Hearken to the Truth and Give Heed unto It

I was 28 years old when I realized that Mormonism was false. I spent a few years searching for the “true church” amongst the protestant religions. After I decided that Christianity didn’t “feel” right, I went from one form of spirituality to another. Finally, I gave up searching for the truth. But I could never stop believing that there was some kind of God. Merely looking around at the marvelous universe was enough to convince me that there had to be a God who had created everything. I finally determined that God had simply left us humans to ourselves.

Looking back, I realize that through all my years of searching, I had always used the LDS method of determining whether or not something was true—trusting in my feelings. One example of this is found in the Book of Mormon: Gospel Doctrine Teacher’s Manual Lesson 5:

Elder Boyd K. Packer taught: “The Holy Ghost communicates with the spirit through the mind more than through the physical senses. This guidance comes as thoughts, as feelings, through impressions and promptings. It is not always easy to describe inspiration. The scriptures teach us that we may ‘feel’ the words of spiritual communication more than hear them, and see with spiritual rather than with mortal eyes (see 1 Nephi 17:45)” (pp 22-23)

True to the Faith explains how feelings from the Spirit should be used to determine if something is true:

Note the Lord’s final words in Doctrine and Covenants 9:8 [-9: “But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you;] therefore, you shall feel that it is right. [But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong…]” The burning described in this scripture passage signifies a feeling of comfort and serenity, not necessarily a sensation of heat.” (True to the Faith, page 144; D&C 9:8-9)

I spent three decades searching for truth using this LDS formula. Instead of finding the one and only “true God” I found many different people whose hearts gave them very different answers as to what truth was. There are millions of people from various different faiths who have trusted that their strong feelings were God’s answer to their prayers. I found those who sincerely believed in Shamanism, Mormonism, Buddhism, New Age thinking, Deists, Atheists and Agnostics. All truly had faith that what they believed in their heart was true. They based their faith on very strong feelings that what they were following was truth.

There are many different examples of those who have trusted in their feelings to determine truth. Take the crusades where millions were killed and persecuted in the name of God. These people who were murderers were zealots who truly believed they were doing what God wanted them to do. They believed this because they listened to their feelings and to their hearts. Take the men who bombed the World Trade Center Towers. These men believed so strongly that their feelings would never lie to them that they committed suicide doing what “felt right“.

In all my searching I realized that humans are just really messed up. There have been many horrible aspects which define “religion”. But none of these have anything to do with God—each one is simply man claiming to act on God’s behalf. I finally came to the conclusion that a person can’t determine what is true by trusting in their feelings. Feelings often lie to you and tell you what you want to hear. Many people from different religions feel that what they believe is truth, and yet there can only be one truth.

It wasn’t until I met the “God of love” that I learned that many “religions” are simply man-made attempts to define God. For years I had believed that all those horrible “religions” actually defined the Christian God. But I was wrong. The day I met the God of love, I found a God that I had never even dreamed of. This one true God loves me unconditionally and came to earth to give me a life of peace and love. Despite all the many horrible things that I have done in my life, this God actually chooses to dwell inside of me. His love fills my heart despite all the times I forget to trust fully in Him.

There is not one thing that I did to gain His love. Amazingly, Jesus came to earth to show me just how much He loves me. The Son of God lowered Himself and became a human because He unconditionally loves us. Our Savior gave His life so that we could grasp just how much He loves us.

I love the fact that Jesus told us how to determine truth! He testified, over and over again to search the scriptures!! That is where we can find God’s truth! Many times He chastised people who did not turn to scriptures for answers to their questions. After He was crucified He met two of His disciples on the road to Emmaus. He hid from them who He was and listened to them as they were trying to figure out why Jesus had been crucified. The reason they didn’t know is because they hadn’t turned to scripture to find the answers. Instead, they were studying it out in their minds. But Jesus revealed truth to them by taking them to scripture! Notice, He didn’t tell them to pray so that the Holy Ghost could reveal to them what was happening. Instead, Jesus pointed them to scripture as the place they could find the truth. (Prayer is how we speak to God–God speaks to us through His scripture (Matthew 22:29-32):

Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken: Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory? And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.” (Luke 24:25-27).

Even though they claimed later that their “bosoms” burned when Jesus spoke to them, their feelings were not what they used to determine whether Jesus spoke truth. They knew what was true because Jesus took them to the source of truth–God’s Holy scripture. If we want to know what is and isn’t true, we are to test everything with what the Holy Ghost has already revealed to us in scripture.

