You Cannot Fight Against God

So… I’ve never really understood the whole point of the whole anti-Mormon thing. And by “anti-Mormon” I don’t mean anyone that doesn’t agree with Mormon doctrine. I’m referring to deliberate attacks on the doctrine. Websites, books, cds dedicated totryingto tear down the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I’m never worried about them. Their efforts fail and will always fail. Yet… I’m still curious. I wonder… what drives these people to have such an intense hatred for the Mormons and the things we believe? Why try to fight against us? What does it matter to them? I’m not going around trying to bash on the Lutherans or the Catholics or the Muslims. They have their beliefs and I have no reason to attack them for it.

Yet I’ve seen books and websites with the sole purpose of trying to tear down the LDS faith. Perhaps they think it’s some kind of missionary duty, to try and destroy what they believe to be something evil. Whatever the reason, I’d like to inject the reasoning of a great teacher. In fact, Paul the Apostle was the student of this man. His name was Gamaliel. When Peter and John were brought before the Sanhedrin, they were commanded by the Pharisees to cease preaching in the name of Christ. Peter and John, of course, were not frightened by their threats, and Peter testified to them of their wickedness and how they had slain the Son of God. The Pharisees then wanted nothing more than to murder the two apostles, yet one of them was not wicked in his heart. This was Gamaliel. He had Peter and John step out of the room and then he offered some wisdom to his fellow counselors.

Gamaliel tells them to take caution with what they were intending to do with Peter and John. He cites two references,

For before these days rose up Theudas, boasting himself to be somebody; to whom a number of men, about four hundred, joined themselves: who was slain; and all, as many as obeyed him, were scattered, and brought to nought.

After this man rose up Judas of Galilee in the days of the taxing, and drew away much people after him: he also perished; and all, even as many as obeyed him, were dispersed.

Two men, Theudas and Judas, had risen up, attempting to bring followers to their causes, and had failed. Their rebellions came to nothing.

And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought:

But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God.

He then basically tells them to leave Peter and John alone. If the source of their cause came from their own minds, like the two men he had just mentioned, then it will result in the same manner. It will come to nothing and eventually be done away with. But, if their cause is the cause of God, then fighting against it would be the worst idea possible, because you can’t fight against God. You’ll lose every time.

This is truly wisdom, and thinking about it makes me wonder why people try and fight against the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If our cause is the cause of a man from Palmyra, New York, then it will eventually be done away with. But it has not been done away with. It has lasted and endured the efforts of Satan. This is because it is not of Joseph Smith, it is of Jesus Christ. It his His work and His church. No one can fight against it, ’cause they’re fighting against God.

So here’s a little wisdom for the anti-Mormons. Go ahead. Fight against it if you want. If won’t matter, because I can tell you right now you are fighting against the work of God. You will lose. If you truly believe the LDS church is the consequence of a madman, then let us be. We’ll certainly destroy ourselves, given time. But we have not, and we never will. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is God’s kingdom restored to the earth. See the fruit of it. Read the Book of Mormon. Compare it with the Bible. Find out foryourself and don’t let anyone tell you one way or the other.

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In the Mouth of Two or Three Witnesses…

One his way to Damascus, and in the process of going about to destroy Christ’s church, Saul received a glorious vision in which the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him. Through this event, Saul was converted and his zeal was turned into an instrument for good. As one of the Twelve Apostles, he became known as Paul, and boldly proclaimed the Christ and the reality of his experience on the road to Damascus.

Like Paul, Joseph Smith also received a vision, in which he not only saw the Savior but also God the Father. Naturally, this event completely altered the course of his life, as did Paul’s experience did for him. Here we have two individuals who both had a rather extraordinary vision engendering a lifetime of unique discipleship full of great joy and also great pain, and all for the sake of furthering the work of God.

Another thing that these two men had in common: they were both accused of being crazy.

Before Festus and King Agrippa, Paul testified of his vision, that he had indeed seen and heard the risen Lord, and that the brightness was “above the brightness of the sun.” Also, that Christ had told Paul he had a mission for him to accomplish, that he was to proclaim the gospel to the Gentiles.

Upon hearing this testimony, Festus spoke up, loudly, and said, “Paul, thou art beside thyself; much learning doth make thee mad.” (Acts 26:24)

To this Paul said, “I am not mad, most noble Festus; but speak forth the words of truth and soberness.”

