JohnW wrote: ↑
Fri Mar 17, 2023 4:52 am
You're maybe somewhere in the general area of being correct. I'm not sure I can explain well, but I give it a try. The whole point of faith is to have faith in God, not necessarily to have faith that God can do something.
If someone has faith there is a God who does nothing, is there a point to that belief? For instance those who espouse a deistic God may believe He's a God who essentially does nothing for anyone. But it seems to me believing that implies the God who is intimately involved in human affairs is not.
God does what he wants, just like any other being with free will.
Whether anyone has free will or not, we do what we want. But it'd be interesting to understand what God wanted, if there were a God. If the Mormon God is true, vs the God of traditional Christianity, we'd likely expect God to want different things than what the non-Mormon Christian God wants. Really for no other reason than the two have different perspectives, lives and influence around them. God on Mormonism is one among many. Is physical and dependent upon those who came before. He, for instance, wants people to live out their dreams. But knows most of them dream of not being with Him and thus hopes to penalize those who apparently don't quite get it. The God of Christianity, it seems, wants to see many people in hell, otherwise He wouldn't have planned it that way. Those whom He saves are all He seemingly cares about. He doesn't want everyone praising Him for eternity. He wants a relative few arbitrarily selected individuals to fan Him, tossing non-existence grapes in His mouth and singing praising hymns for eternity. But it seems to me, neither of these two really decides what they want. It just is.
Faith has power in someone's life when they have faith in God the person. Faith doesn't have nearly as much power when that someone has faith that God will do something for them.
And if people have faith God is a deist God is there any power to be had there? How does believing in some unknown entity bring power to one's life? And what is power in this context?
To first order, faith is the same thing as trust. If we trust in a teacher, we are willing to do what they ask far more readily than if we only trust that the teacher will give us certain knowledge. The second one only works if we are asking for simple knowledge, not complex knowledge. It is a little bit like the original Karate Kid. Mr. Miyagi had the karate kid, Daniel LaRusso, do a bunch of household chores like painting the fence. Daniel didn't trust the teaching methods of Mr. Miyagi. In fact he didn't even recognize he was being taught. He only trusted that Mr. Miyagi would teach him about karate, which he thought was not happening. He didn't trust him as a teacher. It turned out he was teaching and training him the whole time.
This sounds similar to what I was describing. That is God knows what He's doing even if we don't. If someone loses faith after being told they would be healed through blessings and fail to be healed, it appears there is no more power in that person and God will rightfully condemn them for that lack of faith. But if a person's faith only grows stronger when the priesthood blessings prove untrue then God will justify that person. God is behind it and knows what He's doing. Let's assume 2 people. One is healed and the other is not, after a priesthood blessing for each saying they would be healed in due time. God punishes the one healed for not having enough faith to not be healed, we'll say and then punishes the other for having no faith to be healed, since we'll say in this instance, healing was God's desire but that sick person lost faith in God. If these instances are possible, what's the good of God's power? What does it do to bring anything to anyone?
This isn't a perfect analogy, but it gets the general idea. Yes, the things God asks us to do or the things he lets us suffer through are a mystery, sometimes even goofy or harmful. If we trust the teacher, we may learn a thing or two in the process. This is true faith, and yes, every once in a while it also produces a miracle.
“Every one of us is, in the cosmic perspective, precious. If a human disagrees with you, let him live. In a hundred billion galaxies, you will not find another.”
― Carl Sagan, Cosmos