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curtishouse

How do you know God exists?

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I believe that God exists because I just cannot fathom that this awesome brain of mine came by accident.

Sounded egotistical in one way but not in another. A note worthy statement. Nice one

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Hello, In this world there are people who are agnostics or atheism. When I open my Bible, I think that if there is written that there is an existence somewhere. there are many religions in the world, I think it's not for nothing. Who would have written these books if god does not exist ?

There is none like unto thee, O Lord! You are great, and your name is great in strength ... It was he who made the earth by his power, who established the world by his wisdom, and who, by his intelligence, has stretched out the heavens.

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Guest mormonmusic
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I feel a lot in common with our opening poster on this one. I didn't believe God existed at all when I was a teenager. I didn't disbelieve it either -- it was just something I couldn't determine.

At 16 year of age, I was deeply humbled by outright rejection by my friends. At that age, your friends are everything, and to be an outcast among them threw me into a kind of depression. My parents were concerned and asked me to meet with our minister.

This man helped me through my personal issues, saying the formation and deterioration of friendships is part of life, and that eventually, I would have a new circle of friends. I started listening to him as this brought hope and made sense.

Feeling God Was With Me.

So, I listened to him on other matters when he told me to experiment with prayer. I didn't know if God existed, but I prayed anyway, and the first time I did it, I felt as though there was someone with me in the room. I made this a habit for several weeks, and got up from my prayer literally feeling as though God was with me. Several nights I felt like I was wrapped in some cloak of goodness and safety after I said my prayer.

Sudden Spiritual Immersion

My testimony took a huge leap when I came home despondent from school one day, nothing to do on a Friday evening. I felt this huge burden of loneliness. I prayed for relief or comfort from what I was feeling, and it came. For a long time that evening, I felt this complete washing away of the clouds of unhappiness, and I felt completely released from the agony of being friendless.

Later in life, I was given a sedative for a medical procedure, and the spiritual feelings I had that evening when I prayed were similar, but the spiritual feelings were purer. But it was a release from the cares of the world nonetheless.

This was evidence that God existed to me -- personal evidence that only I experienced, but that no one can refute.

Sudden Widespread Blessings

After this experience, my whole outlook on life changed. I felt deep self-respect and self-esteem/worth because I felt I had this invisible yet real and powerful Being to support me and listen to my prayers. I felt good desires to help people, to reach out to the people in my age group who were loners or outcasts. I eventually became very popular in my school, growing in favor with my classmates. I think this was due to my selfless reaching out at that time. Eventually I was given all these popularity awards and left my senior year on a cloud of happiness and positivity about life and the power of God to help a person change their circumstances.

To this day -- that experience of feeling a presence with me when I prayed, culminating in a deep immersion in the Holy Ghost when I prayed for comfort -- was the hinge on which the rest of my life turned.

So, when I met the missionaries 4 years later, and they spoke to me about spiritual witnesses, I knew exactly what they were talking about. Nothing short of the same spiritual immersion I felt as a teenager would convince me that all the things they taught me were true. Eventually, I had the same experience when I asked the question "Is the Mormon Church true, and should I become a member of it?". And the same spiritual immersion came to me again.

And so I joined the Church, even though I didn't fully accept everything with certainty. I was willing to believe Joseph Smith was a prophet, even though I had my doubts, because the Holy Ghost answered affimatively when I asked about joining the Church. To this date, policies and doctrines bother me, and I try to reconcile them with my logic.

I've also had my share of deeply rattling experiences in the Church, but I keep coming back because of the memory of the spiritual immersion I felt when I prayed for comfort that night as a teenager, and those same feelings that came to me when I asked God if this was the Church I should belong to.

My Advice -- take a chance God exists. Start praying to Him -- giving thanks, praying for good things to happen to others, asking for forgiveness, and petitioning hiim for things you need in your life. And do it consistently for a while -- I believe He'll show you He exists.

