Thursday, September 27, 2007

Lacunae, Part 1c - Faith & Knowledge

I know it's taken me some time to get around to this post. Truth be told, I'm rather intimidated by it. I feel that either I'm saying things that are blatantly obvious to so many, or I'm unable to articulate my feelings or thoughts coherently. Please bear with me, my thoughts are still works in progress.

So how does knowledge and faith truly work? As is made obvious in Alma 32, faith and knowledge are not, as so many suppose, opposites of a continuum. Rather, they are part of the same process. First, though knowledge is vital to our eternal salvation, it is a simple fact that no one will obtain all knowledge while in this life. Therefore, though faith may be dormant in one thing or another, we will never lose our need for it.

Therefore, I'd like to establish that there is never a need to stop exercising faith while we are alive because we will never completely understand everything. Previously, I said that the search for knowledge (both Facts and Truth) is vital to our lives on this earth. Why is that, if we can never gain real, ultimate knowledge? Perhaps the secret lies in understanding our situation here. We are not here to make ourselves perfect. We are here to enjoy the journey. We are here to travel through life and to see if we are willing to submit to the Lord in all things, whether good or painful. In short, we are here to exercise faith, to trust that God will never betray us or do anything that does not ultimately benefit us. To trust God to the point that we are willing to move without complete knowledge, because faith is not a couch potato attribute. You cannot sit and be faithful, you have to exercise it. Faith requires action. Therefore, we turn our faith towards serving God. We serve him by becoming like Him. We are told to learn - to seek knowledge - but only without losing our humility and dependence on God. We are told to let the Holy Ghost guide us to the things we should learn. We are told to learn by studying all we can get our hands on and by faith. The biggest mistake we make is to let pride in our knowledge supersede our need for faith. We allow ourselves to believe that knowledge trumps the need for faith, when in reality our knowledge is dependent upon our faith.

Without faith, we will never gain the Truth. We will be able to quote the scriptures and the General Authorities, but never know the mind of God they are inviting us to investigate. We will be comfortable in our ability to parse words to gain meaning, but never realize that our knowledge of that meaning is imaginary and transient. We will never gain knowledge without faith, because all the knowledge we could possess on our own is nothing. Only faith can lead us to truth. Only faith leads us to truly seeking knowledge. There is no difference between the two, as they are both vital parts to the same process.

In short, this division between those seeking knowledge (the believing skeptics) and those acting by faith (the sheep) is nothing but illusion.


  1. You have so beautifully set forth a description of how knowledge and faith are closely intertwined; and how they can work harmoniously in our lives to bring us closer to God, and to each other.

    Thank you for bringing joy to my mind and heart as I have pondered your post. :)

  2. Roann said it better than I could. Study and faith do go so hand and hand. I have known some with such a gift of faith that they felt even before they were on their knees to ask God about truth that they did not need to ask.


Unfortunately, I've found it necessary to screen comments. Unless your comment violates the commenting policy, it will show up as soon as I can approve it.

Popular Posts