to today. This morning I read a few verses of scriptures about fasting. This bled into scriptures and thoughts about the Sabbath Day, and eventually the Word of Wisdom. I noticed a pattern.

humility
yielding
whole soul
to be obedient to the commandments of God

As a 19-year-old kid, did I even get the point of it all? I guess I'd started to, because I recognized that taking a specific action caused me to feel close to God. But at that time, I'm pretty sure the point of the gospel in my mind was to convince other people to join the Church.

Since then, and today's study reminded me of this, …