Edited by mormonmusic

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The testimony the Lord has given me has come in the truth of John 7:16-17:

"Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself."

Following the commandments of God and the teachings of the prophets has caused the knowledge of truth to grow inside me.

Striving to live the following standards causes my faith in God to increase:

Faith

1. I believe in Christ and accept Him as my Savior. (2 Nephi 25:29)

2. I trust the Savior enough to accept His will and do whatever He asks. (1 Nephi 3:7)

3. I firmly believe that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ I can be forgiven of all my

sins. (Enos 1:5–8)

4. I think about the Savior during the day and remember what He has done for me.

(Doctrine & Covenants 20:77, 79)

Hope

5. One of my greatest desires is to inherit eternal life in the celestial kingdom of God. (Moroni 7:41)

6. I am confident that I will have a happy and successful life. (Romans 8:27–28)

7. I feel peaceful and optimistic about the future. (Doctrine & Covenants 59:23)

Charity and Love

8. I feel a sincere desire for the eternal welfare and happiness of other people. (Mosiah 28:3)

9. When I pray, I ask for charity—the pure love of Christ. (Moroni 7:47–48)

10. I try to understand others’ feelings and see their point of view. (Jude 1:22)

11. I forgive others who have offended or wronged me. (Ephesians 4:32)

12. I try to help others when they are struggling or discouraged. (Mosiah 18:9)

13. When appropriate, I tell others that I love them and care about them. (Luke 7:12–15)

14. I look for opportunities to serve other people. (Mosiah 2:17)

15. I say positive things about others. (Doctrine & Covenants 42:27)

16. I am kind and patient with others, even when they are hard to get along with.

(Moroni 7:45)

17. I find joy in others’ achievements. (Alma 17:2–4)

Virtue

18. I have no desire to do evil but to do good. (Mosiah 5:2)

19. I am dependable—I do what I say I will do. (Alma 53:20)

20. I focus on righteous, uplifting thoughts and put unwholesome thoughts out of my

mind. (Doctrine & Covenants 121:45)

21. I repent of my sins and strive to overcome my weaknesses. (Doctrine & Covenants 49:26–28)

Knowledge

22. I study the scriptures daily. (John 5:39)

23. I earnestly seek to understand the truth and find answers to my questions. (Doctrine & Covenants 6:7)

24. I love and cherish the doctrines and principles of the gospel. (2 Nephi 4:15)

Patience

25. I wait patiently for the blessings and promises of the Lord to be fulfilled. (2 Nephi 10:17)

26. I am able to wait for things without getting upset or frustrated. (Romans 8:25)

27. I am patient and long-suffering with the challenges of being a missionary. (Alma 17:11)

28. I am patient with the faults and weaknesses of others. (Romans 15:1)

29. I am patient with myself and rely on the Lord as I work to overcome my weaknesses. (Ether 12:27)

30. I face adversity and afflictions calmly and hopefully. (Alma 34:40–41)

Humility

31. I rely on the Lord for help. (Alma 26:12)

32. I am sincerely grateful for the blessings I have received from the Lord. (Alma 7:23)

33. My prayers are earnest and sincere. (Enos 1:4)

34. I appreciate direction from my leaders or teachers. (2 Nephi 9:28)

35. I strive to be submissive to the Lord’s will, whatever it may be. (Mosiah 24:15)

Diligence

36. I work effectively, even when I’m not under pressure or close supervision. (Doctrine & Covenants 58:26–27)

37. I focus my efforts on the most important things. (Matthew 23:23)

38. I have a personal prayer at least twice a day. (Alma 34:18–27)

39. I focus my thoughts on what the Lord wants. (Doctrine & Covenants 4:2, 5)

40. I set goals and plan regularly. (Doctrine & Covenants 88:119)

41. I work hard until the job is completed successfully. (Doctrine & Covenants 10:4)

42. I find joy and satisfaction in my work. (Alma 36:24–25)

Obedience

43. When I pray, I ask for strength to resist temptation and to do what is right. (3 Nephi 18:15)

44. I keep the required commandments to be worthy of a temple recommend. (Doctrine & Covenants

97:8)

45. I strive to live in accordance with the laws and principles of the gospel. (Doctrine & Covenants 41:5–6)

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For those that remember me, I used to post in here quite a while ago but I've been doing a lot of thinking lately and I just don't think that I'm thoroughly convinced that God exists. This really needs to be settled in my mind and heart first before I could ever focus on theological issues and such.