At times I can barely fathom God’s love for me. But I trust that He does because of all the promises He has left for me in scripture. Unfortunately, those who don’t really know Him often run and hide from Him.

I love these words about our God who loves us unconditionally–in spite of our sinfulness:

For we ourselves also were sometimes foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures, living in malice and envy, hateful, and hating one another. But after that the kindness and love of God our Saviour toward man appeared, Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; Which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Saviour; That being justified by his grace, we should be made heirs according to the hope of eternal life.” (Titus 3:3-7)

I pray that you will come to know of your Savior’s love for you. His love is so great that He gave His life–just so you could spend eternity with Him. Turn to Him and you will find the deepest love of your life. His greatest longing is to lavish His love on you. With the Apostle Paul, I pray this prayer for you:

For this cause I bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named, That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; That Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, May be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, Unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.

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5 Comments

  1. choosethechrist said,

    January 28, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Excellent post! Thanks for sharing.

  2. January 28, 2012 at 5:28 pm

    I love your truth and honesty you share. I pray my sweet Mormon friends will one day come to know the truth. Thank you for all you do.

  3. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    January 29, 2012 at 2:46 am

    Hi Kristie,

    Thanks for your comment and for the love you have for your Mormon friends. I volunteer with a wonderful Christian ministry that reaches out to those lost in Mormonism. We have a wonderful prayer Ministry if you would like to have prayers for your friends. Just go to TILM.org to find out more.

    God’s blessings as you share your witness of Him,
    Becki

  4. wyomingwilly said,

    January 29, 2012 at 7:57 pm

    That was a great post . Your journey through a maze of religions all
    competing for your allegiance is amazing , and it’s a testimony to
    God’s grace in how He protected you from even more detours . It
    seems that most Mormons were convinced that they’ve found the
    “true church” based largely on feelings, they just felt it was true etc.
    That’s a difficult thing to overcome in witnessing to them , but many
    are leaving the Mormon church so we need to pray that they find the
    true Jesus like you did . WW

  5. latterdaysaintwoman said,

    January 30, 2012 at 2:22 am

    wyomingwilly,

    God is great, God is good, He kept His promise like He said He would! (I think those are words from a Veggie tale song:) Feelings are difficult to overcome, but nothing is more powerful than God’s Word: “and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God” (Ephesians 6:17). A six-year old neighbor girl (whom I loved) invited me to church over and over again many times and I always refused. Her Dad was Christian but her Mother wasn’t. One day she invited me to church the next Sunday because she was singing and wanted me to hear her sing at Church. I refused and then she said (with her big blue eyes staring at me) “But my Mom won’t come either“. So, I went because I felt sorry for her and I cared for her so much.

    When the Preacher was giving his sermon and speaking the Word of God the Holy Spirit entered my heart and brought me to faith. At that time I did not understand what had happened to me, but I did know that I experienced the strongest emotional reaction that I had ever had. I started crying and my daughter who was with me thought I had gone crazy. Becoming a Christian was the LAST thing I wanted to do, so I fought doing so for several months. However, when the Holy Spirit brought me to faith, I crossed over from death to life and that new spiritual life inside of me had been born and could not be denied. It happened in an instant–like Jesus said it would in John 5:24 “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.”

    The Apostle Peter explained it like Jesus did to Nicodemus–being “born again” in 1 Peter 1:23: “Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever.

    While my conversion experience was a very emotional feely kind of thing, those feelings were not what caused me to know that it was truth. I spent months studying God’s Word before I knew for sure that my feelings (this time) were from the Holy Spirit. And, in the past over the years, every time that I had faith in something that was not God’s truth, I would be all excited for about three or four months and then my emotions just fizzled out. When the Holy Spirit brought me to faith in Jesus, that faith was a living faith–I was born again spiritually. A new creature was born inside of me, a spiritual creature that loved God and believed in Jesus. That was in 1995–over 16 yerars ago! Every time I read God’s Word in the Bible it sings to me. I love God’s Word and know it’s true because it agrees with itself!

    And, as I already stated, my Lord and Savior Jesus points me to scripture as the source of truth! I follow His example and turn to it often. I simply can’t stop myself from doig so. I love how Psalm 1 explains it:

    Blessed is the man [or woman] that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful. But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.


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