Declaration of Independence

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. - That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed.

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Finding Truth

                I enjoy the freedoms of modern technology.  I enjoy being able to Google almost anything and find an answer.  The answer to every question seems to be on the Internet. 

                The Internet can be used to do much good in the world.  I find it very helpful as I attempt to stay in touch with children and grandchildren.  Family records and histories are much easier and quicker to find than in the “olden days” before the Internet.  I find it truly amazing at everything we can do from the comfort of our homes because of the blessing of the Internet.

                We must remember that the Internet can also be used for evil purposes.  He uses this wonderful tool for evil purposes such as promoting doubt, creating fear, destroying faith and hope, and destroying individuals and families.

                Elder Marcos A. Aidukaitis of the Quorum of Seventy of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke about using the Internet to gain knowledge and wisdom.  “The Internet provides many opportunities for learning…. 
                With so much available on the Internet, we must carefully consider where to apply our efforts.  Satan can keep us busy, distracted, infected by sifting through information, much of which can be pure garbage. 
                One should not roam through garbage.”

                Elder Aidukaitis reminded his listeners that “The Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for every thing which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know … it is of God” (Book of Mormon – Another Testament of Jesus Christ, Moroni 7:16).

                Since all of us at one time or another lack wisdom, we should use this guide to help us find the truth.  Elder Aidukaitis continued, “In the kingdom of God, the search for truth is appreciated, encouraged, and in no way repressed or feared.  Church members are strongly counseled by the Lord Himself to seek for knowledge [Doctrine and Covenants 88:78].  He said, `Seek ye diligently…; yea, seek ye out of the best books words of wisdom; seek learning, even by study and also by faith’ ( Doctrine and Covenants 88:118)…."

                So how do we go about seeking wisdom?  How do we recognize truth in our world of today?  Elder Aidukaitis said that the scriptures teach us how to do it.  (1) “We can know the truth by observing its fruits.”  The Savior taught that we can know a good tree from a bad tree by its fruits.  A good tree brings forth good fruit, and a bad tree brings forth bad fruit.

                An ancient American prophet by the name of Mormon taught the same principle:  “By their works ye shall know them; for if their works be good, then they are good also” (Moroni 7:5).

                We can judge anything – a book, a class, a religion, or a political issue – by observing its fruits.  Does it cause us to desire to do good and become better followers of Christ?

                (2) “We can find truth by experimenting on the word ourselves.”  We can follow the counsel of the prophet Alma (Book of Mormon, Alma 32:28, 30-31) to plant the seed in our hearts.  If it starts to grow, we know it is a good seed.  If we cultivate it, it will mature and bring forth fruit.  We are invited to test the word of God!

                (3) We can know the truth by personal revelation.  Revelation is knowledge – “knowledge of whatsoever things [we] ask in faith, with an honest heart, believing that [we] shall receive” (Doctrine and Covenants 8:1; emphasis added).
                The next verse explains how we will receive revelation:  “I will tell you in your mind and in our heart, by the Holy Ghost, which shall come upon you and which shall dwell in your heart.”

                Elder Aidukaitis continued, “We must ask in faith and with an honest heart.  But that is not all.  We must also believe that we will receive the revelation.  We must trust the Lord and have hope in His promises….
                “I invite all to seek truth from any of these methods but especially from God through personal revelation.  God will reveal truth to those who seek for it as prescribed in the scriptures.  It requires more effort than to just search the Internet, but it is worth it.”

                I invite you to try these methods of gaining truth.  All of them are valuable in our search for truth.  I particularly appreciate the opportunity to ask God for assistance in determining truth.  When He answers, I know I can trust His answer even though I might not understand it.  I have gained much knowledge and wisdom through personal revelation.

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