Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Seeds of Faith

What types of seeds of faith do you want to plant in your heart? From Alma chapter 32 we read that if we give place for a seed to be planted in our heart that it will grow. He states that if it's a good seed it will grow and if it doesn't grow it isn't good. I have to respectfully disagree on that point. I think that we can plant different kinds of seeds within our hearts and those that we nourish are the ones that grow, whether they are good or not. In fact, it is often easier for the seeds of weeds like doubt, contention, and selfishness to take over our hearts than the beautiful seeds of faith, hope, and charity. 

I understand that he was trying to teach a people who had a gross misunderstanding of faith, God and the gospel, so I know that Alma's lesson may not necessarily apply to all situations and people. I just read it and couldn't help but to think about how what we focus on is what ends up growing in us. If we focus on Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and their gospel, then the seeds of faith, love, service, and obedience will likely grow. If we focus on the things of this world then the seeds of greed, lust, anger, and discouragement will probably take root. 

I loved how even though Alma's analogy didn't quite hold up for me, his teachings about how to tell if you have a "good" seed (one that is based on truth) still taught a valuable lesson. He taught that a good seed will enlighten our understanding, expand our mind, and is discernible. I know that in my personal experience, I have often found that as I study the gospel my mind is opened and I understand in ways that I hadn't before. I am able to see situations more clearly, am able to discern between the good and bad influences around me, and can more readily hear and feel God speaking to me and guiding me. On the other hand, I have had instances where what I am reading has left me with a feeling of darkness or confusion. There's a distinct difference in the effects that truth and lies have on our minds and souls. Sadly, if you haven't been nourishing the seeds of faith it's not always easy to recognize and cast out those seeds of doubt and negativity. That's why it's so important to be careful of what seeds you sow in your heart. What we put our faith in is what will grow within us. 

As for me, I am putting my faith and trust in Jesus Christ and His infinite love, mercy, and grace. I want to grow a Redwood tree of faith in Him within my heart, one so large that there's no room for the enemy's seeds to take root. 

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