By Adam Porter
Things continually come into physical form and things are continually going out of physical form. According to our agency, we can have ideas that grow from a thought and then progress to a physical reality. This is how sweet prosperity comes to us.
The idea of prosperity is likened unto Alma’s lesson on faith in the Book of Mormon. In his allegory, Alma compares faith to the planting of a seed. Our thoughts can be compared to seeds which are planted in our hearts and minds and, through nourishment, grow into wonderful trees of prosperity. The simple act of planting any seed is an act of faith. We believe that if we plant a seed, and nourish it with care, it will grow into a living organism. Do we have a perfect knowledge that the seed we plant will grow? No, we don’t. Yet, we plant our gardens, hoping that our hard work will, indeed, yield.
Alma teaches that “faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true”(Alma 32:21). This is where many people get stuck: if they can’t see it and handle it, they don’t want any part of it. Boyd K. Packer taught that “you exercise faith by causing or by making your mind accept or believe as truth that which you cannot, by reason alone, prove for certainty” (New Era, January 1995). Does that seem like a daunting challenge?
The prophet Alma adds this additional guidance: “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” (Alma 32:27). If you can’t make your mind believe at first, desire is enough to get you started. The requirement is that you don’t cast it out by your unbelief.
Give the seed time to grow! Some people are in such a negative vibration that this becomes a huge chore for them. A fertile environment is positive and hopeful. Negativity is akin to a barren wasteland for your tender plant. Every seed brings forth after its own likeness. If it be a good seed, or a true seed, you will know it by the emotions that you experience as it swells within you. It begins to enlarge your vision of prosperity; it enlightens your understanding; and it begins to be delicious to you.
Let this seed of faith find a place in you. Allow yourself to hope, even though prosperity may seem impossible. On the other hand, if you exercise positive faith, and it does not grow within you, than you will know it’s a bad seed, and you will cast it out. Now the seed will strengthen and sprout and begin to take root. Won’t this strengthen your faith? Of course it will. You love the feeling of it.
Alma then asks, “Is your knowledge perfect? Yea, it is perfect in that thing.”
Have you ever experienced that? When your mind becomes enlightened and what you want is brighter and more real? The circumstances and things you need are taking spiritual form, and it’s beginning to come to light. “After you have tasted this light is your knowledge perfect? Nay…”
Though you have exercised faith enough to plant the seed, and you have a sure knowledge that this is good course for you, yet it takes nourishment to keep the tree growing. That requires continually exercising faith. “But be ye doers of the word, and not just hearers only, deceiving your own selves” (James 1:22). So you need to act. Faith is an action word. Things will not turn prosperous by simply wishing, but by diligently seeking, working, and continually nourishing your thoughts.
You have not neglected the tree. The Lord has helped you learn to nourish it, as you have been a co-creator with God in thought. You have abided by the Law through faith, persistence, and patience. “Behold, [now you can] pluck the fruit thereof, which is most precious, which is sweet above all that is sweet…ye shall reap the rewards of your faith, diligence, patience, and long suffering” (Alma 32:42). I have tasted the rewards of faith many times and I can tell you there is nothing like reaping the fruits of your hope and labor.
Do not wait for things to turn sour before you turn to the Lord, for He is the One already blessing you in this thing-even the experience. He can strengthen and uplift you. Follow His commandments. He gave them so He could bless you. Sometimes it may seem as though He is against you; but if you remember, “whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every son (or daughter) whom he receiveth… We have had fathers of the flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence; shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?” (Hebrews 12:6-9).
We should show thanks and reverence to the Lord in all we do. Ask Him for the things you need, and “doubt not, but be believing” (Mormon 9:27). He is waiting to open the windows of heaven and bless you.
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