How do you all know that God exists? What confirmed it for you personally? Thanks.

Curtis

"Know" is the wrong word. Knowledge can be checked, tested and validated by others.

People have "assurance" that God exists.

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You seem to possess a sweet spirit in you so i think i'm confident enough to share to you how i know God does exist. But before I go on please pardon my english if it can't come across. i'm from the philippines and my language may have idiomatic expressions that when translated into english would give a different meaning. And what I may write here doesn't necessarily represent LDS teachings. What i would assume though is that you're probably looking for some scientific or physical proof of the existence of God. If so then you wouldn't get any. Because although believers such as myself would usually say everything tells you there is a God, I can only assume you wouldn't be easily convinced by that line.

In my own analyzing I think that man must go through 4 stages of knowing that there is a God. These are 1. Doubt 2. belief 3. Faith and 4. Knowledge.

1. Someone or something has to or will tell us about the existence of something or someone, in your case the existence of God. Say for instance someone went to another planet, one of your friend maybe. And while traversing that planet he saw a curious fruit tree, picked from it, tasted it, and was satisfied, and was excited to tell his fellow earthlings about this tree. So he went back to earth and started telling you about it. At first maybe you'll doubt that there would ever be such a fruit tree as he described it. But then you can see how convinced he is that such tree do exist. You found that he was consistent every time he describes it so you start

2. believing it. Maybe he went back to that planet and came back again telling you that it really does exist. So now you believe him. But you don't know it yet. you just believe it. you are starting to be sure it does exist even though you haven't seen it. You started having

3. faith in it. Faith as described by Paul is hope for things which are not seen which are true. You're hoping that someday you'd also be able to lay your hands on that tree and taste of its fruit also. With that faith you are moved to save some money to pay for the trip to get to that planet. Finally, you are able to do so. You took the trip and soon enough you find yourself in that planet. And you saw the tree of which that person was telling you about. So now your faith turned into

4. knowledge. At that stage you dont just believe it. you don't just have faith in it. You know it. Because you've seen it. There is proof. It is no longer a subject of dispute or debate. it's there right in front of your eyes beholding it. Now you "know".

In the scriptures it is said that, "by the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established". You've heard witnesses of this simple truth that God does exist. I once encountered a person who do not believe in God. and told me that I cannot be so sure i know that God exists simply because he does not believe in God. He straightly said, "You don't know God exist because i don't believe in God. If I don't know it then you don't know it". It's like saying one cannot say he knows the wind exist because the other one can't see it. It's like telling someone you don't know how to speak english because I can't. People have the tendency to judge what other people know but what they don't know.

You will need to do some experiment Curtis. For now you are in the 1st stage of knowing that God does exist--Doubt. I'm a person talking from the 4th stage. I don't believe God does exist. I don't just have faith in His existence. I know it. I've seen the proof. I've experienced the proof. I felt the proof. So I am no longer a believer. I am a WITNESS. A witness cannot testify without seeing the proof. But its not the physical or the scientific proof that will convince you of His existence. You must allow His spirit to communicate with your spirit. Once you experience that. you will stop using words such as "sort of" or "kind of" you will have conviction and deep assurance of His existence. YOU WILL KNOW!

Now what is that experiment I was talking about?