Joseph Smith, among the many things he was accused of, was said to be a lunatic. Some people today even believe he was actually put into a mental institution. But Joseph Smith was not insane. He was a mere fourteen years old when he told others of his experience. He suffered great amounts of persecution his entire life for making it known. He was tarred and feathered, thrown into jail multiple times on false charges, taken from his family and friends, lost many of his children, and watched in anguish as his fellow saints suffered the same tortures at the hands of evil men.

What had he to gain from making up a fairy tale? He had nothing to gain. He did not deny his vision because he knew it was a true, and he knew that God knew it. I know it as well. I know Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. Like Paul, he faced his opposition with boldness and proclaimed the truth for what it was.

If you don’t believe this to be true. That’s okay. I’m not here to convince you, I’m here to invite you. Read from the Book of Mormon. In Matthew, we read that you may know a true prophet from a false prophet by their fruits, or the consequences of what they have taught and done. The Book of Mormon is the fruit of Joseph Smith. By reading it with a sincere desire and an open heart, you can know Joseph Smith was a prophet called of God.

Who We Are

A lot of people have recently heard about a certain Texas Evangelical pastor and his comments regarding “Mormonism” and Mitt Romney. Apparently, in the eyes of this particular individual, Latter-day Saints do not qualify as Christians.

Ignore the fact that the name of our church is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Ignore the fact that we whole-heartedly profess that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world and that only through Him can salvation come. Ignore the fact that each week we partake of bread and water that represent His body and blood. Ignore the fact that we do believe in and follow the Holy Bible.

I believe that this was one thing this man brought up. In his mind, Mormons do not adhere to the teachings of the Bible, and that because we do not conform to this standard we are therefore non-Christian and, theologically, a cult. I’ll be a bit bold and straight up say that this man is a very confused individual. Latter-day Saints do in fact follow the teachings of the Bible. In fact, we’re the closest thing to Christ’s primitive church. Where else do you find prophets and apostles? Where else do you find temples and baptisms for the dead?

This man also said that the LDS church is a cult because while a true church is founded by divinity, a cult is founded by a man. He cited Joseph Smith as his example. Once again, this pastor does not understand. Who started his church? The Protestant movement began in what is commonly called the Reformation, a time period most schoolchildren are (or should be) aware of. The men that led this movement were indeed inspired, yet they never claimed to be prophets. They never claimed to have been sent from God to reclaim Christ’s true gospel. No, they were good men trying to fix what they knew how to fix. To this pastor I would say, “Your church was founded by a man. Not mine!”

Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. In the Bible we read that surely the Lord God will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. (Amos 3:7)

And how will the Lord reveal Himself to His servants the prophets?

And he said, Hear now my words: If there be a prophet among you, I the Lord will make myself known unto him in a vision, and will speak unto him in a dream. (Numbers 12:6)

Yes, false prophets will exist, as we read in Matthew. But we will also know them by their fruits. The Book of Mormon is the fruit of the prophet Joseph Smith. By reading it one can know of its divine nature. People say Joseph Smith wrote the Book of Mormon, and that it’s crazy to think the Book of Mormon actually came from God. I challenge such people to read it, and they’ll know for themselves that it’s crazier to think Joseph Smith did write it. No wicked man could write the Book of Mormon, and no good man would write it unless he was commissioned of God to do so.

Cult. Crazy. Non-Christian. Call us what you want, but that doesn’t change the fact that we are Christians, that we do believe in and follow the teachings of the Bible, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Christ’s kingdom upon the earth today.

Mormons are weird.

So… who thinks Mormons are weird? Many people roll their eyes or cringe when they hear about us or talk about us. “Oh great, it’s the Mormons!” I’m sure a lot of folks have exhaled such a phrase as they see me and my companion approach their front door, ready to preach what the world likes to call the “Mormon bible.” But are we really all that crazy?

I’ll admit, we’re a peculiar people. I mean, come on, just look at our doctrine and the things we teach! Don’t smoke? Don’t drink alcohol? Don’t do drugs? Don’t swear? Follow Jesus Christ by being baptized? Go to church? Give tithes? Be kind to others because we’re all children of God? Strive to be like Jesus and follow His teachings? Read the scriptures every day? Study the Old and New Testaments and the Book of Mormon? Pray daily? Share Christ’s gospel with others? Take two years out of your life when you’re 19 to spread the Word? Don’t have sex out of marriage? Be loyal to your spouse? Keep your thoughts clean and avoid pornography? The family is ordained of God? We can be together forever? Happily!?

