Monday, April 16, 2012

Faith Putty

I can already hear the arguments to this post, but I've decided to post it anyway.

Yesterday in Relief Society we were talking about the importance of sustaining our leaders. I think it is an important lesson. One of the things that my mom made sure to tell me every time I had something negative to say about the way things were being run at church was that "criticizing your leaders is the first road to apostasy" or some such thing.

Here's what I know: I know that Heavenly Father has placed a prophet -- with the same keys and authority that ancient prophets from the Bible held -- on the earth. His name is Thomas S. Monson. I know that Heavenly Father calls leaders to preside over the church in different capacities. From apostles, to area seventy, to stake presidents, bishops, etc. etc. etc. I know that the Lord qualifies the leaders that he calls.

I also know that the men and women that are called are human. They make mistakes. They have their own weird prejudices.

Now, the way that the lesson was taught in RS, yesterday, there were a few quotes that if I had been in the mood to play devil's advocate, I might have raised my hand and done so. But I didn't really see the point, and we ended up going over 10 minutes anyway, so who's to say we'd have ever got out if I had raised my hand. But there was one comment that caught my attention.

A visiting mother of one of the girls in our ward mentioned that we all needed to have our own "faith putty". Because there are times when things don't make sense or we just can't reconcile one thing with another. Those are the times where people who think that logic is the be-all and end-all find a hard time moving forward in the gospel. They get hung up on these little things that they can't explain and can't progress. But the woman in class suggested that we needed to just slap some faith putty and move on. Continue to progress. And then, after a while, when the time is right or we have increased understanding, we can go back and look at these little details that don't quite add up.... yet.

Because I think there are a lot of "not yets" in the gospel. We may not understand everything. We may not be able to reconcile what we want to do personally and what we are being told to do. God has given us our freedom to choose and our judgment to use for our own sakes, but I don't think we should ever let ourselves get hung up on something we don't understand or where logic doesn't make enough sense. There are a lot of areas in our lives where we have to apply our faith putty and know that God will give us the answers we seek at a later time. We can't go through life thinking that we'll never have to practice faith. And sometimes it will be a little bit of blind faith -- but I don't think that that is a detriment to us. I think it will only bring increased blessings later.


  1. Faith putty is an interesting term. I think it is pretty descriptive of patching up something that doesn't sometimes make sense. We have all used at one time or another. But we proceed because of the good feeling that is accompanied. What if we are told things that have been altered in such a way that only a good feeling is likely to be the result?

  2. Especially in matters of my friends with SSA, I have had a strong need for "faith putty." But I've also long felt that there are many, many things on this earth I do not understand, some of them being gospel-oriented, some not. I like the wonder and the mystery behind not knowing all the answers and readily accept that I don't.
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. I couldn't agree more. The gospel is true, and the church operates by humans who we will sometimes disagree with their decisions or opinions but that doesn't change the doctrines which is what our faith should based on. Love the faith putty analogy


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