Prayer. Start by praying. Remember, all believers, especially those who know, went through the same process. They all delivered either a simple or profound prayer. Those who are testifying knows that God does exist. Not just sort of or kind of. But with conviction. Just start with calling Him in your prayer, addressing Him as Heavenly Father. Express to Him all your petitions with all your heart. If you don't believe in Spirit, start believing it because it is the only way God WILL communicate with you. You can freely ask Him if He does exist. That's not just a suggestion. That's a challenge.

People who pray usually do all the talking, unconsciously thinking that prayer is a one way road. Try listening and let your heart talk instead of your mouth or brain. At first maybe He would not answer. Sometimes that's what He does. I don't know why but He does that. Maybe because of the doubt we have in our hearts. But let me give you a warning though. DON'T ASK FOR SIGNS. Because signs given to the doubting heart stands as witnesses against them of their unbelief and it usually hurts more. And I am talking from experience, so please take heed.

This reply does not serve as a convincing tool for you to believe that God does exist. It is a letter from a witness telling you of the process you must undergo to know of the existence of God. It is God who will tell you that He does exist not me or anybody else. He alone has the right to let you know. We the witnesses can only show you the way. You are the one who must enter the door. Know for yourself brother. Even if it takes years for you praying to know. Just do it and in time you'll know it.

Anim82r

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"Know" is the wrong word. Knowledge can be checked, tested and validated by others.

People have "assurance" that God exists.

Spiritual knowledge is not gained in the same way that temporal knowledge is. If one is relying merely on sight, touch, taste, sound or smell to determine if God exists I think they are going to have a very difficult time in my opinion. I do not ever wish to go back to the world I knew when I was younger. All that existed to me was what I could perceive with my physical senses.

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"Know" is the wrong word. Knowledge can be checked, tested and validated by others.

People have "assurance" that God exists.

Then "know" would be the right word for those who actually know it. Like all other knowledge, this knowledge can be checked, tested, and validated by others as well.

And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. (Moroni 10:5)

The scriptures assure us that knowledge on matters like this can be obtained from God. Alma 32, for example, makes this fact pretty clear.

Regards,

Vanhin

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It doesn't matter what kind of knowledge is in question spiritual or otherwise. All truth can be circumscribed into one great whole, and I don't think there is a need to compartmentalize truth.

Just like experiments that test the validity of a hypothesis using the scientific method, one can experiment with the word of God, to see if it produces valid results.

Alma taught this very thing.

"But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words."

And then, as one who knows, he describes the experiment that yields the desired result.

"Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions...[and so forth]" (Alma 32)

Regards,

Vanhin

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It doesn't matter what kind of knowledge is in question spiritual or otherwise. All truth can be circumscribed into one great whole, and I don't think there is a need to compartmentalize truth.

Just like experiments that test the validity of a hypothesis using the scientific method, one can experiment with the word of God, to see if it produces valid results.

Alma taught this very thing.

"But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than desire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words."

And then, as one who knows, he describes the experiment that yields the desired result.

"Now, we will compare the word unto a seed. Now, if ye give place, that a seed may be planted in your heart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions...[and so forth]" (Alma 32)

Regards,

Vanhin

Yet when someone gets different results with the method outlined in Alma.. what is the response, then? That's hardly an unbiased approach.. the passage even says 'if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief'. It is saying is that 'if it does not work, it is because you did not believe'.. but before that it says that you simply need the desire to believe.. so which is it?

It sounds alot like your stereotypical 'once saved always saved' crowd who say that if you leave the Church it's obvious that you were never a true believer.

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Yet when someone gets different results with the method outlined in Alma.. what is the response, then? That's hardly an unbiased approach.. the passage even says 'if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief'. It is saying is that 'if it does not work, it is because you did not believe'.. but before that it says that you simply need the desire to believe.. so which is it?

It sounds alot like your stereotypical 'once saved always saved' crowd who say that if you leave the Church it's obvious that you were never a true believer.

Love your previous posted list...I have added to my personal journey. Thanks.

