I had the pleasure of having Elder Riddle in my district and zone while serving in the Illinois Peoria mission. I have a two page work entitled “Working By Faith is Mental Exertion” written by Chauncey Riddle in response to a mission wide effort to obtain “an eye single to the Glory of God”. To my knowledge this work hasn’t been published anywhere, I am happy to forward you a copy if you would like.
As I understand, this was written around July or August of 1994 while Elder and Sister Riddle were serving full time in the Bloomington/Normal Illinois area.
– Jeff Driggs, A Missionary in the Illinois, Peoria Mission
Elder Chauncey Riddle
Faith is a believing, enthusiastic positive response to a message from God.
To work by faith consists of two parts:
- Training the mind, in understanding and intentions.
- Doing that which pleases God.
Training the mind.
The goal of mind training is to have an eye single to the Glory of God. The eye in question is the mind’s eye, the eye of our understanding and intentions. It is God’s purpose to teach us how to look upon our surroundings in this world and see things as they really are (as opposed to believing the lies of the adversary). To do this we must test every bit of information we receive by the Holy Spirit, to see if how we are seeing, hearing, sensing and believing is true. This is difficult at first, but as we practice doing this it can become almost automatic. We are training ourselves to look upon all things with the help of God, to see things as he sees them. By this means we come to understand truly what is going on around us in order to to diagnose the problems at hand correctly.
To train our intentions is to work with ourselves until we desire nothing but the glory of God. This is intense mental effort, for we must be ever scrutinizing our intent and motives, being guided by our conscience whether our motives are pure and selfless or not. When the work of God becomes the only thing we really care about, then we can begin to work for the glory of God with all of our heart, might, mind and strength.
In the process of attempting to make our eye single to the glory of God, we may find that our heart is not pure, and that we cannot go all the way to having an eye single because our heart will not tolerate that dedication. It is then our privilege to apply to God for a new heart. When we have done all that we can do with our present heart, have trained our mind to attend to the things of God and our body to be as faithful to God as we can, then, since we have then done all we can to have faith, the grace of God can come to us and make up the difference. As we receive instruction from God to do so, we can receive a new, pure heart which will enable us to have our eye completely single to the glory of God. A pure heart and an eye (mind) single make it possible for us to become faith-full, to have perfect faith.
Doing that which pleases God.
Faith not a one-time accomplishment, but is required every decision of our lives. One who has an eye single out of a pure heart yet has much mental work to do to be faithful. He or she must search out the mind and will of the Lord in every situation and then do what the Lord instructs him or her to do in order to act faithfully.
Searching out the mind and will of God is done by a conversation between the heart and the mind of a person. The mind searches the scriptures and the words of the prophets and the whisperings of the Spirit for clues as to what Cod would have done to solve a particular problem. As ideas and possible solutions come to mind these are referred to the heart. If the idea is good, the heart will register that good. If the idea is bad, the heart will register that reservation and the mind will have a stupor and confusion. The heart and mind must pass the matter back and forth until the person is assured by the Holy Spirit that they know the mind and will of the Lord.
This work is arduous at first, and may virtually paralyze the person. But as one works from one little decision to another, his or her ability to be faithful will increase, and ere long he or she will be able to be faithful at the full, ordinary pace of life. It is much like learning a new language. Halting and painful at first, we are tempted to revert to our mother tongue (the ways of the natural man). But as we persevere, faith becomes our new tongue, and we become fluent, and are able to speak with the tongue of angels.
Now, being assured that we are doing the right thing, we may act in perfect confidence, carrying out the mind and will of the Lord Jesus Christ in the acts of our flesh.
Our receiving true understanding through the Holy Spirit, our receiving instruction as to how to make our eye single, our receiving a new heart, our receiving instruction as to what to do are the gift aspects of faith. It will be seen that faith is largely a gift from God.
But those gift aspects of faith cannot remain alone. Without the willing and grateful receiving of the gifts and the faithful hearkening to the mind and will of God on the part of some agent human being to work out God’s designs in the earth, faith would not yet exist. Faith without works is dead, being alone.
The great enemy of faith is pride, the self-sufficiency that causes us to reject the messages that come to us from God. Evidences of pride are our willingness to believe in the traditions and wisdom of men which are not commended to us by God, or to place reliance on our own conjectures.
Thus the minds of men are the battleground in the war between faith in God and sin. Those who will have faith in God must exert themselves mightily, performing great mental exertion, to learn to be faithful to Jesus Christ.