Monday, February 26, 2007

Expectation Faith

Recently I was able to put together and direct a musical fireside. This experience has been key to teaching me a principle of faith that I am beginning to better understand and apply in my life. From the very beginning of the process of putting this musical fireside together (and many other experiences) thoughts have been ruminating in my mind about faith, but not just any kind of faith-a certain kind of faith-that I will call expectation faith. This is sometimes known as- drawing upon the powers of heaven-faith. I've done research on this subject but would love to hear what you have to say on this topic. Here are a few things I discovered concerning "Expectation Faith."

Many of you have heard the phrase, "The pathway to heaven is paved with good intentions." Rex C. Reeve, of the first quorum of the seventy said,

..."If we are going to draw upon the powers of heaven, intention is not enough. We must obey every word of command with exactness. Remember these words of the Lord: “I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise”(D&C 82:10). We must actually obey the law; intention is not enough!"
I love that promise we have from the Lord. He is bound-we can expect Him to fulfill His promise-but we must do our part and ask in faith. Gene R. Cook, of the first quorum of the seventy suggested 6 steps to draw upon the powers of heaven: 1. Be believing 2. Commit yourself 3. Do your part 4. Pray 5. Expect trials of your faith 6. Expect the Lord to act. He also said,
"Faithful Latter-day Saints will want to know how to use their faith to cause all things to work for their good (see D&C 90:24), to act and not to be acted upon (see 2 Ne. 2:13–14, 16, 26–27), and to righteously prevail over self and others and situations (see 3 Ne. 7:17–18). They will want to know the specific will of the Lord concerning themselves and then, in faith, discipline themselves to submit to his will...You too can literally cause things to work for your good both in your life and in the lives of others if you are full of faith in the Lord. “All things are possible to him that believeth” (Mark 9:23). Commit yourself in advance to what you righteously desire. The righteous exercising of faith will bring it about."
This quote is very powerful and true. Don’t we all want to use our faith to make things happen in our lives? Don’t we want to have the power to act and not just have to deal with the hand we’re dealt? I think we all want to make things happen in our lives. To find that balance between relying on the Lord and using our agency, we fought for, to make things happen.

I know this type of faith might not be new to some of you (I know I was taught and engaged in this somewhat on my mission-whether knowingly or not) and you are probably much better at applying this kind of faith in your life. I welcome any of your personal experiences. Unbeknownst to me I was able to go through the 6 steps outlined above in the preparing, rehearsing, and the performance of the musical fireside, “Come Unto Christ”. Many people asked me if I was stressed, overwhelmed, nervous, etc. I think I surprised some of them by responding that I was enjoying myself and come what may I expected things to turn out great! I remember telling the choir that should also expect fireside to be a very spiritual experience. I had prepared, we had all practiced and put time and energy into the music, we were united in a righteous cause, we were building the kingdom, perfecting the saints, and most importantly we were putting our faith into action. Because my desire and prayer all along was that the spirit would edify all who would participate in the musical fireside and all who came to listen, I knew my prayer would be answered. I didn’t waiver, I didn’t second guess, and I didn’t stress out (this is the surprising part). I enjoyed every minute of the process (even with soloists and speaker dropping out last minute, struggling to find piano players, and juggling busy schedules) and expected the Lord to fulfill His part. He did. The fireside was a success-by the standard and requirements I had set-the spirit had been there and all were edified!
"Expect the Lord to perform according to his holy will and your faith. His arm will be revealed. He will take care of his Saints. He wants other people to learn faith by your example. He wants you to cause things to happen. He wants you to draw upon his all-powerful arm and the power that resides in you to do things in his way. He desires you not to be too deeply involved in or absorbed by worldly, temporal, superficial, or secondary things. These things must be dealt with, but even they must be handled spiritually… My brothers and sisters, today is a day of miracles. We believe in miracles. The Latter-day Saints may expect miracles according to their faith. As a member of this Church, you are authorized to take a leading part in the development of the kingdom of God on earth within your respective responsibilities. Pray fervently. Actively seek to increase your faith, and with that great gift from God, you can cause great things to occur within your life and in the lives of others." (Gene R. Cook, of the quorum of seventy, emphasis added).
I look forward to applying this principle more in my life and to hearing feedback from you.

1 comment:

Michael Sackett said...

Oh faith is a powerful thing. I'm proud of you trusting completely that things would work out. That's how I was on my mission. I very rarely felt any stress (there was anticipation or excitement) but never worried about what would happen because I knew the Lord wanted me to succeed and as long as I worked hard he would help me. I wish I could live like that today. Well, I can, so I wish I DID live more like that today. I think what I like the most is knowing that the Lord wants us to succeed. He wants us to believe and go forward in faith. We most asssuredly must do our part, but if we all had a litle more faith the world would function a lot better. Let's just say I need to work on my faith. And I will!