Tightrope of Testimony: The Intersection of Faith and Works
Picture yourself poised on a tightrope stretched tautly above a pulsating city. The rope under your feet is slim and the distance to the ground is dizzyingly high. To maintain your balance, you hold in your hands two poles. One is marked “Faith,” the other, “Works.” Together, they provide the counterweight, the balance, that keeps you steady on that thin line. Yet, consider what would happen if you decided to let go of one.
“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?” (James 2:20)
James, in his wisdom, presents us with this challenging scripture. It’s a potent reminder that if faith isn’t complemented by works, it becomes as effective as trying to navigate that tightrope with just one pole.
To fully comprehend this delicate equilibrium, we delve into the experience of Nephi, a prophet from the Book of Mormon. When the Lord commanded Nephi to construct a ship, a vessel that would carry his family to the promised land, Nephi didn’t merely wait for divine intervention to manifest a ship. Instead, he embarked on the laborious task of shipbuilding. He sought the Lord’s guidance, followed the directions he received, and got to work. Nephi was a living example of a balance between faith and works. His faith was the driving force behind his actions, and his works, in return, fortified his faith.
Indeed, the sacred scriptures of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints are rich with teachings on the harmony of faith and works. The Doctrine and Covenants, another book of scripture, candidly states, “he who does the works of righteousness shall receive his reward, even peace in this world, and eternal life in the world to come” (D&C 59:23). It speaks to the delicate, yet essential balance between our spiritual convictions and our everyday actions. Our faith, our steadfast belief in Christ and His promises, must inspire our daily choices and deeds. Conversely, these actions should serve to nurture and reaffirm our faith.
As we strive to mirror the balance exhibited by Nephi, we need to ensure that faith in Jesus Christ isn’t just something we feel or believe, but it permeates our very actions. It must be the motivational force behind our works. Similarly, our actions need to be a testament to our faith. In a world filled with distractions, it is this delicate balance between faith and works that will keep us centered and rooted, guiding our steps forward on the straight and narrow path.
It’s no easy task, akin to the tightrope walker’s challenge. But by consistently holding onto both poles of faith and works, we can maintain our spiritual balance, progress with assurance, and find joy in our journey towards eternal life.