Background for the Lectures on Faith
What are the Lectures on Faith?
Why should we study them?
If the Lectures on Faith were scripture, why were they removed from the LDS canon in 1921?
Why is it an issue that the Lectures on Faith were removed from scripture?
What saving truths do the Lectures on Faith teach?
Faith: The Principle of Action
READ LoF 1:1
What other title could these lectures have been given besides the “Lectures on Faith”?
What is the difference between revealed religion and any other kind of religion?
Why is faith the first principle in revealed religion?
Why do we need to have the Doctrine of Christ unfolded to our understanding – isn’t it enough to love God and try to be a good person?
READ LoF 1:2-5
Why does Joseph lay out the subject of faith in this order?
READ LoF 1:6
What is Lecture One about?
READ LoF 1:7-11
What is faith?
What does “principle of action” mean?
READ: A quick summary of C.S. Lewis’ story of the Narnian dwarves from his book, The Last Battle (see Chapter 13: How the Dwarfs Refused to be Taken In): the atheist Calormene/Narnia Alliance has taken over a stable that they pretend is the Shrine of the Calormene God, Tash - which none of them actually believe in. In reality, they have placed a soldier inside the stable to kill whoever enters or is thrown into the building and then say that Tash did it. But inside the stable, the real Tash shows up, as does Aslan’s messengers (Aslan is Christ). The Stable door is a portal into the spiritual realm from the physical world, but the soldiers don’t know it. Anyway, a dozen dwarfs are thrown in to the stable but they are not claimed by Tash or Aslan. Everyone else that is thrown through the door sees the heavenly (or hellish) world beyond, but the dwarfs “refuse to be taken in.” To them, they are all still tied up in a dark stable in the physical world. Aslan’s people try to talk to them; the dwarfs can hear them but can’t see them. The people (true messengers or angels) can’t believe that the dwarfs can’t see them. But the dwarfs can’t believe that they are not in a dark stable. They say, “How can you go on talking all that rot? Your wonderful Lion (Aslan) didn’t come and help you, did he? Thought not. And now, even now, when you’ve been beaten and shoved into this black hole, just the same as the rest of us, you’re still at your old game. Starting a new lie! Trying to make us believe we’re none of us shut up, and it ain’t dark, and heaven knows what.” Then Aslan himself comes through the portal to them - and his people ask Him to do something for the poor dwarfs. He says, “Dearest, I will show you both what I can, and what I cannot do.” He talks to the dwarfs but all they hear is thunderous noise. He gives them a feast and all they taste is garbage. They will not be taken in. Aslan says, “You see, they will not let us help them. They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their own minds, yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out. But come, children, I have other work to do.”
What does this story illustrate how our faith dictates what we see of the real world?
What insights does this story reveal regarding how God is constrained in working with us, if we lack faith?
Faith: The Principle of Power
READ LoF 1:13-16
What does it mean that faith is a principle of power for God (and not just for mankind)?
What is implied by the fact that one of God’s primary attributes is faith and that He used faith to frame the worlds?
READ LoF 1:17-21
How is faith a principle of power for mankind, too?
READ LoF 1:22-24
What does it mean that “chaos heard”?
How can mankind gain sufficient faith to stop the sun in its course?
What is implied by the fact that faith is the first great governing principle which has power, dominion and authority over all things?
What does it mean that by faith mankind exists?
What does it mean that “by faith mankind is upheld”?
What does it mean that by faith mankind are changed?