Friday, May 27, 2011

Faith in the Book of Mormon

Ether 12:6-7 [BOM]
“6And now, I, Moroni, would speak somewhat concerning these things; I would show unto the world that faith is things which are hoped for and not seen; wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith.
7For it was by faith that Christ showed himself unto our fathers, after he had risen from the dead; and he showed not himself unto them until after they had faith in him; wherefore, it must needs be that some had faith in him, for he showed himself not unto the world.”
So here we have a weak allusion to Hebrews 11 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.” (Hebrews 11:1 (ESV)
This has become a popular definition of faith, as if it is the end all of everything scripture has to say about the concept of faith. It leaves out the whole question of antilegomena surrounding Hebrews.
But let’s face it, Jesus doesn’t need faith to show himself unto the world. He came before anyone believed in him. He showed himself to Thomas while he doubted. He showed himself to Paul while he was still very much Saul. Jesus just doesn’t work the way the above passage says. He never has. Jesus is much more merciful than all that.
Furthermore, taken to its logical consequence, the reason none of us see him physically today, would be that we do not believe. In fact this makes faith our work rather than the work of the Holy Spirit. Faith is not supposed to be a trial, it is a gift given to us. It sees us through the trials of this world.

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