I'm really terrible at faith. I understand that it's a choice to have or not have faith, I'd really like to choose the former, but my very much neurotic nature often gets the best of me, and often holds me back I think... So my question is "How do I get more faith?"
Faith comes by reading and hearing the Word of God.
I personally try to speak out loud the Word of God as often as i can so that i can hear it. I have also heard from others (but have not tried it yet myself) that they enjoy listening to the audio versions of the Bible.
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The answer to this can be found in a solid understanding of what faith is.
In three different places in his epistles, in different contexts, Paul quotes Habakkuk 2: 4, that "the just shall live by faith." (See Romans 1:17, Galatians 3:11, and Hebrews 10:38.) So faith, to a just (righteous) person, is not simply mental "belief," but something you live by. This is consistent with James's teaching that faith unaccompanied by genuine good works "is dead, being alone."
So we see that faith is a principle of action, that impels a person to do good. As a principle of action, a good way to develop stronger faith is to act upon it. If you have a choice to make, and you're uncertain about it, but the Gospel teaches that a certain decision would be the right one to make, act on it. Choose the decision that your faith guides you towards. Then try to observe the results of your actions, and you will find your faith confirmed in some way.
This will help your faith to grow, as you now have experience to base future decisions on, instead of simply "blind faith." It doesn't come all at once. It's a learning process, and you learn a little at a time, precept upon precept, line upon line, here a little and there a little, until eventually your faith has grown and been confirmed and strengthened so much that you reach the answer to your other question, where you arrive at a point where you can honestly say, "I do not fear death, because I know what awaits me. Even though I haven't seen it, I have been told, and God has never steered me wrong in the past, so I have no reason to doubt."
There is a wonderful treatment of faith, obtaining greater faith, and knowledge found in this passage of scripture. I have found it to be a "go to" reference when learning about faith.
First, a definition and a reminder:
And then, a little later, Proposing An Experiment
and an promise of results, using An Allegory
Alma encourages us to act on our desire to believe. That is, to come to Christ, to believe Him, to nurture our tiny faith through prayer, scripture, service, repentance. And as we do, we will find that our faith enlarges our soul and, in turn, our faith will continue to grow.
Verse 22 is also a wonderful reminder that God is merciful and desires that we believe. Consequently, He will bless our desire to believe, and our willingness to act on that desire, with greater faith.
Don't ask yourself how you can get more faith, and remember that God can do amazing things even with a barely visible faith, you know, like the size of a mustard seed or smaller...
I'm going to try a more scientific / psychological response to this question... let's see how this goes:
Firstly, one dictionary definition of faith (from dictionary.com) is "belief that is not based on proof."
It is therefore logical that if you have proof of something, you cannot have faith, therefore the goal of faith is never to try and prove something, but merely to believe whether there is proof or not.
The first thing I would do is ask myself the question, "Why do I want to have more faith?" If you don't believe in Jesus, why would you want to believe in Jesus? If you believe in heaven and hell, then you probably already believe in Jesus, and you do have faith. If you doubt Jesus, then it's probably better to try and understand why you doubt him, rather than to simply try and have faith.
You said "It's a choice to have or not have faith". I don't think that's entirely correct. One can have faith that the sky is blue, but it's not a choice... your brain simply tells you that the sky is blue. One can, however, trick one's mind into believing things whether they're true or not, and many people do it without even knowing that's what they're doing.
If you still want to have faith, then the way to do it is by ignoring any evidence that suggests that the subject of your faith is false, and read all evidence that suggests that the subject of your faith is true. Cognitive dissonance (look it up if you don't understand) will eventually kick in and will prevent you from believing anything contrary to the subject of your faith.
Do not ever test the subject of your faith... either it could prove that it's false, in which case you will lose your faith, or it may prove that it's true, which will (based on the dictionary definition of faith) also kill your faith.
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