Sunday, November 20, 2022

Faith as a grain of mustard seed

 For my whole life, except very recently, I always thought this about the parable of the mustard seed:

That itty bitty seed had so much faith that it grew into a bush or tree big enough for birds to roost in, so we need to be like that seed and have a ton of faith.

I've changed my mind. 

 And Jesus said unto them, . . . verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.
Matt 17:20 KJV

 And the Lord said, If ye had faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye might say unto this sycamine tree, Be thou plucked up by the root, and be thou planted in the sea; and it should obey you.
Luke 17:6 KJV

One day, it hit me that I was way off. What Jesus was saying, in my new view of the parable, was, "Even if you have such a tiny bit of faith that you can barely see it, just like you barely see this seed, nothing will be impossible." It reminds me of Alma 32:27 LDS:

But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.
It showed me the grace and mercy of our Lord, of our God. Just a tiny bit of faith, even if it is no more than a genuine desire to believe, will yield incredible results if we continue to, as Alma said, water and nourish it instead of neglecting it.

How to nourish it? How to water it? Perhaps the first Nephi might have been talking about something similar when he said:

And now, my beloved brethren, after ye have gotten into this strait and narrow path, I would ask if all is done?  Behold, I say unto you, Nay; for ye have not come thus far save it were by the word of Christ with unshaken faith in him, relying wholly upon the merits of him who is mighty to save. Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men.  Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.
2 Nephi 32:19-20 LDS