Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Helaman 14

(November 16, 2015)
                Verse 13 has a clear indication of the principle that faith inexorably leads to repentance.  In my experience this is true, and it is also true doctrinally (and through common sense).  When we better understand the Lord, His love for us, and the truth of the Gospel we naturally want to bring our lives into conformance with the Gospel principles.

                This leads me to a pair of additional conclusions.  The first of these is the recognition that when someone is engaging in sinful behavior, it is often the result of a lack of faith rather than a wicked nature.  Perhaps, from time to time, it truly is someone evil but of course how could we know.  When confronted by those who have and do hurt us, if we can remember that they may simply be suffering from a deficiency of faith (a painful situation for them) it will help us to maintain charity for them.

                The second conclusion is that when we want to positively influence behavior the best mechanism for accomplishing that goal is something that would help the person we are working with the increase their faith.  Criticisms may make us feel good (and morally superior) to those who engage in wrongful (or hurtful) behavior, but this approach is often counterproductive.  Better to engage in behavior that is designed to build up the faith of those we deal with and aid them in developing a closer relationship with the Lord, and then allow their behavior to sort itself out.

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