“If we desire more faith, we must be more obedient…. Desire, hope, and belief are forms of faith, but faith as a principle of power comes from a consistent pattern of obedient behavior and attitudes” (Kevin W. Pearson, “Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ,” Ensign, May 2009, 38–40).
Reading the scriptures, prayer, bearing testimony–these are methods of increasing faith that I’ve heard recommended. But this is a first. I have ever supposed that increased faith would answer in increased obedience, not vice versa.
But there is such wisdom and clarity–and possibility–in Elder Pearson’s words: faith comes from obedience. Faith is one of those elusive qualities that are difficult to snare and even more difficult to ascertain that you’ve acquired it, but obedience sits right there in front of you, attended to or ignored. It’s hard to push in the direction of faith, but being more obedient, more consistent in attitude and practices, more responsive to personal impressions and direction from leaders is discernible, finite, and quantifiable.
I want to have greater faith. I want to move mountains and cure ailments. I want to be stalwart, not wimpy, and bold, not tepid in my witness and habits of faith. And most certainly, I want to know mysteries.
“But unto him that keepeth my commandments I will give the mysteries of my kingdom, and the same shall be in him a well of living water, springing up unto everlasting life” (D&C 63:23). And, remember, when Nephi saw his father’s vision of the Tree of Life, he saw the rod of iron and understood it to be “the word of God, which led to the fountain of living waters, or to the tree of life” (1 Nephi 11:25).
Tree of Life/Living Waters/Mysteries of the Kingdom/Love of God–it seems these are interchangeable and can be obtained by grasping the word of God and following where it leads. Obedience, in a word.
Worth getting out of bed a bit early to leave time for scripture study and prayer?
Worth magnifying a calling or giving up a Sabbath for?
I think so.