Faith is the Wolf I Feed

Since being in Montana I have often heard the story of the two wolves (which I might be about to butcher). A man talks about two wolves fighting in his head one representing faith and the other representing fear, when he is asked which wolf wins he says, “whichever one I feed.” It is said that faith is the opposite of fear, but I like to think of it like light and darkness–there is no darkness only an absence of light–or hot and cold– the is no cold, only an absence of heat. I like to believe that fear is simply a lack of faith. The bible and the Book of Mormon are in agreement with their definitions of faith as being a hope for things that are not seen which are true (Hebrews 11:1 & Alma 32:21). When you fear something you are lacking faith in something else–ex: fear of the future is lack of faith in Heavenly Father’s plan. Faith is more than just a belief.
Faith in Jesus Christ is more than just a belief IN him, it is also a belief that he, through his atonement, has the grace and mercy to forgive all sins. It is more than simply believing that he is the son of God, but also believing that as your redeemer and savior he can make you whole, and that he can make others whole. Just as easily as he can forgive your sins he can forgive the sins of others. If we have this belief then we must also forgive others through the atonement of Christ. By not forgiving others we show our lack of faith in his redeeming sacrifice, we cannot expect forgiveness for things if we do not forgive. Our faith must be unto the forgiveness of ourselves AND of others.
Sometimes it is required of us to have faith in behalf of others. If we have faith that we can be healed of our trials, afflictions, and illness, we must also have faith that Christ can heal others of all things. In the story of Jairus’s daughter, it is not the faith of the daughter that brings her back to life, it is the faith of her parents. My father spent many of his years going down the wrong path, but my grandmother prayed for him every day. It was through her faith that my father is the faithful man of God that he is today.
We can perform miracles through our faith, and we can recognize the miracles being performed in our lives. When Christ raises Lazarus from the dead he says to Martha, “…if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God.” There are many more people than just Mary and Martha there to witness this miracle, many of whom did not believe in Christ. It is my thought that miracles happen in peoples lives who do not believe, and it is because they do not believe that they do not recognize that this is a miracle from God. When Moroni and his army are seconds from defeating the lamanites and offer them a treaty Moroni points out that God has delivered them into the hands of the nephites and they should surrender, but Zarahemna says, “We are not of your faith; we do not believe that it is God that has delivered us into your hands; but we believe that it is your cunning that has preserved you from our swords.” We can see how God has played a huge role in the fight with the nephites–far outnumbered but not outsmarted–but Zarahemna and the lamanites do not have that faith. With faith we can recognize God’s hand in our lives.
These miracles can also help to confirm our faith. Miracles cannot create faith because even those who have seen great miracles can turn away from God. Just as miracles can confirm that faith, trials can also strengthen our faith. When we go through trials and afflictions we must turn to God, this alone will allow Him to bless us with more faith, with strength to overcome our trials or patience to endure them.
“Faith is…a divine gift…as fast as we open our hearts to the influences of righteousness, the faith that leads to life eternal will be given us of our Father (Talmage 347).” We learn here that faith is a gift given only through God. If you express a true desire to have faith and believe in Jesus Christ, you can receive faith from Heavenly Father. To start you need only the “desire to believe” and to let that desire grow in you. I learn quite a bit about gaining faith from the parable of the talents. In this parable a man goes on a journey and leaves his possessions with his servants– five talents to one, two talents to another, and one talent to the last. When he returns he finds the first two have used what they received and thereby doubled their talents, but the third had been so afraid of losing his one talent that he hid it and did not increase it. The man was angry with this third servant and took the talent that he had and gave it to the man who had ten talents “for unto every one that hath shall be given, and he shall have abundance: but from him that hath not shall be taken away even that which he hath (Matthew 25:29).” I argue that faith is the same way. When we have even a small bit of faith and exercise it that it should grow, then will we receive more faith. Faith is a principle of action that leads to diligent study, prayer, service, and obedience to the commandments, and it is also through these things that more faith is obtained.
When you find yourself overcome by fear, let the light back into your heart, let the warmth of the Holy Ghost inside, let your faith shine. Remember Jesus Christ performed the atonement for YOU. He suffered all of YOUR pains and afflictions and sorrows. He has faith in YOU, you can have faith in him, enough to move mountains.
“If ye have faith as a grain of mustards seed, ye shall say unto this mountain remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove (Matt 17:20)….”
We are told that with enough faith we can do anything, but we must remember that Jesus Christ, who was he son of God, said “thy will be done” because he knew that only Heavnly Father could make that “anything” happen.
We must also remember who made the mountains and placed them where they are–Heavenly Father. We cannot change his divine plan. We cannot move a mountain out of a “gratification of the yearning  for curiosity , nor for display, nor for personal gain or selfish satisfaction.” Heavenly Father placed that mountain there for a reason.
At the time of Christ “removing mountains” was used figuratively by the Jews to mean “overcoming obstacles.” Is this any different than today when we talk about having mountains to climb? When we climb a mountain are we not moving it from towering over us, to being beneath or feet? We cannot rid ourselves of the challenges in our life unless it be the will of God, much like real mountains, but we can overcome them and put them beneath us and eventually behind us. The mountains in our lives are put there to help us learn and grow, but even with faith as a grain of mustard seed we can overcome our biggest trials and challenges (Talmage 356).

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