“The Transforming Power of Faith and Character“
Elder Richard G. Scott
Of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
I’m still in Christmas vacation mode, so the GCBC posts’ content has been a little lean, but Elder Scott’s is the talk for this week. Please find a few minutes sometime this week to study the talk and share what you learn from it. And enjoy your family time. 🙂
5 thoughts on “GCBC Week 13: The Transforming Power of Faith and Character”
This is a talk that for me, wove itself into the fabric of my deep desire to understand and apply. I ended up taking ten (yes 10) pages of notes and have reviewed them almost daily. My husband and I read through Elder Scott’s talk the first time together. As we read an image of a chain – link interlocking link one at a time –formed in my mind. Each principle built upon the next and was brought around full circle.
Here are some questions I am asking myself because of this talk:
1. Will my character earn me a Telestial degree? A Terrestrial degree? Or a Celestial degree?
2. Is my testimony based on emotion or upon my conviction that obedience to God’s commandment brings surety?
3. Do I make my decisions based on circumstances or on commandments?
Also, here are some truths Elder Scott taught me about Satan.
1. Satan WILL NOT triumph.
2. Even Satan has bounds in which he must operate. Those bounds are set by the LORD!
3. Satan CANNOT take away any blessing I have earned.
4. He CANNOT alter my character that I have made because of correct choices.
5. He CANNOT destroy eternal bonds between me and my husband and my children.
6. He CANNOT quence true faith.
7. Satan CANNOT take away my testimony!
These truths fortify me and empower me with the desire to continue to build a righteous character that will reflect my dedication to the Savior and His plan!
I absolutely LOVED this talk!
“Thus, every time you try your faith—that is, act in worthiness on an impression—you will receive the confirming evidence of the Spirit.”
Sometimes we are looking for a loud and clear answer from the Lord, but often what we get are “impressions”. As he says, as we act in faith on these impressions, we receive confirmation through the fruits of the Spirit–peace, joy, etc.
This is one of those talks that I underlined almost everything my first reading through. The second time I read it I used a highlighter to narrow down the “really important stuff”. Now, save a few lines, it’s orange. Yep, the entire thing.
This talk spoke to me. It was exactly what I needed to hear, in the midst of my hardest trial.
In the first paragraph Elder Scott says “.. faith can transform an individual’s life from maudlin, common everyday activities to a symphony of joy and happiness.” I KNOW this to be true; not only can “ho-humness” be transformed , but even life in the midst of life’s hardest struggles and surprises. Those trials that seem to take your breath away and knock you flat off your feet.
It’s hard to limit myself to just a few things about this talk, but here are my favorites:
-“We BECOME what we want to BE by consistently BEING what we want to BECOME each day.” A lot of our personal goals can be reached by just applying this principle. Consistent practice = accomplishing a change in character.
– Acting on faith builds righteous character. Righteous character yields more faith.
– THIS PROPHETIC PROMISE: “As you walk to the boundary of your understanding into the twilight of uncertainty, exercising faith, you will be led to find solutions you would not obtain otherwise.”
-The analogy of noble character being like a treasured piece of porcelain. I plan to use this in a FHE lesson, “accidently” breaking the treasure and then teaching this beautiful lesson. I want my kids to understand this and breaking something beautiful would be worth the illustration. IF something “precious” breaks in the meantime, I will use this story to turn that error into a life lesson.
– “A CONSISTENT righteous life produces an inner power & strength that can be permanently resistant to the eroding influence of sin.” The word that stands out to me is consistent. Not to be confused with perfect.
– “You get what you pay for” is true for spiritual matters. It’s true, don’t we often look back at our trials and recognize the increase in testimony and character?
– He offers a clear life pattern to resist sin, avoid temptations and stay on the narrow path.
– “Faith, prayer, love and humility hold no great significance and produce no miracles until they become a living part of us through our own experience.”
– Clear direction as to how to increase our testimonies and what a testimony is.