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You seem to possess a sweet spirit in you so i think i'm confident enough to share to you how i know God does exist. But before I go on please pardon my english if it can't come across. i'm from the philippines and my language may have idiomatic expressions that when translated into english would give a different meaning. And what I may write here doesn't necessarily represent LDS teachings. What i would assume though is that you're probably looking for some scientific or physical proof of the existence of God. If so then you wouldn't get any. Because although believers such as myself would usually say everything tells you there is a God, I can only assume you wouldn't be easily convinced by that line.

In my own analyzing I think that man must go through 4 stages of knowing that there is a God. These are 1. Doubt 2. belief 3. Faith and 4. Knowledge.

1. Someone or something has to or will tell us about the existence of something or someone, in your case the existence of God. Say for instance someone went to another planet, one of your friend maybe. And while traversing that planet he saw a curious fruit tree, picked from it, tasted it, and was satisfied, and was excited to tell his fellow earthlings about this tree. So he went back to earth and started telling you about it. At first maybe you'll doubt that there would ever be such a fruit tree as he described it. But then you can see how convinced he is that such tree do exist. You found that he was consistent every time he describes it so you start

2. believing it. Maybe he went back to that planet and came back again telling you that it really does exist. So now you believe him. But you don't know it yet. you just believe it. you are starting to be sure it does exist even though you haven't seen it. You started having

3. faith in it. Faith as described by Paul is hope for things which are not seen which are true. You're hoping that someday you'd also be able to lay your hands on that tree and taste of its fruit also. With that faith you are moved to save some money to pay for the trip to get to that planet. Finally, you are able to do so. You took the trip and soon enough you find yourself in that planet. And you saw the tree of which that person was telling you about. So now your faith turned into

4. knowledge. At that stage you dont just believe it. you don't just have faith in it. You know it. Because you've seen it. There is proof. It is no longer a subject of dispute or debate. it's there right in front of your eyes beholding it. Now you "know".

In the scriptures it is said that, "by the mouth of two or three witnesses shall every word be established". You've heard witnesses of this simple truth that God does exist. I once encountered a person who do not believe in God. and told me that I cannot be so sure i know that God exists simply because he does not believe in God. He straightly said, "You don't know God exist because i don't believe in God. If I don't know it then you don't know it". It's like saying one cannot say he knows the wind exist because the other one can't see it. It's like telling someone you don't know how to speak english because I can't. People have the tendency to judge what other people know but what they don't know.

You will need to do some experiment Curtis. For now you are in the 1st stage of knowing that God does exist--Doubt. I'm a person talking from the 4th stage. I don't believe God does exist. I don't just have faith in His existence. I know it. I've seen the proof. I've experienced the proof. I felt the proof. So I am no longer a believer. I am a WITNESS. A witness cannot testify without seeing the proof. But its not the physical or the scientific proof that will convince you of His existence. You must allow His spirit to communicate with your spirit. Once you experience that. you will stop using words such as "sort of" or "kind of" you will have conviction and deep assurance of His existence. YOU WILL KNOW!

Now what is that experiment I was talking about?

Prayer. Start by praying. Remember, all believers, especially those who know, went through the same process. They all delivered either a simple or profound prayer. Those who are testifying knows that God does exist. Not just sort of or kind of. But with conviction. Just start with calling Him in your prayer, addressing Him as Heavenly Father. Express to Him all your petitions with all your heart. If you don't believe in Spirit, start believing it because it is the only way God WILL communicate with you. You can freely ask Him if He does exist. That's not just a suggestion. That's a challenge.

People who pray usually do all the talking, unconsciously thinking that prayer is a one way road. Try listening and let your heart talk instead of your mouth or brain. At first maybe He would not answer. Sometimes that's what He does. I don't know why but He does that. Maybe because of the doubt we have in our hearts. But let me give you a warning though. DON'T ASK FOR SIGNS. Because signs given to the doubting heart stands as witnesses against them of their unbelief and it usually hurts more. And I am talking from experience, so please take heed.

