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Monday, May 7, 2012

Tone Deaf To The Music Of Faith

by Pete Codella (bio)

I was particularly struck by remarks shared by Apostle Quentin Cook during last month’s General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Quoting a rabbi, who was speaking to Catholic leaders, he pointed out how secular parts of the world have become.

Chief Rabbi Lord Sacks of England, speaking to Roman Catholic leaders last December at the Pontifical Gregorian University, noted how secular some parts of the world have become. He stated that one culprit is “an aggressive scientific atheism tone deaf to the music of faith.”

To thoughtfully consider what Rabbi Lord Sacks was saying, I recommend reading his text in its entirety (source: Office of the Chief Rabbi). And a side note: I sure think it’s cool that an LDS apostle shared remarks made by a rabbi to Catholic Church leaders. I think people of faith have more in common than they sometimes realize.

Which brings me to the idea of being in tune with the sacred music of faith ...

In the Book of Mormon there’s a discourse on faith — that faith is like planting a seed, nourishing it and taking special care of it so that it grows into a full-blown tree (see Alma 32).

Faith is something that’s developed. It’s cultivated. It is desired, and through correct choices, attitudes, experience and prayer, it grows.

I have often said that developing faith is a similar process to developing the muscles in our bodies. To develop muscles you exercise. You eat right and get plenty of sleep. You take conscious steps so that your muscles grow. Similarly, one must take determined steps to develop and grow faith. Those who don’t care to put forth the effort have a limited frame of reference when it comes to matters of faith.

And while faith may not be as outwardly present as muscles on a body builder, it can be discerned through actions of discipleship.

I appreciated Elder Cook’s treatment of faith in our modern-day and his acknowledgement that some may just not be interested, or lack a frame of reference for accepting knowledge through faith.

Elder Cook pointed out that “… a dividing line between those who hear the music of faith and those who are tone-deaf or off-key is the active study of the scriptures.” In addition to living prophets and apostles, we do have many other tools, like the scriptures, to help us develop faith.

He also shares the LDS perspective, that “... we are to be positive and of good cheer. We emphasize our faith, not our fears. We rejoice in the Lord’s assurance that He will stand by us and give us guidance and direction.” (Doctrine and Covenants 68:6)

Elder Cook’s comments helped me realize that to more fully enjoy the music of faith, I need to be more actively involved in cultivating and exercising faith.

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