– The parable of the growth of the fruit tree. “Humility is the precious fertile soil of righteous character…” (Yet, another great FHE lesson or life teaching moment.)
-4 principles of peace and happiness
– ANOTHER PROPHETIC PROMISE: “Life may seem difficult now, but hold on tightly to that iron rod of truth. Your struggles are defining character, discipline, and confidence in the promises of your Father in Heaven and the Savior.”
SO very, very much to gain from study and actively applying these teachings!
This talk encourages me to want to 1) understand and 2) use – the principle of” faith” in a way so I can have the far reaching effects of this transformation in my Life so I can have the deep and intermingling of a “Symphony of joy and happiness” So what is it that I don’t “understand” about faith and how am I to “use” this “Faith”? Interesting questions.
I do like the point that some of the ways in a Christ-centered faith is to have faith in the capacity to discover: 1) hidden characteristics and 2} traits that can transform my life. I think that’s a key. I have noticed if I believe I can find things or keys that will help me I am more likely to discover things that do help me.
Quote:” When faith is properly understood and used, it has dramatically far-reaching effects. Such faith can transform an individual’s life from maudlin, common everyday activities to a symphony of joy and happiness. The exercise of faith is vital to Father in Heaven’s plan of happiness. But true faith, faith unto salvation, is centered on the Lord Jesus Christ, faith in His doctrines and teachings, faith in the prophetic guidance of the Lord’s anointed, faith in the capacity to discover hidden characteristics and traits that can transform life. Truly, faith in the Savior is a principle of action and power.”
I also like that Strength available in time of urgent need comes by believing in the POWER of obedience. Obey the commandments gives us “power”. Then if we believe and remember that power , we are strengthen. Example: If we believe there is power in obey the commandment and we desire that power we will desire to continue to obey. Oh-well – I’m having problems saying what I’m thinking.
Quote: “Faith in the power of obedience to the commandments of God will forge strength of character available to you in times of urgent need. Such character is not developed in moments of great challenge or temptation. That is when it is intended to be used.”
Also the relationship between “faith” and “Character” Quote: “Your exercise of faith in true principles builds character; fortified character expands your capacity to exercise more faith. As a result, your capacity and confidence to conquer the trials of life is enhanced. The more your character is fortified, the more enabled you are to benefit from exercising the power of faith. You will discover how faith and character interact to strengthen one another. Character is woven patiently from threads of applied principle, doctrine, and obedience.”
This talk was a great reminder that my eternal destiny is entirely up to me and what I want it to be. Sometimes I think we forget that God has granted us that agency, and that this principle is actually (or should be) a part of our everyday lives… for example, the student who gets an F and whines & complains or is upset that “the teacher” branded them with a bad grade, when in actuality, the bad grade was a result of the students bad choices (i.e., failure to do the work, not showing up to class, etc.), OR the parent who punishes their child for making a bad choice. Not that the parent wants to punish their kids, but that parents need to enforce consequences to teach their kids that everything they do has a consequence, good or bad.
A few of my favorite quotes are as follows:
“We *become* what we want to *be* by consistently *being* what we want to *become* each day.”
“Neither Satan nor any other power can destroy or undermine your growing character. Only you could do that through disobedience.”
“Be thankful that sometimes God lets you struggle for a long time before that answer comes. That causes your faith to increase and your character to grow.”
“You cannot be passive in life, or in time the natural man will undermine your efforts to live worthily.”
This one was probably my most favorite: “[Satan] cannot take away any blessings that has been earned. He cannot alter character that has been woven from righteous decisions. He has no power to destroy the eternal bonds forged in a holy temple between a husband, wife, and children. He cannot quench true faith. He cannot take away your testimony. **Yes, these things can be lost by succumbing to his temptations. But he has no power in and of himself to destroy them.**”
This reiterated to me that whatever power Satan has is only as much as I allow him to have in my life. God is greater than he is, and always will be. And I am entitled to His power, God’s power, as one of His daughters as I faithfully live my life and keep the covenants that I have made with Him.