In my personal scripture study yesterday, I read about Alma's teachings to his son, Helaman. At one point, he discusses the Liahona, a divine compass of sorts, that guided their forefathers to a new, promised land. He says, "It did work for them according to their faith in God." (Alma 37:40) When they had faith--including the faith to live according to their gospel knowledge--they received the direction they wanted. When they didn't, they had no help and were left to their own devices (or, in this case, I suppose it was lack of devices). This led to a lot of tedious wandering in the wilderness. The operative factor was the faith.
|photo credit: faithcounts.net|
And so it is with a bunch of other things in the gospel. Prayer, for example, does not work without faith. With faith, it's communication with the divine Father of our souls. It's a chance to feel Him near and receive peace, counsel, and forgiveness. Without faith ... it's talking to our bed covers while our knees get sore.
Fasting with faith is a time for meditation and self-mastery. It puts a megaphone to our petitions, and shows the Lord the urgency or our plea. It is sacrifice, worship, prayer, and the power to unlock miracles. Without faith, it's a grouchy 24-hour starvation diet--if we even make it that long.
Even studying the scriptures takes faith. If we trust that there's revelation inside the pages (paper or digital), we find it. If not, we may stumble through a confusing and archaic narrative and wonder why we couldn't just read a cozy mystery or sweet romance instead.
Everything we do as disciples of Jesus Christ requires a measure of faith. Without it, there is no power to change circumstances, or to change hearts (including our own). Faith is the battery, and we need to keep it charged up.