Yeah, weird stuff, huh? Who would want to involve themselves in such thinking! Oh, wait, yeah there are some even more peculiar things. We do believe that God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ appeared to a 14-year-old farm boy from Vermont to restore Jesus Christ’s church to the earth.

That’s obviously ridiculous considering a burning bush told Moses to go free an entire race of people from Egyptian slavery.

But we also believe that three years later that same boy received golden plates on a hill from an angel named Moroni.

And that’s also downright crazy since Moses received stone tablets from the Great Jehovah on a mountain.

Mormons are just out of their minds, huh? I mean, going along with that 14-year-old boy’s account, we also believe that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost are three separate, distinct individuals. That can’t be right, ’cause Jesus obviously talked to Himself on the cross and in the Garden of Gethsemane! Stephen was obviously seeing double vision from getting pegged in the head with stones when he saw Christ on the right hand of God. Jesus was obviously just patting Himself on the back whenever He gave glory to the Father. And God was obviously just traveling at a super fast speed when He got baptized by John, appeared in the sign of a dove, and shouted down at Himself from Heaven all at the same time!

Yes, Mormons are indeed weird. We also believe in prophets and continuing revelation. That’s ludicrous! Why would God want to continue to reveal His word through prophets as He’s done since the dawn of time? Why would He want to give us more scripture? A God who loves His children would obviously find one book sufficient to help guide them back to His presence.

If the world finds us strange, so be it. I know that our doctrine is correct, and I know that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only [completely] true and living church on the earth today.

But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light (1 Peter 2:9)

 

Articles of Faith XIII: Christ-like

Finally, the last one. Here’s the biggy.

We believe in being honest, true, chaste, benevolent, virtuous, and in doing good to all men; indeed, we may say that we follow the admonition of Paul—We believe all things, we hope all things, we have endured many things, and hope to be able to endure all things. If there is anything virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy, we seek after these things.

These are all qualities Latter-day Saints seek to acquire. Not saying that all Mormons possess these qualities, but these are the characteristics that the LDS church teaches and endorses. We believe in being Christ-like to all men, not just to other members of our church. We are all children of God, all part of the same spiritual family.

The admonition of Paul is referencing Philippians 4:8, which states:

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

We seek out the good things in life, the things that uplift us and bring us closer to our Father in Heaven. This is what “Mormonism” (as some people call it) is all about. We are The Church of Jesus Christ. We praise the things that come from Him, and seek to be like Him in our thoughts, words, and actions. We are Christians.

For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps (1 Peter 2:21)

 

Articles of Faith VIII: Two Records

Number eight is where a major difference is shown between the LDS church and “mainstream” Christian denominations.

We believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it is translated correctly; we also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

Once again we’ll break it down.

We believe the Bible to be the word of God.

This reaffirms our devotion to the Holy Bible. In the eyes of Latter-day Saints, it is God’s word. We love and cherish the Bible and the message it bears, that Jesus is the Christ, the Savior and Redeemer of the world. In no way do we view the Holy Bible as anything less than that. When we list our standard works (the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price), the Bible is always first.

As far as it is translated correctly.

It is true that we do not believe the Bible to be infallible. Through centuries of translations, corruption has leaked in. However, it has, for the most part, remained intact. Some translations are more correct than others. The official version the LDS church uses is the King James Version. We believe it to be the most correct version, and also love it for its more… shall we say…. poetic… text.

We also believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God.

The Book of Mormon has only gone through one translation, by the prophet Joseph Smith. (Yes, changes have been made throughout the years.) The Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. It does not add or remove from the Bible, but serves to reaffirm the Bible’s message.

Together these two records bear testimony of the Savior Jesus Christ. Many believe that Mormons regard the Book of Mormon as superior than the Bible. I’m sure there are some that actually do, and such are individual opinions. The Book of Mormon does serve a unique purpose, however, apart from the Bible. It serves as a witness that Joseph Smith was indeed a prophet of God, and that through him Jesus Christ restored His church.

The Book of Mormon, however, does not contain Christ’s mortal ministry or the acts and writings of the apostles. It does not contain the history of the children of Israel in the Old Testament. Therefore, both records are of equal value. They are two records, but they are one testimony of Jesus Christ.

Articles of Faith I: The Godhead

Many today still wonder whether or not Mormons are actually Christians. It’s a sad thing, because if any person actually took the time to learn about the LDS church, he or she would know, without a doubt, that we are indeed Christians.

