This week was a strong success, and we were elated to spend it inside the homes of many. Usually we don't get lots of lessons in Junin, but things worked differently this time. Many people we visited had suddenly been shattered by recent devastating experiences. While this concerned us, it did soften their hearts to listen to our message, and we could provide comfort and support. Many expressed the need only to have someone who cared enough to check on them and talk them through it, as it was awful to bear alone. I believe that upon seeing the situations turn out alright, their faith in God will increase.
Faith is not just a principle of hope in the future, nor does it rest in reliance on blessings yet to come. At one point this week, I prayed for heavenly direction according to what my faith merited. In other words, I wanted a bank withdrawal, cashing in on my faith for what it was worth. Is this the currency of heaven, a system in which miracles, blessings, and spiritual promptings come as we reach certain levels of faith? On the contrary, I think part of faith is merely placing greater worth in what we have. Rather than upgrading to what my faith merited, I found that what we already have becomes more than what we merit. In belief, we find God's discourses in the Scriptures; a personal Almighty Father listening to our concerns; a modern prophet guided by revelation; and unbreakable purpose to our actions. Outside of belief, all monumental blessings such as these become mere cultural traditions to provide a relief to spiritual concern.
As faith increases, so then does an understanding that we have far more than we 'merit'. By faith then is the entire world transformed, and steps in our lives carry dramatic import. By so believing, my mission rises from a valuable foreign experience -- to an indispensable growth opportunity -- to an eternally significant service -- to their service to my deepest desires granted, all inextricably connected and rising on to something understood fully only on some distant day when all promises are fulfilled.
Such faith's fate at the end of its evolution is not, I think, only knowledge...for Hebrews 11 says God created worlds without end through faith rather than factual understanding. Faith, then, ought to be our goal. For through it and the action it demands we wax transcendent.
In the name of Jesus Christ, the center of faith in this world, Amen.