What is faith?
To have faith is to “hope for things which are not seen, which are true” (see Book of Mormon, Alma 32:21 and Hebrews 11:1). Each day you act upon things you hope for, even before you see the end result. This is similar to faith.
Faith in God is more than a theoretical belief in Him. To have faith in God is to trust Him, to have confidence in Him, and to be willing to act on your belief in Him. It is a principle of action and power.
The Book of Mormon prophet Alma compared faith to a seed. If you plant a seed and nourish it, if it is a good seed it will grow and eventually bear fruit (Alma 32:28-43). It is the same with faith. If you are obedient to God’s commandments, study His word, and have a desire to believe in Christ, faith will grow inside of you.
Faith is a huge, multi-faceted subject. One thing I recently realized, or was taught by the Spirit, is that "faith is believing what you know, and knowing what you believe." Faith is that of which you are certain; to be of any saving value it must be centered in Jesus Christ. Scripture defines it as hope in unseen truths. It is often associated with trusting in the Lord, His love, His plan, and His timing. When it is sufficiently pure it is a principle of power: by faith, wrote Paul, the worlds were framed. Miracles come of faith, but not the other way around. Show more
Faith is an action. Faith is hoping for something that may not be seen, or heard, but it is true. Faith is something that motivates you to make good choices, it influences the relationship you have with God, it strengthens the charity you have as well. Faith is the first step to coming to know God and Jesus Christ. Faith is what brings about and replaces feelings of inadequacy, fear, confusion, and pain. Faith is the foundation for how we choose to live. When we love God then our faith, and our actions will represent that love. Show more
Faith is taking action because of a hope in something. Often the Savior asks of us to do certain things or live in certain ways. When we see a stranger in distress, we stop and help them as Jesus commanded us to in the Good Samaritan Luke 10:25. The act of helping is the evidence of our Faith in Christ. We are asked to tithe. Tithing is evidence of our faith. We tithe in hopes of the promises in Malachi 3:10 that the floodgates of Heaven are open to us. Faith is when we put our beliefs and hope into action. Show more
It's another word for commitment. When assessing one's own faithfulness, it may be easier to ask, "How committed are you?" Commitment Elder F. Burton Howard of the Seventy http://www.lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?hideNav=1&locale=0&sourceId=a4237cf34f40c010VgnVCM1000004d82620a____&vgnextoid=2354fccf2b7db010VgnVCM1000004d82620aRCRD Show more
Cory Christensen answered...
The simplest way to define faith, I think, is this: Faith is trust. Faith is so difficult to have. It is extremely hard to trust in something I cannot see, hear, or sometimes even feel. But it works! Faith is a power, a power that brings miracles and joy into one's life. The more I strengthen my Faith, the closer I feel to God and his Son. I begin to understand more, and to feel enlightened. Why is Faith necessary? I believe Faith is an eternal principle, and that we came to Earth to learn BY it. It is how we come to know God and the laws he has set for the Universe. It is a tool for teaching, learning, and developing. Show more
Aaron James Stark answered...
Faith to me is like knowing the sun will rise the next day. Faith to me is hope. In Alma 32:28 Faith is like a little seed. In The Articles of Faith; "We believe that the first principles and ordinances of the Gospel are: first, Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ." Faith is a principle of action, knowlegde, and power. Hebrews 11: By faith we understand the word and work of God. The faith of the ancients was centered in Christ. By faith, men subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, and worked miracles. Faith is not really blind faith, but light. Light or even fire needs a sorce. Again in Alma 32:42-43 to me Faith is a living thing, something that can grow. If you let it: ACT, you will understand: Intelegence. To whom should we have faith in? Christ asked the children to follow Him; (Luke 18:22) I know that when we pray in faith we will be able to see God's plan more clearly. It's like glass. You might not see it right away, but in time and enduring faith, growing into a testimony; you can feel the Savior's love. Faith in God is more than a belief in Him. To have faith in God is to trust Him, to have confidence in Him, and to be willing to act on your belief in Him. Act, do all things in faith in the Lord Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. Feed the flames of your faith and let it shine. Shine your light so that the world may see Heavenly Father's plan and let the Holy Spirit help you. They love you, they will help you. Ask and you shall receive, knock and it shall be open unto you. Show more
Faith is a huge topic, rarely fully understood even by people who talk about it a lot. In the Mormon conception, it's a step of confidence between mere belief and full knowledge. It's perhaps best described by contrast with these two extremes on the continuum on which they all lie. First, faith is not that passive thing we call belief because it's a principle of action. So for someone to have faith, they have to be motivated to put a belief into practice, not merely be content with keeping it in their mind. For example, we believe that Christ is the Savior, but because we have faith we ACT as if this were true, and follow His example as best we can. In fact, "acting as if..." is a fairly good phrase to define faith. On the other hand, faith is not "perfect knowledge" either. There is enough of an element of uncertainty about the thing we have faith in, that it takes an effort of conscious decision-making to test our faith's hypothesis. If we had a full knowledge of a thing, that whole test, and the faith to find out if it's true, wouldn't be necessary. Atheists will argue that faith is mere belief (and baseless, at that), but what I have described for faith here leads to a more "scientific" approach that Atheists would like to admit is operable in the minds of the faithful. The proper response to a scriptural assertion, then, becomes not blind obedience, but rather careful thought, hypothesis forming, and testing. As tests come back proven or unproven, faith will grow in the right direction until it approaches "perfect knowledge". Show more
Robert Bruce answered...
I have learned through many experiences in my life as well as thinking about what is written in the scriptures especially what is found in the New Testament in the book of Hebrews, chapter 12:1 what faith means to me. I believe that it is having an assurance or confidence in one's feelings that something is true. It has to be based in the belief that Jesus Christ is alive today even though he or she cannot see Him. Also that He has concern for that person. We also know from scriptures that is one of the Gifts of the Holy Ghost to an individual. It is something that is real, but it is not seen. The principle of faith is strengthened by applying it. In other words, one goes out does something. For example if one has a feeling that he will feel better if he or she goes and drinks a glass of water, if he or she does so, then the end result will be that he or she feels better. In contrast, if one chooses to ignore that feeling, then one will not feel better even though it is true. If does not follow that assurance or feeling, then the power of the principle is weakened and eventually becomes very weak to be comparison to a bonfire dwindling down to a small flicker of an ember. Faith in Jesus Christ is critical to living in this world with some degree of peace and happiness. It can be compared to water being essential for our existence. One reason for this is that faith in Jesus Christ gives us strength to face and displace the powerful and common emotion of fear. This emotion of fear is one which all people have experienced. This emotion is literally controlled by faith in Jesus Christ and gives each of us the ability to be at cause in helping others out. Fear hampers our ability and desire to help others out and results in us being acted upon by whatever forces. This is not in the design or plan of the Almighty God. That is why we have been given the blessing of developing a the gift of faith. In the words of Angela Johnson, well noted sculptress, having faith in Jesus Christ means relying completely on Him knowing that even though you do not understand all things, He does. This gives us the strength to move on and live a peaceful life. Show more