This reply does not serve as a convincing tool for you to believe that God does exist. It is a letter from a witness telling you of the process you must undergo to know of the existence of God. It is God who will tell you that He does exist not me or anybody else. He alone has the right to let you know. We the witnesses can only show you the way. You are the one who must enter the door. Know for yourself brother. Even if it takes years for you praying to know. Just do it and in time you'll know it.

Anim82r

I would not agree with number 4; one can received a confirmation or be instructed by the Holy Ghost and call it knowledge. I had to add this step called 'witnessing' as a latter step to knowledge or above it.

---> DOUBT - BELIEF - FAITH - KNOWLEDGE - WITNESSING

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For those that remember me, I used to post in here quite a while ago but I've been doing a lot of thinking lately and I just don't think that I'm thoroughly convinced that God exists. This really needs to be settled in my mind and heart first before I could ever focus on theological issues and such.

How do you all know that God exists? What confirmed it for you personally? Thanks.

Curtis

If this is the OP question, then the ulitmately, it is by WITNESSING it. When we learn the same patterns Joseph Smith used and others of the past, then we can achieve it overtime.

All of us have the ability to do this but we are our worst enemy or the culprit, in limiting ourselves from allowing this to happen.

The only clause here, there is no turning back or apostizing later.

Edited by Hemidakota

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I failed to add this, but when I look at members in the church, I can categorize them into three main groups. Now, if I compare the groups to three distinct birds of North America bird of prey; namely the HAWK, the EAGLE, and the CONDOR [Google], at what height can they soar? [not to be specific on the data here]

1] HAWK [200-400 feet]

2] EAGLE [upto 10,000 feet]

3] CONDOR [upto 15,000 feet]

The higher you go, the greater the observation and vision of what is seen on the ground. Now, which one can you call yourself in the kingdom of GOD based on your testimony?

Edited by Hemidakota

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Yet when someone gets different results with the method outlined in Alma.. what is the response, then? That's hardly an unbiased approach.. the passage even says 'if ye do not cast it out by your unbelief'. It is saying is that 'if it does not work, it is because you did not believe'.. but before that it says that you simply need the desire to believe.. so which is it?

It sounds alot like your stereotypical 'once saved always saved' crowd who say that if you leave the Church it's obvious that you were never a true believer.

Hey there Intrigued. Belief, or even just a desire to believe is a necessary part of the experiment. Unbelief will render invalid results. I don't understand what it is you are having an issue with exactly. It appears that you think that "having a desire to believe" and "unbelief" mean the same thing. I don't think they are the same thing since desiring to believe is sufficient to reach the desired result and unbelief is not.

It is no different than any other experiment. If a child reads in a science book that they can create a multi-step reaction by combining vinegar and sodium bicarbonate, but he uses dirt instead of sodium bicarbonate, when he performs the experiment, then why would he expect the result that the science book promised? That is exactly the same.

Faith, or even a desire to believe, is necessary for the experiment that Alma is talking about to produce the desired result.

Maybe I am misunderstanding your issue here. Feel free to clarify.

Regards,

Vanhin

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Spiritual knowledge is not gained in the same way that temporal knowledge is. .

Or not gained at all.

Take 4 people who claim to have received spiritual knowledge and it's likely that all four will believe 4 different and contradictory things.

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Then "know" would be the right word for those who actually know it. Like all other knowledge, this knowledge can be checked, tested, and validated by others as well.

And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things. (Moroni 10:5)

The scriptures assure us that knowledge on matters like this can be obtained from God. Alma 32, for example, makes this fact pretty clear.

Regards,

Vanhin

Can be obtained? Sure it can. But in the case of the individual that claims it, is it really so?

Ether 3 makes the difference between faith (what all of us have) and knowledge (what only the most select have)...

