Faith is a principle of action and of power. In the first blog about the mustard seed and how the faith of the mustard seed pertains to dietary lifestyle success, we spoke of faith primarily as a principle of action. To enjoy such faith it is important to discover God's dietary lifestyle pattern for you and to act according to that pattern. What is faith according the principle of power and how does exercising such faith enable you more fully in dietary lifestyle matters?
Years ago I was home in Idaho for a vacation for a few days with Colleen and our infant Rebecca, who is now our oldest child. During the vacation at my parent's home we harvested crops from the family garden and orchard. On the last day of vacation, about 5:30 in the afternoon, my mother asked if I had killed a deer so that we could take some meat back with us for the winter. When she asked, I felt the Lord's spirit impressing me to go get a deer. I had been an avid hunter and fisherman during my youth. I told my mother there was only one hour of legal daylight left in the hunting season and that it was doubtful I could be successful in such a short amount of time.
She looked at me, understanding my personal faith and my experience as a hunter. She asked me how much time did I need with God's help? I told her I could do it in less than an hour. As I dashed for my rifle and ammunition, not even knowing where to go to hunt, I asked if she would watch my sleeping baby while I hunted. She said, "I'll see you in about an hour; don't worry about Rebecca."
As I drove down the highway near our home, a mountain scene came into my mind and I drove to this particular spot in our valley. To get to the place I had seen in my mind I would have to enter a narrow draw that would open up into a wide canyon after a couple hundred feet. As I entered the draw, I saw several does (female deer). It was only legal for me to shoot a male deer and I knew if I proceeded further into the draw that the does would alert any bucks in the valley to my presence.
I dropped to a knee and reasoned with the Lord; I have insufficient time to go anywhere else and unless I can somehow get around the does I will surely not find a buck with the limited daylight that is left to me. I knew that if it would snow hard enough the deer could not see me and I then asked for a snowstorm so that I could scale the draw to my immediate right unseen from the deer and then circle up and above the deer until I could obtain a view that would enable me to see any possible bucks in the valley. From a clear sky snows immediately begin to fall. I could no longer see the deer. I climbed for about ten minutes through the snowstorm. After I had climbed to the point in the valley that seemed right to me, I asked that it cease to snow so that I could now see the valley clearly. The heavy snowfall abruptly turned into a light flurry and there only 40 feet away I saw a large buck.
When I went to shoot the buck I found to my dismay that my scope had been broken and that it was no longer possible to see clearly enough to shoot cleanly. I reasoned that if I could just see the outline of the deer, he was so close to me I would surely hit him. I tried but missed and the deer ran down the hill and up the other side of the valley, several hundred yards away. Again I prayed and said, "I cannot remove my scope because I lack the tools to loosen it, and even if I could it is an awful long shot for open sights. I reasoned with God again and said, "I will look down the side of my barrel and line it up as best as I can with the deer. Let me know when to pull the trigger.
I lined up as best I could until I felt a peacefulness enter me; then I pulled the trigger. I was back home inside an hours time with enough meat for the winter, just as my mother had suggested. I've reflected upon this true story many times as I have attempted to discern why in that instance I could ask and receive a changing of the elements in my favor, precisely according to my needs and why I could make an impossible shot, according to anyone's standards whom I knew. By comparison to this powerful experience, when I am watching my favorite team play football I don't seem to be able to will the outcome of the game by simply asking for what I want...
Here is what I have determined to be the significant difference. The Lord's spirit actually prompted me to go obtain meat for the winter. As it turned out, it was a harsh winter and the meat played an important role in meeting my family's nutritional needs that winter. More importantly and germane to the question of why it is we can ask some things with great power and yet other requests go unanswered, is that in the first instance I was obeying a command or prompting of the spirit to obtain meat for my family. God does not prompt us unless he is prepared to help us achieve the thing asked of us. In the second instance I was asking for what I wanted but it was not accompanied by the Lord's spirit commanding me to pray for my football team to win the game.
The Mustard seed obeyed the command by God to grow or act in faith according to the pattern established within the DNA. As a principle of power, the mustard seed had a right to expect, ask, and to receive the rain, the sunshine, and access to the elements of the earth while acting according to God's will. It did not have to do everything alone. Neither do we.
I acted upon a prompting to obtain meat for my family was out the door within a minute or two of making a decision to go. As I drove (action), it was given to me where to go hunting. There were complications when I got there that I had nothing to do with, yet I went where I was prompted to go. At this point, I had a right to ask for the snow cover to do as the spirit commanded me; my right was as great as the right the mustard seed has to receive rain, the sunshine, and the elements of the earth so it can grow. I had a right to later ask for the help I needed to make an impossible shot.
Whenever we are acting according to God's will, we can command this mountain to move yonder or the sycamine tree to be planted in the ocean, if that is required in order for us to accomplish the will of the Lord in our lives. With power and without hesitation, we can ask for what is needed, and it will be given to us. Like the Brother of Jared, sometimes we are required to tell the Lord exactly how we desire his help to achieve what it is we are commanded to do, such as when the Brother of jared asked the Lord to touch the rocks and make them glow. Each of these experiences are related to knowing that God never asks anything of us unless he is utterly committed to helping us to achieve it, as needed.
My request for snow cover was reasonable. The snow came in blizzard-like fashion upon asking and not a deer in the valley could see me as I positioned myself to be able to spot a buck. Had it not been God's will that I obtain meat I could have prayed for snow all evening long unsuccessfully.
I share this story as a reminder that faith, according to a principle of power is the power whereby God formed the earth. He commanded and the intelligences obeyed--to form mountains, great rivers, and small streams to beautify the earth. All the intelligences of the universe who have come to trust God, choose to obey his will because in so doing they progress eternally. Therefore, whenever we are also following God's will, we will progress eternally by so doing and we have the promise of powerful access to those things we need to do his will.
As you discover the pattern for dietary lifestyle success, you will surely encounter stumbling blocks along the way. If you are acting in faith, according to God's will for you, stop and reason with God at any crossroads or stumbling blocks you run into and proceed forward in faith. He gives readily to those who ask in faith and who are simply following his will. Consider Nephi and his ability to obtain the plates, or to obtain food for his family. Each of these is also an example of a person receiving all he needed to accomplish God's will. These examples are to light your way and are to be likened to you. You made a covenant at baptism to keep the Word of Wisdom. It is God's will that you do. Therefore, as you repent and sincerely strive to do so, you are guaranteed his help.
All My Best