February 15, 2012

Living Principles

     This past thanksgiving I was blessed to be able to spend it with my wifes family where religion is a hot topic of conversation. Most of the family belong to the LDS church. One individual inparticular has been trying time and time again to investigate the Mormon faith. He has tried time and time again to ask God if it is true. Time and time again he has not received an answer. From a die hard Mormon perspective one might say,
       "Of course he did! The promise is right there! If you read the Book of Mormon and pray about it you are going to receive and answer! He must be denying the Holy Ghost!"
     To the anti-Mormon you may hear,
        "Proof at last! That this church they speak of is false in every way!"
From me you hear this, "He read, he prayed and he did not receive an answer." I know this individual genuinely wanted to know. I know he did not receive a strong witness of the truth as well. This does not mean that Gods promise is null and void. Lets look at every aspect of the promise from God in the book of Mormon. This is where the final prophet to write in the Book of Mormon tells us how we can know that it true, and its history is true. He says in Moroni Chapter 10,

      2 And I aseal up bthese records, after I have spoken a few words by way of exhortation unto you.
3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how amerciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and bponder it in your chearts.
4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would aask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not btrue; and if ye shall ask with a csincere heart, with dreal intent, having efaith in Christ, he will fmanifest the gtruth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may aknow the btruth of all things.

I know
I know
I had way too much fun with colors.
I used two different highlights for you. Every time he talks about "these things" its the entire book of Mormon. What many people miss is when he states that god will "manifest the truth of it unto you". he isn't necessarily telling you about the book itself. How can you pray about something you haven't even read? that's not part of the promise. We ask god if the message is true at the same time. His answer is to manifest the truth of "it". "it" is the mercies of the lord.
Now for the biggest mind blower.... You have to apply what you learn before you ask. If you learn about a commandment, you need to start living it. This is where many people go wrong.
Why do you think living something can help us learn about it?
I can read about the magnificence of the tropical islands all I want, but I won't know the true extent of the magnificence unless i actually go there.
You can read the book of Mormon all you want. You can even point out the mercies and blessings from living the principles it teaches. But without actually living those principles you cannot know of their importance and magnificence.
     This is the only way to know and understand anything good thing in life. It is hypocritical for anyone who has not lived up to the standards in the book of Mormon, to have any say in its truthfulness.  I even believe this for those who think they have true pure testimony that the book of Mormon is true. We cannot know unless we live.
     It's important, not just to live by the standards of the book, but to attribute our knowledge of them to the book of Mormon. We need to apply the standards we learn as we learn them. Someone can already be living a good life, then read the book of Mormon with the feeling that they already live their lives in accordance to all of Gods standards. This doesn't happen. There are principles to leaving a good life that we can learn and apply every time we read the book of Mormon. There are more mercies  of the lord than we can comprehend.
     I know the book of Mormon contains the word of god. I know that god is merciful to all men. We can improve the quality of our lives as we follow the teachings of God that are in the book of Mormon.