Red or Green? Learning Through Faith

For a few years before my Mom died. I would go down to visit my parents by myself about once a year.  This was my chance to just be a kid again for few days.  

Me at age 8 or 9

These trips seemed to form traditions without us even trying.  On our first night together, we went out for New Mexican food.  Thankfully both Farmington and Chandler have my favorite New Mexican restaurant, Si Senor's,

which translates into "Yes, Sir." or "Yes, Mister."

The last time I ate with Mom and Dad, I decided not to get my standard dish, a stuffed sopapilla,

but instead I wanted something different.  I told Dad that I was thinking about the pork which comes with red or green chile. 

Dad said, "You'll want to get the red, it's better."

My whole life I've been a "green-chile girl."

I RARELY select red chile sauce if given a choice.  The only time I purposefully choose red is when I make tostada compuestas.

In Utah, green chile sauces at restaurants are typically mild, while the red sauce is hotter.  When Dad told me that I'd want the red, I wasn't sure if he was right.  But then I thought about how many more times Dad has eaten at Si Senor's than I have, and how much more New Mexican food Dad has eaten than I have, and how many more times Dad has probably eaten this very menu item than I have, and how well he knows what I like and don't like.  I ordered it with the red sauce.

Our chips and salsa came.  With the chips, comes four bowls of dips: a bean dip, a sour cream dip, green salsa, and red salsa. 

Knowing how much I love green salsa, I dipped my chip into the green bowl.  Hoo Boy!  It was hot!  Really hot.  I looked at the dip and it had lots of seeds in it, which is what causes the heat.  

Then my dish arrived.  I was nervous to try it because of how spicy the green sauce had been.

It was mild!  

In fact it is by the far the best red sauce I have ever eaten in a restaurant.  I was so grateful that I listened to my Dad and said "Si, Senor" or "Yes, Dad" and did what he suggested.

Later, I was listening to the BYU President's devotional and he said that we can learn in one of three ways:
1. Learn through study
2. Learn through faith
3. Learn through experience

He focused on the importance of learning through experience and how just because we fail, we aren't failures.  To read more about failing, read here. 

As I've thought about these three methods of learning, I thought back to sitting in the restaurant trying to decide between red or green.  There were three ways I could have figured out which sauce was best:

First, I could go back into the kitchen and ask the chef to show me how he makes the two different sauces.  I could have watched him and asked him questions about which one was hotter.

Second, I could do what my Dad suggested without questioning it.  (Which is what I did.)

Third, I could have ordered what I thought would taste better based on past experience, or asked to have both red and green so that I can find out for myself which one tastes better.  

In all likelihood all three of these methods would have yielded the same conclusion: the red sauce is better than the green sauce (at least better tasting to me).

However, learning by faith took much less time and created much less pain on my taste buds.  

We have MANY opportunities to learn using all three methods: study, faith, and experience.  But more importantly is that this time away from our heavenly home gives us the opportunity to learn to trust in Heavenly Father and to have faith in Him and His Son Jesus Christ.  The more we choose to learn by faith, the more quickly we can learn what we need to know and experience much less pain and failures as a result.  

Of course Heavenly Father knew that we would not be able to learn all that we need to just by faith alone.  Sometimes we do need to study and experience it to learn.  This can cause mistakes which Heavenly Father also knew would happen.  Thankfully we have been given a way to learn by our own experience and still return to Him.  

In the Doctrine and Covenants, we are counseled to learn both by studying and by faith. 

D&C 88:118
 And as all have not faith, seek ye diligently and teach one another words of wisdom; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith.

So the next time you are asked, "Red or green?"  I hope you remember my little story about Si Senor's and think to yourself, "Yes, Sir" and recommit to learn not just by studying but by faith.


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