Monday, April 28, 2014

Belief, Faith, And Knowledge Are Different

As Mormons, we tend to equate belief, faith, and knowledge as being largely the same.  Then when we read the scriptures, we see these words and then apply them to text with the same meanings as we ascribe to them from our church meetings.  I "know"  that....  Anymore, these words are like fingernails on a chalkboard.  These words need to be understood and used properly.

I believe a lot of things.  I believe that government is corrupt.  I believe that the justice system in this country is an oxymoron.  I believe that TWA Flight 800, September 11th, and the JFK assassination were NOT government conspiracies.  I believe many other things.  But belief is passive.  You can sit back and read about stuff and form an opinion, but until you do something it is just belief.  I daresay that even Satan believes that Jesus Christ lives.  But it doesn't matter because Satan does do anything constructive with that belief.

In the gospel of Jesus Christ, it is critical to move our belief to faith.  This requires action WITHOUT KNOWLEDGE.  Belief that Christ can forgive sins is useless unless you do something.  You move to faith when you act on your belief.  When you forsake your sins and repent in sackcloth and ashes, when you implore the Savior of the world to forgive you, you have moved to faith.  When you serve your fellow men, do good to the poor, when you heed the promptings of the Holy Spirit, you are acting in faith.

You move to knowledge when you experience the end results of faith.  When your sins are forgiven, then you know that Jesus Christ forgives sins.  You also know that it is possible for sins to be forgiven.  You know because you have experienced it.

For a testimony to mean anything, you must have attained to knowledge.  Otherwise you are speaking in vain.  When you testify that Jesus Christ lives and have not beheld Him, you are taking His name in vain.  When you say that you know God answers prayers, you need to testify why that is.  Otherwise your testimony is meaningless.

It is important to have faith and knowledge in things that are worthwhile.  I have knowledge that Mythbusters is a great TV show.  I knowledge that Boston cream pie is the most delicious substance known to mankind.  This knowledge is not saving (except maybe my appetite).  Likewise, knowledge that "Thomas S. Monson is a prophet of God" or "this church is true" will not save you either.  I submit that such knowledge is vain.  The church cannot save your soul.  Thomas Monson cannot save your soul.  I think it is a waste of time to bear testimony of these things.

Finally, I encourage you to pay attention to the testimonies of those to whom you look for salvation.  Do the apostles and prophets of the church bear testimony of Jesus Christ?  Is their witness one of true knowledge or true faith?  Or is it just belief?  You will have to decide.  When your bishop bears testimony that the church is true and Jesus is the Christ, is this a true testimony based on experience?  You will have to decide.

What you might find is that the only thing testimonies are good for is pointing to Christ and giving you hope that you can obtain something.  No work of any man can save your soul.  I encourage you to gain your own testimony, one that is based on KNOWLEDGE.  It is knowledge that saves.  And what knowledge saves more than the knowledge that you are saved?  Go out and ask God to give you that knowledge.  You will know it when you obtain it.

1 comment:


    When it comes to man's relationship with God it is all about the heart condition. The question is, how is your heart?

    Luke 8:15 But the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.

    An honest and good heart is essential in order to be a true follower of Jesus Christ.

    Ephesians 4:17-18 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind, 18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart.

    Ignorance about God is due to a hard heart; it has nothing to do with a lack of intellectual ability.

    Romans 2:5 But because of your stubbornness and unrepentant heart you are storing up wrath for yourself in the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God,

    An unrepentant heart cannot produce a desirable result.

    Luke 21:34 "Be on your guard, so that your heart will not be weighted down with dissipation and drunkenness and worries of life, and that day will not come on you suddenly like a trap;

    Heart health is important in order to be ready for the return of Christ.

    Acts 1:24 And they prayed and said, "You, Lord, who knows the hearts of all men, show which one of these two you have chosen

    You can fool men into believing your heart is functioning properly, however, the Lord knows your heart. Jesus can help with heart surgery, it is up to you.

    Romans 1:21 For even though they knew God, they did not honor Him as God or give thanks, but they became futile in their speculations, and their foolish heart was darkened.

    Dishonoring God results in a foolish and darkened heart. This is not a heart condition anyone should seek.


    Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were pierced to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, "Brethren, what shall we do?"

    Peter preached the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus to the three thousand on the Day of Pentecost. That was the heart biopsy. (Acts 2:22-36)


    Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, "Repent, and each of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.


    Hebrews 3:12 Take care, brethren, that there not be in any one of you an evil, unbelieving heart that falls away from the living God.

    A Christian's heart must remain faithful till the end.


    (All Scripture quotes from: NEW AMERICAN STANDARD BIBLE)