Confidence Virtue and Faith

иконографияПравославни иконикухниI recently got an email from an internet marketing guru and the subject was something to the point of What is better, confidence or competence?

The article explained a disagreement he had with a friend. His friend said competence was better to while the author disagreed and gave several reasons why. I tend to agree with the author.

It really invoked a lot of pondering for me. I thought about job interviews in the past where I have been asked to rate myself in various areas. I always find interviews hard because I don’t like to toot my own horn so to speak – especially to strangers, but you pretty much have to do just that if you want any chance of getting a job.

Another instance I might give as an example is when a small business wanted to replace every computer in their office and have them all networked, they approached me and asked if I wanted to do it. At the time I could have really used the money. But ultimately due to my lack of confidence I turned the job down. I believe I was competent, but didn’t have the exact experience to prove it. I just didn’t want to mess up on such a large scale (relatively speaking). Of course experience breeds confidence. I have since built an networked a number of computers and I actually maintain that office network now and I have been asked to replace each of those computers again after 7 years. I recently upgraded their network and fix various computer problems for them. Now I’m totally confident in my abilities.

I guess the point of that story is that even though I lacked the experience, if I would have had confidence in myself that I could figure out any roadblocks I may have encountered, I’m quite positive I could have done the job and I would have gained the experience much sooner.

I’ve noticed a similar pattern in my life. I tend to have a habit of self-sabotage. I’ve started a number of web site projects that I hope will bring a measure of income. I have a bad habit of getting about 70% complete and then I start convincing myself that there is too much competition, or people will not want to pay for the service, or whatever it might be that the site will fail even before I get it off the ground and have the ability to even try to market it. I then move on to the next big idea I have and start the process all over again.

I don’t want to share any goals here because I recently read an article stating that when we share our goals, we are less likely to complete them. The article made sense to me. But all this pondering I feel has helped me achieve greater results recently and I hope the trend continues.

In the process of thinking about this, a scripture came to mind. In D&C 121:45 it says:

Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.

That scripture leads to me believe that if we let virtue garnish [our] thoughts unceasingly we will grow in confidence.

The Lord has also said,

There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated—

And when we obtain any blessing from God, it is by obedience to that law upon which it is predicated.

So if we want a certain blessing, we just need to find the law associated with that blessing and strive to live that law. So I wonder, if we want the blessing of confidence, can we abide by the law of virtue? If so, we can bind the Lord and he will grant us that blessing.

I, the Lord, am bound when ye do what I say; but when ye do not what I say, ye have no promise.

And what is confidence really? Is it any more than faith, or faith in one’s self. I’m starting to get the feeling that it is faith in the Lord that where ever we may have incompetence, he will make up the difference and that leads to the confidence that we truly can do anything that is right and worthy of the effort.

Thy Savior

I’m one of those annoying people who likes to correct others incorrect use of the English language. I don’t know why. It’s not like I’m an expert in English. In fact, my last English class was my junior year in high school 11 years ago. My step mom was a junior high English teacher. Maybe it was the joy I had in finding flaws in her grammar that brought me amusement when correcting her.

In any case, it seems in the past two weeks I’ve heard something said in prayers that I find interesting. It is this phrase: “We thank Thee for Thy Savior…”

Now, in my mind it would seem more appropriate to say “Thy Son” or “Our Savior”. It would seem to me that since we are addressing our Heavenly Father, the term “Thy Savior” would imply that Jesus was the Savior of God the Father, which is not the case. For what is a savior? According to, a savior is “a person who saves, rescues, or delivers.” Certainly our Heavenly Father does not need to be saved, rescued, or delivered as he is God and is perfect.

As long as I’m on the topic, I might also point out something I hear much more often over the pulpit. When a person closes a talk or testimony I often hear: “I say these things in the name of thy Son…” This works well in prayers when you are addressing your Heavenly Father, but when you are addressing a congregation, I think it is better to leave out “thy Son” and simply close in the name of Jesus Christ. Even changing one letter might be appropriate: “the Son.”

I hope I don’t offend anyone by my comments. My hopes are instead that we might be more conscious in how we speak of our Savior.

Open Rebuke, Secret Love

Proverbs 27:5 states “Open rebuke is better than secret love.” This passage of scripture caught my interest, but I’m not sure why. What does it mean.

Looking at the footnote it has a reference to Proverbs 28:3 which states, “He that rebuketh a man afterwards shall find more favour than he that flattereth with the tongue.”

After pondering these scriptures for a while, I started to think of times that I may have heard someone talk badly about someone or something. How many of those times would I simply let them talk and criticize and scorn such things. How long would I allow a contentious attitude. Even worst than this, how many times might I join in with my own criticisms and support them in their complains and talk bad about others. I find that I often do this to avoid contention myself and to gain favor in the eyes of those I’m with. It could be a friend or a spouse or even an aquaintance.

How much better would it be to stand up and defend a person or thing. Even if you don’t have to courage to do so, how much better is it to silently show you dissapproval at such talk. Could this be what this scripture might mean?