"If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it."
"If your only goal is to become rich, you will never achieve it."
The same way we trust Jesus. You read about him, you find out things about him and carefully consider whether those things hold to be true.
1 Thessalonians 5:21
21Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.
First of all, I don't think it matters if you "believe" in the Bible or not. It would appear smart to be able to take a claim from anywhere and think about whether it makes sense or not. This is one of those claims, and to me it is an excellent piece of direction towards understanding life. A reason somebody may not take a claim to be true from an "evil" source is because they are not confident enough in their own standing and fear it may skew their perspective and understanding which is so earnestly justified in their own mind. You may think this claim is total BS and that's fine, however, if a friend told it to you would you hold it to be more true?
A lot of people from the LDS Church tell me that the only way to find truth is through prayer and talking directly with our Heavenly Father. I have no problem with this except I don't think this is the only way to find truth. And I especially don't think this is the only way to understand Joseph Smith. It doesn't make sense to ask God if what Joseph Smith is saying is true just like it doesn't make sense to ask God if what Jesus is saying is true. Don't get me wrong, it is a great thing to do, but there are OTHER WAYS THROUGH THE WORLD TO FIND TRUTH.
I think people should look into things OTHER than just talking with God. I was asked the question why do I believe in Jesus and trust what he says? Because it holds to be TRUE and GOOD. It makes sense to me and can be backed up with REASON and FACTS. I have not been presented any negative claims about him that I have not been able to come around and prove to not make sense via Earthly tests. And yes, this is a very bold claim but it is true. Anything said negatively about Jesus I think about objectively and consider it. I then "Prove all things; hold fast that which is good." It's a simple formula that yields powerful results. His word holds up to Earthly tests. The EXACT same kind of standard and questioning should be held with Joseph Smith and anyone else bringing forth claims spiritual or not.
I don't have a "burning in my bosom" with Joseph Smith right now. And I probably WILL NOT until I have studied him out further and questioned ASPECTS and CLAIMS from him rather than just taking the WHOLE package to be true.
Even with Jesus I myself could be interpreting it wrong and make him out to be a liar or telling something which is not true. It is important to try to understand what is being said and be as close to on the same page as the one presenting the information. I should then TEST these things and find out myself if they are true.
And how am I supposed to test these things? I can't really test these things by talking with God alone can I? It appears as though I have to talk with other people, compare things to nature, test them with science and use any other form of understanding that is given to me here on Earth. The only way to learn is not through speaking and prayer with God. If it were, why were we created and put here on this Earth? Besides, all things are made by God anyway, TRUTH IS TRUTH no matter where it comes from. If something on the Earth is perceived by me as truth how is that any different than getting that truth revealed to me by God himself?
It doesn't seem like it, but perhaps what I'm saying could be wrong. Maybe the absolute truth may be obtained only by asking God and seeking his TRUTH, but getting those questions and stepping stones that build up to that truth seem as though they can be obtained through the World.
It's not like I love the World, but I love the truth that can be found with it. And despite all the evil in the world, there is still lots of good to be found and added to myself. Once again, why would I be created here on Earth if not to learn through it and be nurtured by it?
In other words, God didn't tell me straight up, "EVERYTHING JESUS SAYS IS CORRECT SO YOU SHOULD BELIEVE IN HIM". And why would he do that? If that were the case there would be no reason for me to search him out and study him. God helps me put pieces together and guides me through life, the same way a father teaches his son the lessons of life. A father doesn't straight up say to his son, "Everything I tell you is correct and you should listen to me" - well at least I hope not. Even if he was this does not help the child learn. The same can be said with God. The father should say something like, "I have been through many lessons and experiences in life. A lot of the things that you will soon be facing I myself have been through. If I may guide you along your journey and help you when you fall I would be honored. Not everything I say is probably fully correct and a lot of what I say may depend on the circumstances at hand. For these reasons 'Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.'" The way I see it, God works the exact same way. Even though he is 100% TRUTH he still knows that you need to learn on your own and grow on your own. Once again, you can't receive every answer directly through him, otherwise why even be existing?
If a truthful opinion on something is not being created, there will be These claims will clash with my understanding and then it will force me to study these claims out and research those on my own. The only harm done by being wrong is not doing anything to correct it. But being wrong or evil as an honest and earnest understanding could in no way be a bad thing as is a part of finding a closer truth.
I think that the world is geared to bring people towards truth and understanding. This may be an audacious claim considering the World has very evil things that can take people away from truth. Even the Bible has scriptures claiming "know ye not that the friendship of the world is enmity with God? whosoever therefore will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God" (James 4:4). I definitely see what this verse is saying and I agree with it. There are evils in the world and the spiritual world is much closer to God. At the same time though, how can there be good without bad? The opposition and contrast of the world is what allows us to find that greater good. And in that perspective I do see the world as being a purposeful and good thing.
I find it very hard to find any reason not to hit Joseph Smith with as many scientific, logical, Biblical and rational claims as possible. Especially if after my 2 day fast my mind was telling me, "If what he says really is true it should hold up just like how Jesus holds up." I myself have hit the Bible and Jesus with as much fire as I can and it continues to hold strong :). Truth is truth.
It is very true I could be wrong on a number of things here and if so I hope I will be able to see where I am and God will correct me and point me back on a more stable path. I will always continue to search and seek His Truth humbly, objectively and with an open mind to taking things to be true, even if they go against my current beliefs.Filed under: Spiritual, God, Mormon