A Testimony

Posted by: Andee / Category: ,

Growing up Mormon, you are taught to share your testimony of the Church with your family and friends to strengthen your testimony as well as theirs.

My ward always had a fast and testimony meeting the first Sunday of every month. You would skip eating food, go to church and tell everyone how much you "Know" the Church is true, "Know" Joseph Smith was a prophet of God, and "Know" the Book of Mormon is inspired text. Other stories usually came as well, like how Mrs. Green lost her keys, prayed, and thanks to her strong belief in the Church and the Gospel she found the keys on the table. There are so many faith-promoting stories told during testimony meetings that you can't help but feel warm and fuzzy. Warm and fuzzy because the stories are warm and fuzzy... not because the Church actually helped them... because lets face it. Even if Mrs. Green hadn't prayed to her Heavenly Father about her lost keys, she probably would have found them on the table anyway.

What bothers me the most on fast and testimony Sundays isn't the adults that get up there and share what they believe. It's the little tiny kids that do it. I have seen more 6 year olds speak into the microphone about how they know the Church is true and how they know Joseph Smith was a true prophet. Small children don't have the capacity to make decisions like that, yet these kids are applauded for saying these things. They soon learn that saying the church is true and Joseph Smith was a true prophet will make everyone happy, and they are soon less likely to disagree with anyone saying anything different. Here is where the boundary between belief and knowledge is blurred, (or not allowed to form in the first place).

I have been asked by many people to re-read the Book of Mormon and pray to find out if it is true. Problem there. You can't trust your warm and fuzzy feelings to show truth, if you do you are opening yourself up for failure. Here is a quote taken from "Wulfen":

I recently hooked up with an old college roommate. He's still active, but is completely tolerant of me being inactive. We had a very good discussion, late into the night. We got onto this very subject: TBMs insisting that they know something that they really only believe passionately. His response was very enlightening. He said, "I don't' know that there is a difference."

I then gave him an analogy to explain my take on it. "Suppose I stood on the corner a block away, and saw a $50 bill stuck in some gum under the bench. Then suppose I came and told you about it. Would you know it was there, or only believe it?"

"Oh, if you told me Wulfen, I would KNOW it."

"No," I said, "you could only believe it. Until you actually walked over there and saw for yourself, it could only be belief. What we have in the Mormon church, is millions of people running around insisting that they KNOW there's $50 at the street corner, when they've never actually seen it." I ended by saying that there's nothing wrong with believing something, as long as you're honest and admit that this is the case.

And after all, if one cannot distinguish between what they know and what they believe, how can they ever know anything?
Wulfen is right. You can't "Know" that any church is true, you can only believe, and I certainly don't do that anymore.

Here is another quote from "then again":

I DO KNOW the truth of Joseph Smith and his false prophesies, marriage to other men's wives, marriage to 14 yo girls, illusions of grandure, ...

Yes, I KNOW about these lies. And my knowledge is based on fact, not some heartburn feeling.

I couldn't have said it better myself.