Faith and knowledge

 

I believe that tension is a beautiful aspect of life, and is extremely important in a faithful journey within Mormonism. I strongly feel that often with an intense desire to follow truth, and to defend ourselves against the struggles that come from education, we can tend to create a false dichotomy where we must make a choice. Either we can have faith in our prior ideas or we can trust this new piece of information. I feel that it is sometimes difficult to recognize that changing our minds is not always a bad thing. Learning new facts that we were previously unaware of does not need to destroy faith, and can actually be a vital part of spiritual development.

Lowell L. Bennion once shared a thought that I feel is important to ponder as we think about this relationship between faith and reason. “Faith is the sphere of the possible. It is an hypothesis, suggested by the existence of some facts, but projecting beyond these to the realm of what might be or could be. . . . Faith is adventurous and creative. It not only is the sphere of the possible, but is also the power which often makes the possible come into being. . . . The student should not feel compelled to choose between faith and knowledge. [G]ain and use knowledge where it is available. [W]alk by faith where knowledge is not available.”

Mormonism can teach us to follow the evidence and to follow knowledge wherever it may lead us. Faith is a powerful gift, but we should not use it as an excuse to ignore important news revelations.

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