Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Faith and Volcanoes- a lesson from a 5th grade science project

Think back for a moment to a simpler time when Saturday morning cartoons were the highlight of the week, and everyone traded lunches out of their power rangers lunch boxes. Do you remember that day when your science teacher asked you to come up with a cool project to do? I remember when I was just a little guy, I picked the ever-famous baking soda volcano project.

As I reflected back upon the fun I had mixing vinegar with baking soda, I remembered what the prophet Alma, a Book of Mormon prophet, taught us about faith in Alma chapter 32.

In this chapter Alma teaches us that if we "awake and arouse [our] faculties, even to an experiment upon [his] words, and exercise a particle of faith...even if [we] can no more than adesire to believe, let this desire work in [us], even until... [we] can give place for a portion of [his] words" (Alma 32:27).

Like Alma, I like to think of faith as an experiment where we can see the impact of God's word in our own lives, and build that faith on a foundation of experience. So if we experiment upon the words of the prophets in the Bible and the Book of Mormon, and "do his will, [we] shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether [we]speak of [ourselves]" (John 7:17).  By developing our faith like this we, we build confidence in the promises the Lord makes to us in his scriptures, and look for opportunities to put him to the test. It's what I like to call the spiritual scientific method.

 So if you're ever wondering just how people say they know something that seems unquantifiable, just remember that Faith isn't a perfect knowledge of things, but a hope for things that aren't seen, but true. However, just because they aren't seen doesn't mean they can't be experienced! When I say I know something is true such as the reality of God, or his Son Jesus Christ, it once started out as a hypothesis (faith) that as tested grew to a sure knowledge. So mix a little spiritual baking soda and vinegar, and I can promise you your volcano will overflow with spiritual knowledge.

1 comment:

  1. This is awesome Elder Miller! Keep up the good work!!! I like your integration of a plausible life experience and comparison.