23rd Ask Josh – Increasing faith

In Uncategorized on October 5, 2008 at 7:42 pm

kelda says:

josh…..question for you…..can you expound on the “increase our faith” doctrine found in the New Testament please?


Dear Kelda,

Increasing our faith? Well, I have no structured plan on this. I am just going to put that scripture and we’ll think it through. How does that sound?

In Luke 17, the Savior warned his apostles to take heed that they forgive any man who might trespass against them. Verses four and five say:
“And if he trespass against thee seven times in a day, and seven times in a day turn again to thee, saying, I repent; thou shalt forgive him.”
“And the apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith” (italics added).

So, it seems that the apostles were asking not just for a boost in faith in general, but finding the faith to forgive.

Inevitably, in your lifetime you will feel you have been wronged by another. And when you do, you will have to decide whether to inflict a punishment by harboring resentment for the rest of your life, or to say, “let God judge between me and thee, and reward thee according to thy deeds” (D&C 64:11).

We have to learn to let go. We all know that we need to be forgiving. And if we are honest with ourselves, we have more occasion to ask forgiveness than we have to forgive. In this light, it should not be so hard for us to overlook the the mote in the other guy’s eye, knowing that we will be needing similar treatment regarding the beam we have in ours. The example that comes first to mind is that of bad drivers. I do not consider myself a great driver by any stretch of the imagination, and I really don’t like to be surprised by other drivers on the road. However, once in a while people make erratic movements right in front of me on the freeway forcing me to hit the brakes on a rainy road. I don’t wave my middle finger at them, I don’t even shake my fist, in fact, I didn’t even get mad. Why? Because sometime I will be cutting someone else off, not just to settle the score with the driving community, but because I am an imperfect driver. Knowing that I will be needing patience from other drivers, I instantly forget the man who endangered my life just a moment earlier.

In the old song Streets of Laredo, the dying cowboy talks about not even mentioning the name of his killer to the cowboy’s grieving mother. “Please not one word of the man who had killed me, don’t mention his name, and his name will pass on.”

Which brings me to my favorite part of forgiveness: the forgetting. My poor parents likely can’t count the number of times I had completely forgotten to pack something, or bring a permission slip home, or to remember directions to get to anywhere I was supposed to be. My brain retained information like a marble holds water. I am now old enough to appreciate the value of being able to forget completely, because it has carried over to misfortunes perhaps caused by others. Once in a while I have someone come up to me and apologize for some past wrong from long ago that had obviously been bothering them for some time, yet I was completely unaware that it had happened, though after enough detailed description I begin to recall vaguely and then I might say, “Oh yeah! Now I remember! Oh, don’t worry about it. We’re good.”

Anyway, if you feel cheated, snubbed, shorted, overlooked, underrated, unthanked, or just plain wronged… let it go. I won’t go into the consequences of what will happen if we fail to forgive (though we know from the Doctrine & Covenants that there remaineth in us the greater sin if we don’t, and we know from the Lord’s prayer that our level of being forgiven is directly proportional to our ability to forgive others), but I will tell you. Letting go feels so very good. It will lower your stress. It will free up your time. You just don’t have time to hold grudges. I just wouldn’t get anything done if I wasn’t forgiving and forgetting instantly.

Perhaps that makes me a pushover, or maybe it means I don’t stand up for myself. I don’t think that’s true.

Anyway, I am way behind on blogs. So I have to cut this short and get on the next question. Forgive me if this isn’t the answer you wanted. And I’ll forgive you for whatever it is you may have done wrong to me recently, though I can’t quite remember what that is.

  1. Josh, this blog was very well done.

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