John Wentworth, an editor for the Chicago Democrat, once asked Joseph Smith to write something for the paper describing what members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints believe. He (Joseph Smith) came up with thirteen statements of belief that later became known as the articles of faith. This is the first one:

We believe in God the Eternal Father, and in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost.

This statement emphasizes our belief that the three members of the Godhead are three, separate, distinct individuals. They are one in purpose, but not one in any physical way. Some people try to use this to say we are not Christians. The trinity, however, has no support from the Bible, and in no way does it ever suggest that they are all literally one person.

From this single statement, it’s obvious to see that we believe Jesus Christ is the Only Begotten Son of God. He is our Savior and Redeemer. The Bible and Book of Mormon both testify of this. We read in the Book of Mormon,

O remember, remember, my sons, the words which king Benjamin spake unto his people; yea, remember that there is no other way nor means whereby man can be saved, only through the atoning blood of Jesus Christ, who shall come; yea, remember that he cometh to redeem the world. (Helaman 5:9)

To say that Mormons don’t believe in Christ as their Savior, or that we don’t think His Atonement is necessary, is simply ignorance. We firmly believe that salvation can only come through Jesus Christ. There is no other way. Jesus Christ and His Atonement is at the very center of our religion. If you don’t believe me, read the Book of Mormon.

The King, the Heir, and the Called

Why did Jesus walk all the way to John the Baptist to be baptized? What exactly was the power Christ gave His apostles so they could heal and cast out unclean spirits? Why did Peter and John need to lay their hands on the people to give them the gift of the Holy Ghost?

Authority is the answer. Christ went to John because John, through his lineage, held the priesthood authority to baptize Him. Priesthood authority is what Christ gave to the Apostles, allowing them to heal and cast out spirits. This same authority is what Peter and John used to bestow the gift of the Holy Ghost.

Jesus Christ’s church is His kingdom. I like to think of this as a literal thing, like a medieval times type of thing. God the Father is the ultimate king over all the land. Jesus Christ, being His Only Begotten Son, is the Prince, the rightful heir to the kingdom. His blood is royal blood, and through it He holds the authority to conduct the affairs of the kingdom. This authority can be passed down to us, but only through the proper way.

And no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. (Hebrews 5:4)

No one can just say they have the authority. It must be given to them, and they must be called of God. Christ gave this royal authority to His chosen apostles, allowing them to conduct the affairs of The Church, His kingdom.

The apostles were not received well however, and were eventually disposed of. Because of this corruption, the authority was not passed down in the correct way and was lost. But it was restored. The King (God the Father) and the Heir (Jesus Christ) visited a young boy named Joseph Smith. This young boy was called of God and the priesthood authority was given to him by John the Baptist, Peter, James, and John, as resurrected beings.

For centuries, the royal authority was lost, but it has been restored. The Prophet Joseph Smith was called of God, and the authority, the right to officiate in Christ’s church, was restored through him. The Church of Jesus Christ is again on the Earth! The proof is a record known as the Book of Mormon. By reading it, pondering it, and praying about it, you can know if the priesthood authority was restored through Joseph Smith.

Advantage in the World to Come

A good education is something that everyone should aspire to. It’s a wise piece of advice that we’re told over and over again, most often by our elders (the old kind, not the white shirts and name tags kind). But what kind of education is worth our time? What knowledge should we be most aspiring to gain? Modern revelation, from the prophet Joseph Smith, gives us an insight to the role knowledge plays in the life to come,

Whatever principle of intelligence we attain unto in this life, it will rise with us in the resurrection. And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come. (Doctrine and Covenants 130:18-19)

We can’t take our possession with us to the grave. . . . Well, I suppose we could, but they would just disintegrate with our bodies. What we can take, however, is our knowledge, what’s in our hearts and minds. The wisdom we gain through our experiences and the knowledge of the gospel of Jesus Christ will forever remain with us.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with attaining worldly knowledge. We learn in the Book of Mormon that “to be learned is good if [we] hearken unto the counsels of God.” (2 Nephi 9:29)

So long as we put God first and follow His commandments, our learning and education will be for our benefit, and it will rise with us when our spirits and our bodies are reunited in the resurrection. I know this is true. What we put into our hearts and minds is what will be worth the most to us, now and after we pass from this life.

