I just finished reading As a Man Thinketh by James Allen and started reading Faith Precedes the Miracle by Spencer W. Kimball. I did not necessarily choose them because I thought there would be a connection but there definitely is. What is faith, if not a thought?
Maybe it is because the phrase, “It wasn’t raining when Noah built the ark,” is overused but I seemed to like this one better, “Remember again that no gates were open; Laban was not drunk; and no earthly hope was justified at the moment Nephi exercised his faith and set out finally to get the plates” (Faith Precedes the Miracle, p11). Maybe we can coin a new phrase, “Laban wasn’t drunk when Nephi said, ‘I will go, I will do’.” Or maybe, “Your family wasn’t eternal when you worked so hard to fit in time for FHE”. Or “Your kids weren’t on missions when you forced strongly encouraged them to sit still for prayer”. This could be fun. What phrases do you have?
In thinking about the work it is to exercise faith, I couldn’t help but think of As a Man Thinketh stating, “In all human affairs there are efforts, and there are results, and the strength of the effort is the measure of the result. Chance is not. ‘Gifts,’ powers, material, intellectual, and spiritual possessions are the fruits of effort; they are thoughts completed, objects accomplished, visions realized. The Vision that you glorify in your mind, the Ideal that you enthrone in your heart – this will you build your life by, this you will become” (p64). I would argue that you also need some divine intervention, a miracle, to achieve many of the goals that we have.
I mentioned here how amazing I consider Janet Rowley to be. She is a tangible example to me that, with effort, anyone, (even me?), can become a scriptorian. I am sure she has had some divine enlightenment to help her gain the knowledge and testimony that she has but I am also certain that it has required a lot of study and prayer. You need faith and work to get to the miracle. It gets back to the idea of Setting Spiritual Goals. Maybe that should be my New Year’s Resolution since, you know, I was already posting indulgent recipes on the family blog.