Having defined faith in the first lecture, in the second Lecture on Faith we turn to the subject of the "object on which it rests"--namely, God himself. When we get to the third and fourth lectures, we will discuss what kind of being God is and what his characteristics and attributes are, but I do want to share this little tidbit now: "In him the principle of faith dwells independently; and he is the object in whom the faith of all other rational and accountable beings centers, for life and salvation" (v. 2). I had to spend some time thinking about what it meant by faith dwelling independently in God. The conclusion that I came to was that in order for us to have productive faith, we must depend on God to be the object and validator of our faith. But in order for him to have productive faith--which means he has the power to do all things good and right for himself and for us--he doesn't have to have faith in anything outside of himself. Simply put, God exists independent of any of us, but we depend on him for our very being (Mosiah 2:20-25). The second thing I wanted to comment on here is the phrase "for life and salvation." "Life" can be understood to refer to existential things: to live, breathe, and have our being, which will continue in perpetuity. "Salvation" can be understood to refer to existence or life that is saved and purified--to continue on in eternity in God's presence. God alone really is the only thing, the only being we need to have faith in, in order to make our eternal existence a happy and glorious one.
Let's move on to the main point of the lecture, which is to "show the evidences which mankind have had, and the foundation on which these evidences are, or were based, since the creation, to believe in the existence of God.... [or] by which the first thoughts were suggested to the minds of men that there was a God who created all things."