On Sunday our teacher read to us from a James E. Talmage book and what I got out of it was this simple comparison; Belief is to Faith as Knowledge is to Wisdom.
I like it. Belief is the easy part, just as knowledge is, it’s when you act upon your belief or knowledge that you truly gain. Only through our actions are we able to learn wisdom, only when we act upon our beliefs are we able to gain faith.
I may say, “I believe in God” as I sit at my kitchen table and type. But what does that gain me? What do I receive from that statement? It is only when we take the steps that we receive a confirmation of that belief that whereby we are able to gain faith.
Let’s take the story of Esther as an example. She had a strong belief in God, but her faith came through her action. Often times our faith is strengthened through the difficult trials of life. Esther literally risked her life for that faith showed that she was more than just a believer.
It is the same with knowledge, we may know from schooling how an algebraic equation works but we are not wise to it’s use without being tested. In the grocery store for instance, we become wise to the difference in price because we exercise our knowledge.
Belief is to Faith as Knowledge is to Wisdom.
David stood on the edge of a battle field and had faith that he could defeat Goliath. Where did such faith come from? Surely not from the cowering army around him, no, it came from several experiences that he had been through before then.
34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock:
35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.
36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God.
37 David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee.
1 Samuel 17:34-37
He had previously tested a belief that he had in God and gained faith. Furthermore, his ability to act upon that faith also increased it.
I have often desired the title of ‘wise,’ but I hadn’t realized that ‘faithful’ was just as honorable a title. Both show a life of action dependent on the simple means of using that which we have been taught. Faith and Wisdom become far more attainable when see through such a perspective.