The Glass Table Analogy III: Restored

Joseph Smith grew up in Palmyra, New York, during the early 19th century. During this time, there was an excitement about religion, at least in the town of Palmyra. Preachers stood outside their meetinghouses and called out to passersby. Joseph’s father was partial to the Methodist faith, while his mother aligned herself with the Presbyterians. They were both devoted followers of Jesus Christ, and raised their children as such, reading and learning from the Bible.

At a point in his childhood, Joseph became concerned for the welfare of his soul. He desired to join one of the churches in his town, but he didn’t know which one. They were all confusing to him, and they all seemed to contradict each other. Unfortunately, an argument on a particular doctrine couldn’t be settled by the Bible, because all the preachers interpreted it differently. The Bible seemed more like a battle ground than common ground.

Young Joseph was reading one night in the epistle of James, first chapter, fifth verse, which reads,

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

He pondered these words, and then he decided to take James up on his promise. You can read my post about Joseph Smith’s First Vision here.

Joseph saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. Together, They appeared to him. He asked them again which church to join, and Jesus Christ answered him and said that he should join none of the churches. For although there is truth in them all (pieces of the glass table), they don’t have the full doctrine of Christ (the original table).

Joseph Smith was later called as a prophet, and through him Jesus Christ would restore His church to the earth by restoring the keys of the kingdom, or the priesthood authority. By doing this, ordinances such as baptism could be done with the proper authority from God. It is the Church of Jesus Christ, and because we are in the latter days, or the last days, it is called The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him (Ephesians 1:10)

We are living in the fulness of times, and Jesus Christ has restored His church. Joseph Smith was and is a prophet called of God. And how can we know this? Matthew stated that by their fruits we may know if a prophet is truly called of God, or if he is fake. The Book of Mormon is the “fruit” of Joseph Smith. By reading it, pondering it, and praying about it, one can know of its divinity.

I know the Book of Mormon is true. If you have not read it, I challenge you to do so. It’s the only way you can know if Christ’s church has been restored. This is my testimony, and I give it in the name of Jesus Christ, that His church is restored.

 

Death Cannot Conquer The Hero Again

Speaking of Himself and His crucifixion, Jesus said,

Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. (John 12:24)

By allowing Himself to die for us, Christ can bring us unto Him, therefore bringing forth fruit. The metaphor can be applied to ourselves and others though, when He added in the next verse,

He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal.

And so, I will apply this to the prophet Joseph Smith. The mobs that continually persecuted the Mormons in the early days of the Church thought they could do away with them, the Mormons. They figured, if they killed Joseph Smith, that would be the end of it all. Unfortunately, for them, they were mistaken.

The martyrdom of Joseph Smith only added more fire and zeal to the testimonies of the early Saints, and they pressed onward, eventually settling in the west. Joseph Smith lost his life, but in doing so he sealed his work with his blood. In the words of a hymn, written by William W. Phelps,

Hail to the Prophet, ascended to heaven!
Traitors and tyrants now fight him in vain.
Mingling with Gods, he can plan for his brethren;
Death cannot conquer the hero again.

The Prophet still lives on. The mobs may have killed his body, but they could never touch his spirit. I bear witness to you, whoever you may be, that Joseph Smith was and still is a prophet of God, and called by Him. Through Joseph Smith, God and Jesus Christ restored The Church of Jesus Christ upon the earth. And by the power and gift of God, Joseph Smith translated the Book of Mormon, which contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel of Jesus Christ. To sum it up, in the words of John Taylor,

Joseph Smith, the Prophet and Seer of the Lord, has done more, save Jesus only, for the salvation of men in this world, than any other man that ever lived in it.

More Worth Than Gold

Many people believe the Book of Mormon does not hold any worth or value. That it is unnecessary or a waste of time to even consider. Nephi, the second prophet in the Book of Mormon, said, concerning the contents of the Book of Mormon,

Wherefore, the things which are pleasing unto the world I do not write, but the things which are pleasing unto God and unto those who are not of the world.

Wherefore, I shall give commandment unto my seed, that they shall not occupy these plates with things which are not of worth unto the children of men. (1 Nephi 6:5-6)

The prophets and other writers of the Book of Mormon did not write things that are pleasing to the world. They wrote the things of God. I testify that everything in the Book of Mormon is of worth unto us, the children of men. I testify that the Book of Mormon is overflowing with the doctrine of Jesus Christ. And I testify that the Book of Mormon is the most important book on the earth today, not just for the things it contains, but because it is the only way we can know that God and Jesus Christ restored Christ’s church through the prophet Joseph Smith.

