For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.

- Mosiah 3:19

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Loss of Faith in Jesus Christ

I realized today, or rather finally admitted to myself that I've lost faith in Jesus Christ. While I do not doubt His existence, nor do I not disbelieve in His Divine Sonship, I've lost faith in His healing power.

This is hard to admit, and more difficult to write about. I've spent the last two years convincing myself that because I had an experience that produced the spiritual knowledge in me that God lives, that Jesus is His Son, that that somehow compensated and produced the sufficient salvific knowledge.

This morning I read "Fundamental Premises of Our Faith" by Elder Oaks, there was a section in there that gave me more than a moments pause; rather it has consumed my day. Speaking on the purpose of mortal life, Elder Oaks explains, "Our theology begins with the assurance that we lived as spirits before we came to this earth. It affirms that this mortal life has a purpose. And it teaches that our highest aspiration is to become like our Heavenly Parents, which will empower us to perpetuate our family relationships throughout eternity."

The section I bolded that gave me pause. I realized then how far my desires and actions have drifted from purpose of mortal life. I do research in organizational behavior and realized that mission drift or mission creep often leads to inefficiencies in organizational performance. Drawing on that idea, the mission of God, and one that I sustained in the pre-earth life, is to work together with God, toward my immortality and eternal life. Implicit in that "mission" is the aspiration to become like Father.

I realized on the bus to campus that I've drifted from that purpose, and that I try to adapt to my surroundings and call that independence and freedom. The reality is as I've consciously chosen to stop praying, and reading the scriptures, that the aspiration of becoming like Father has weakened. As a result of it weakening, I've come to not see the purpose of a Savior (at least in my life). While I don't disbelieve in Jesus, I've simply lost faith in His ability to make me like Him and Father.

It's a thing of pride, I continue to try to convey (however much a pretense it is) to others that I am "abiding" in my covenants, buttressed there by faith in Jesus. The reality is I am not abiding in Christ. Rather, I've come to revel somewhat in the loss of faith, as it has enabled me to position myself in such a way as to keep His influence at bay. By that I mean, I control fully and often willfully His presence in my life. The loss of faith in His abilities positions me to think more critically (or I suppose) about my condition, my life, and my future in the "Kingdom." Yet, when I'm truthful, the power of His influence is stronger than my own willful desires to keep Him away.

I don't know what healing looks like, but I do know that God the Father is real; I do know that He loves me. Given that I've lost sight of the goal - that I've drifted from the mission of Heaven - I seek to re-establish that aspiration to become like Father. And today I realized that I cannot do that on my own. John 15:5 makes that evidently clear, " I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing." I might add, "for without me ye can become nothing."

A sobering thought. As I come to re-appreciate the Christ in my life, perhaps my faculties will awake and arouse to the reality of my aspirations, that I do seek to become like Father. I sure hope that it can be re-kindled, because right now, that is no desire of mine.

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