Sunday, September 28, 2008

How Do You Know That You Know?

Today in church I told the congregation that I know the Gospel is true. That I know Heavenly Father loves me and cares about me. That I know Jesus Christ atoned for my sins. That I know the Church is led by a real prophet. That the Book of Mormon is a true record. In short, I bore my testimony.

This blog is a sort of a journal of my testimony. That is, it is a recitation and explanation of the things that I know are true. You may ask, "How can you know?"

Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said:

"What do we mean when we testify and say that we know the gospel is true? Contrast that kind of knowledge with 'I know it is cold outside' or 'I know I love my wife.' These are three different kinds of knowledge, each learned in a different way. Knowledge of outside temperature can be verified by scientific proof. Knowledge that we love our spouse is personal and subjective. While not capable of scientific proof, it is still important. The idea that all important knowledge is based on scientific evidence is simply untrue."

I know that the things of which I testify here on this blog are true. These things have been confirmed to me - to my spirit - by the Holy Ghost. This, to me, is a more sure and reliable method of confirmation than any kind of empirical measurement of evidence. Your eyes can be fooled. Scientific "knowledge" can be later disproved.

But if one follows this method for determining truth, the confirmation that comes is powerful and undeniable.

It follows, with perfect logic, that if God knows all things, and that He communicates to us through the Holy Ghost, that by the Holy Ghost we can know the truth of all things. The key is to ask sincerely, believing that you shall receive an answer from God. But, you must also be patient, since the answer may not always come how or when you expect.

Gaining a testimony of truths that are of eternal significance may or may not be easy, but it is always worth it.

There is such a profound and wonderful peace and assurance that comes with knowing that these things are true. I no longer have to wonder, no longer have to search for the truth. Now I can use my effort and energy to try to live the Gospel and improve myself. Really, having a strong testimony is indescribably awesome. It really makes you want to share what you have with others, that they may know that same peace and joy.

Finally, a note about the bearing of my testimony here in this public setting.

Elder Oaks also said:
  • "We live in a time when some misrepresent the beliefs of those they call Mormons and even revile us because of them. When we encounter such misrepresentations, we have a duty to speak out to clarify our doctrine and what we believe. We should be the ones to state our beliefs rather than allowing others the final word in misrepresenting them."
And that's why I'm doing this.

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