Read the Book of Mormon, and find out for yourself  just how much worth it has.

“This is life eternal, that they might know thee…”

When Joseph Smith was a young boy, he was confused about the different Christian sects that existed. He wanted to join a church, but did not trust his adolescent judgment enough to make such an important decision. He was reading one night in the Bible, in the epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse which says that “if any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God.” Joseph reflected upon this verse again and again, and finally decided to do as James directs.

He walked a short distance from his house into a grove of trees and offered up a prayer to God. He wanted to know which church he should join. In the prophet Joseph’s own words, this is his account,

“I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. . . When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”

Something significant was learned in just this one encounter. From this experience we find out that God the Father and Jesus Christ are two separate beings, and that Jesus Christ is indeed God’s Son. We also discover that God and Jesus Christ have bodies of flesh and bone and that we are literally made in the image of God.

And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3)

Christ Himself states that life eternal is to know Him and Heavenly Father. I testify that God is not an unknowable being. Nor is He one in three persons or personalities. For how can one think to know God if He is someone else, but at the same time… not? Or how can they think to know their Savior if He is also two other persons… but not?

 I testify that God, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit are literally three separate, distinct beings. God the Father is literally our Father. Jesus Christ is our Savior and Redeemer and literally our Eldest Brother. And the Holy Ghost is Their messenger, testifying of Them to us. In this way is the Godhead known and understood. Three separate Beings with one purpose, to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.

The Restoration: Of Knowledge

A bit of wise counsel I’d like to share from Jacob, a Book of Mormon prophet.

O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainness, and the frailties, and the foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken not unto the counsel of God, for they set it aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish.

But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God. (2 Nephi 9:28-19)

Pride cometh before the fall. This is true in all aspects of life, including education and knowledge. I’m sure many would agree that, today, society as a whole has shunned the wisdom of God. We have come far in such a short amount of time. Technological and scientific advances are astounding. More and more information is being discovered each day. But are these truly our advances, or are they blessings from God?

As our knowledge has moved forward, our faith in God has taken a decline. Jacob’s words are true. We no longer hearken to the counsel of God, but instead have made steps to remove Him from our societies. We think we don’t need Him, when in reality every step we’ve made has been because of His love and kindness.

In love, God the Father and Jesus Christ restored The Church of Jesus Christ to the earth through the prophet Joseph Smith. The heavens are wide open, and revelation is being poured out through living prophets and apostles and through ourselves. The priesthood authority that Jesus Christ personally brought during His earthly ministry is back in full force.

From the early 19th century until the present time, just look at all the advances we have made! The fact that all of the remarkable inventions and discoveries began the same time as the Restoration of Christ’s gospel is no coincidence.

I know that these blessings have sprouted because Jesus Christ’s church is once again on the earth. By recognizing God and Christ in all things, our knowledge can bring us further blessings. Let us not shun Them from society, but bring Them back, because “to be learned is good if [we] hearken unto the counsels of God.”

Ask of God

This last weekend was amazing. I am grateful to have had the opportunity to hear from a living prophet of God, apostles, and other church leaders called of God. Of course, the things they say are not to be taken by their word. We must search and study their words and listen to the Holy Spirit of God to know that they are true. As I watched and listened to conference, I can testify that the Spirit was present. Two hours is a long time to sit… and I’m somewhat of a fidgety person. When one session is over, I’ll admit I’m slightly relieved. However, it is also, for a moment, a depressing feeling.

When each session ends, I can without a doubt feel the power of the Holy Spirit lessen. It is always a testimony to me of the divinity of the Prophet’s and Apostles’ callings.

When Joseph Smith was in a position of uncertainty, wanting to know which of the religious sects was right, he came across a verse in the New Testament, which reads,

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5)

He did so (that is, ask of God) and received his answer in a marvelous way, in which he saw God the Father and Jesus Christ.

I am certain that you and I will never have such a thing revealed to us, in that manner. But we can know truth which just as much surety as if we had seen a vision. A Book of Mormon prophet named Moroni stated simply,

And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. (Moroni 10:5)

If you did not participate in General Conference, I invite you to watch it online at lds.org. Listen to the Prophet’s voice, and the voice of the Apostles and other leaders. Ask God if their words are true, and by the power of the Holy Ghost, you may know if they are truth.