Tuesday, January 12, 2021

Oh Say, What is Truth?

 There is so much political unrest, right now and my mind has been engaged constantly with thoughts about what happened at the Capitol Building last week. 

I have vacillated between hope for the future and utter despair and anger that it was allowed to happen. I question everything and I've combed all information at my disposal to find the truth about what happened. Since everyone has a tainted opinion, it's always difficult to get to the core of everything, but I think I discovered the problem: 

People were believing a lie. 

The president lied and his followers believed him, anyway. He's lied for years, and they still believe him. He gets caught lying, and they justify and excuse his behavior. His lies have harvested division, hatred, and fear --which we think culminated in what happened last week, but I have a sinking feeling there is more to come. 

It makes me wonder how we got to this place, how people who claim to follow God could believe in such obvious hypocrisy and deceit. How could they not see his lies? What happened? But more importantly: what can I do to make sure I don't fall for it in the future? 

I've been pondering about this and I've made a list of sources of truth and in the order of which I use them to find what I'm looking for... this might help you! If it doesn't, that's okay. I'm mostly writing this for myself, anyway. 

First, we seek the truth from God. We seek personal revelation through the Holy Ghost. This is the ultimate place to find the truth because "if any of ye lack wisdom, let him ask of God" is not some kind of nice idea --it's real! The very first place to find the truth is with God. What does He want me to do? What does He have to say about everything. There's a caveat with this type of truth, though. How can I know I'm receiving the correct revelations? Well, I ask myself these questions: 

  • Am I keeping my covenants? 
  • Am I repenting every day? 
  • Do I have the Spirit with me? 
  • Am I being obedient to the commandments? 
If I can answer yes, sincerely, to these questions, then chances are good I can trust that communication with God is open and real. Here's a great article from our prophet about how this all works. 

Second: I search for truth from Prophets and Apostles. What is the prophet saying about what's happening right now? What are they saying about elections, racism, communication, pandemics, etc? If I don't know, then I need to find out! Here are some examples of what prophets and apostles have been saying: 
  • Racism is evil
  • We accept the results of elections
  • The Pandemic is real, we're having home-centered church, we need to follow local leaders about what we need to do to help end the pandemic, etc. 
  • We need to have faith and hope and continuously rely on Jesus Christ
Third: What are the scriptures saying? When we read the scriptures, we are able to understand the plan of salvation better, understand our purpose more, and can more easily recognize truth and error. 

"If you have not heard His voice speaking to you lately, return with new eyes and new ears to the scriptures. They are our spiritual lifeline." ~Elder Robert D. Hales

Fourth: Experts and Scientists -- if people have spent decades learning about a subject that I don't know too much about, I think it's okay to trust their judgment. For example, I have trusted doctors to treat me and my family when we are sick. I have had amazing therapists help me, many OBGYN doctors and midwives deliver my babies, and an amazing surgeon repaired my broken nose. I've seen ENT doctors get legos out of my son's ear, diagnose scary diseases, and treat my children with medicine that helped stave off infections. 

I've also allowed experts to teach me about writing, music, art, philosophy, and literature. I've listened to experts teach me about technology, nature, the weather, and animals. I've learned from experts since I was a tiny child --in fact, you could say we all learn from experts. 

Scientists amaze me because they do their best to seek knowledge, and then apply that knowledge carefully in our society. When they discover they might be wrong about something, they adjust. Science is seeking --it's always looking for the truth. They don't get angry when they get it wrong, they use it as a chance to do better. To demand perfection from leaders, scientists, and experts right away is to be always disappointed. I feel like I'm the same way. I don't always get everything right. But I'm trying to learn and grow. And not every scientist or expert will be correct because their integrity is corrupted. This is also true! But I know for a fact that God has placed experts and scientists into my life to help me. The good ones far outweigh the bad ones. And if you're just not sure --that's when you go back to step one and seek personal inspiration and revelation to know whether or not an expert or scientist is lying to you. 

So, where can truth be found? God, Prophets, Scriptures, Experts... honestly, truth isn't too difficult to find. We just need to know how to do it, and then run away from everything else. 😉

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