In Moses 5 of the Pearl of Great Price we read that after Adam and Eve were banished from the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve, his wife, called upon the name of the Lord, and they heard the voice of the Lord from the way toward the Garden of Eden…
And he gave unto them commandments, that they should worship the Lord their God, and should offer the firstlings of their flocks, for an offering unto the Lord. And Adam was obedient unto the commandments of the Lord.
And after many days an angel of the Lord appeared unto Adam, saying: Why dost thou offer sacrifices unto the Lord? And Adam said unto him: I know not, save the Lord commanded me. ?
Isn’t that beautiful? Such incredible faith! Only after Adam had already demonstrated his faith and commitment to the Lord by being obedient to the Lord’s command did he finally understand why he was asked to make the sacrifice. I’m sure he must have wondered. I wouldn’t doubt that there may have been a little questioning in his mind. This is merely supposition of course, but after all, this is the same man who was in the Garden when all creatures were at peace. He also was given the marvelous task of naming all those creatures. He walked among them and cared for them. And there he was, being asked to sacrifice one of them.. Not just any of them, but the best of them. On top of that, he wasn’t killing it to eat it or to make a bodily covering. He was given no explanation, no rationale for what he was asked to do. But he was commanded by the Lord, and that was all he needed. That was enough.
Robert D Hales said, Every man’s faith is tested. He must develop self-denial either of moral or physical things of this world; he must sacrifice and show the Lord that he will give. These blessings then bring rewards and stronger faith. We do this “with an eye single to the glory of God,” as stated in the fourth section, fifth verse, of the Doctrine and Covenants–not for what we want to do, but rather for what the Lord wants us to do, when he wants us to do it, and in the way his work needs to be carried out. There will be times when we shall not understand why. ?
During a devotional address at BYU, Harold Glen Clark, then serving as the first president of the Provo Temple, shared the following experience.
I recall a manuscript on Reasons for Observing the Word of Wisdom, produced by one of our BYU professors. He wanted us to print it. So we took the manuscript to one of the Brethren, President Spencer Kimball, who pronounced it one of the finest treatments of the subject that he had ever read. Convincing economic, health, and other reasons for following the Word of Wisdom were clearly set forth. “But,” he said, “you left out the most important reason.”
“What is that?” the author asked.
“Because God asked us to,” he replied.
My two favorite one-line quotes from scripture are Nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted ? and I know not, save the Lord commanded me ?.
I never really noticed it before, but they’re both centered on faith and obedience born of that faith. (Oddly, my other favorite one-line quote from scripture is Help thou my unbelief ?. It’s a confession of a lack of faith, that in a very humble way, expresses a faith he didn’t realize he had.)
But I LOVE the confidant, sure and immovable faith of both Adam and Nephi. The kind of faith that says I don’t care if I don’t understand why in the world I’m doing this. I’m going to burn the best of my flock. ?
I don’t care how crazy it is. I know I don’t know how to build a boat. But God told me to build a boat, and dog-gone it, I’m building a boat. ?
I know I’ll look like a fool. But I’m building a boat in the middle of the desert and filling it with animals. ?
I don’t care if it doesn’t fit into my plans or even if it isn’t what I think I want. I’m selling everything I own, even giving it away if I have to. I’ll leave everything behind, even my friends and some of my family. The Lord wants me to leave, so I’m leaving. I don’t even know where we’re going. But the Lord has given His instructions, and I will obey. ?
I know it doesn’t make any sense, but I’m going to put mud on my eyes. ? Or, I’m going to look at the carving of a snake on a stick. ?
Who cares if these are just stones? My God will make them shine brighter than a halogen lamp, and longer than any Energizer Bunny battery in the year 2008. How? I don’t know! And I don’t care!. ?
I don’t know. I don’t understand. It doesn’t make any sense. There’s no proof it will work and science or research says otherwise. It doesn’t fit into my plans. It’s not what I wanted. BUT, the Lord commanded me and I know in whom I have trusted.
No equivocation. No rationalization. No reasons or excuses in an attempt to justify doing something other than directed. Just faith-born obedience.
These are my favorite stories! And I know there are more out there! Your personal stories of faith. If they aren’t too sacred or too personal, please consider sharing them!