Continuing from yesterdays post * “faith is not illusion or magic,” writings of Elder Richard G. Scott. . .
“Even when you exercise your strongest faith, God will not always reward you immediately according to your desires. Rather He will respond with what in His eternal plan is best for you. Indeed, were you to know His entire plan, you would not ask for that which is contrary to that plan even though your feelings might tempt you to do so. Sincere faith gives understanding and strength to accept the will of your Heavenly Father when it differs from your own. You can accept His will with peace and assurance, confident that His infinite wisdom surpasses your own ability to comprehend fully His plan as it unfolds a piece at a time.
Exercising faith is not like pushing a button and getting an answer. The Lord declared: “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” Brigham Young observed, “God never bestows upon His people, or upon an individual, superior blessings without a severe trial to prove them.” (5: below) Personally, for some vital decisions I have experienced the grueling, anguishing struggle that precedes a confirming answer. Yet those trying experiences have been edifying. It is comforting to know that God will never try you more than you can manage with His help. 6
God uses your faith to mold your character. Character is the manifestation of what you are becoming. Strong moral character results from consistent correct choices in the trials and testing of life. Your faith can guide you to those correct choices. Clearly it is what you do and what you think about that determines what you are and what you will become. Therefore the choices you make need to be inspired by the Lord. Others can encourage you to make the right decisions, but those choices must not be prescribed by them. You need to ponder pray and exercise faith and willingly make choices consistent with the teachings of the Master. Such choices are made with trust in things that you believe. They will be confirmed when acted upon.7 Only enough guidance is given to lead you aright and not to weaken your growing character. That guidance will solidify your trust in Heavenly Father and the Savior.
The worthy character of the prophets of God is like a fabric woven from countless threads of correct choices, some small, some great, some difficult to make, others less challenging. You can grow your worthy character in the same way. Your exercise of faith in the defining moments of life is the substance of great character. Your faith will forge a strength of character that will be available to you in times of urgent need. Such character is not developed in moments of great challenge or temptation. That is when it is used. Character is cultivated patiently from attention to principle and doctrine, and by obedience to truth. In James we read: ” The trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.”8
Continued. . .
References: 5. Brigham Young in Journal of Discourses, 26 vols (London: Latter-day Saints’ Gook Depot, 1854-86), 3:205-6,