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To Act, Not Be Acted Upon

Students who are learning by faith don’t wait to be acted upon; rather they choose to be doers of the word and act based on what they learn. Nephi’s desire and action to learn what his father had seen in vision is a great example of learning by faith.

David A. Bednar, "Seek Learning by Faith," CES Broadcast, 3 Feb 2006

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How do you choose to act rather than be acted upon in your studies? What do you do because of what you learned in class?

In his talk about learning by faith (CES Broadcast, 2006), Elder David A. Bednar explained the importance of taking responsibility for your learning and acting with confidence, and what it means to seek learning by faith:

"How is faith as the principle of action in all intelligent beings related to gospel learning? And what does it mean to seek learning by faith?

"Recall how Nephi desired to know about the things his father, Lehi, had seen in the vision of the tree of life. Interestingly, the Spirit of the Lord begins the tutorial with Nephi by asking the following question, 'Behold, what desirest thou?' (1 Nephi 11:2). Clearly the Spirit knew what Nephi desired. So why ask the question? The Holy Ghost was helping Nephi to act in the learning process and not simply be acted upon. From this example we recognize that as learners, you and I are to act and be doers of the word and not simply hearers who are only acted upon. Are you and I agents who act and seek learning by faith, or are we waiting to be taught and acted upon?

"Learning by faith requires spiritual, mental, and physical exertion and not just passive reception. It is in the sincerity and consistency of our faith-inspired action that we indicate to our Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, our willingness to learn and receive instruction from the Holy Ghost . . . Learning by faith cannot be transferred from an instructor to a student through a lecture, a demonstration, or an experiential exercise; rather, a student must exercise faith and act in order to obtain the knowledge for himself or herself."