Ether 3

The Brother of Jared had so great a faith that it reached the level of knowledge - it was a level of faith wherein he actually saw God (or God's parts) in physical reality because of his knowledge and therefor God could not prevent him from seeing the veil. No body on this board and nobody you ever meet is likely to have so great a faith that it reaches the level of knowledge - the kind of knowledge that we equate with the physical reality of other types of knowing.

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Hey there Intrigued. Belief, or even just a desire to believe is a necessary part of the experiment. Unbelief will render invalid results. I don't understand what it is you are having an issue with exactly. It appears that you think that "having a desire to believe" and "unbelief" mean the same thing. I don't think they are the same thing since desiring to believe is sufficient to reach the desired result and unbelief is not.

It is no different than any other experiment. If a child reads in a science book that they can create a multi-step reaction by combining vinegar and sodium bicarbonate, but he uses dirt instead of sodium bicarbonate, when he performs the experiment, then why would he expect the result that the science book promised? That is exactly the same.

Faith, or even a desire to believe, is necessary for the experiment that Alma is talking about to produce the desired result.

Maybe I am misunderstanding your issue here. Feel free to clarify.

Regards,

Vanhin

I suppose my problem here is that.. there are many people in this world who have the desire to believe and they put out the effort.. yet they come to a different conclusion than the LDS faithful do.

To clarify the part about the 'desire to believe' and 'unbelief' being the same thing.. what I meant to say more clearly was that even if one has an earnest desire to believe.. and the experiment is a failure.. then what is the response to that? The common ones seem to be "give it more time", "get baptized anyways", or "your desire was not sincere".

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Can be obtained? Sure it can. But in the case of the individual that claims it, is it really so?

Knowledge can in deed be obtained, and those who have obtained it are in no better position to cause others to believe their claims than those who have not obtained. However, those who have obtained knowledge, are in a position to instruct others on how they can obtain it for themselves.

I'm certainly not making the argument that claiming something makes it so. So, I can't really address that one any more.

Ether 3 makes the difference between faith (what all of us have) and knowledge (what only the most select have)...

Ether 3

The Brother of Jared had so great a faith that it reached the level of knowledge - it was a level of faith wherein he actually saw God (or God's parts) in physical reality because of his knowledge and therefor God could not prevent him from seeing the veil. No body on this board and nobody you ever meet is likely to have so great a faith that it reaches the level of knowledge - the kind of knowledge that we equate with the physical reality of other types of knowing.

The Brother of Jared's faith allowed him to see the finger of the Lord. But clearly his knowledge of the physical reality of God was limited enough for him to admit that, "[he] knew not that the Lord had flesh...". So even then, his knowledge was not perfect. He saw the finger of the Lord because of his faith (see verse 9), not knowledge.

However, we learn from the record that the Brother of Jared did know something. What was that? He knew that the Lord was a "God of truth, and canst not lie." That knowledge along with his faith, qualified him to be brought back into the presence of the Lord. He didn't know the reality of God any more at that point than before he saw God.

You are badly mistaken if you think that individuals must actually see God to know that He exists. If I have misunderstood your point, I apologize.

You cannot ignore all the other scriptures, especially the ones I quoted earlier, that teach us that we can indeed know the truth of all things by the power of the Holy Ghost.

Let me ask you a question. Have you ever truly repented of your sins, and felt like you were forgiven?

Regards,

Vanhin

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I suppose my problem here is that.. there are many people in this world who have the desire to believe and they put out the effort.. yet they come to a different conclusion than the LDS faithful do.

To clarify the part about the 'desire to believe' and 'unbelief' being the same thing.. what I meant to say more clearly was that even if one has an earnest desire to believe.. and the experiment is a failure.. then what is the response to that? The common ones seem to be "give it more time", "get baptized anyways", or "your desire was not sincere".

Well, I hear you. Each case is different.

However, if an individual casts the seed aside because of their unbelief, then the experiment ends. How can you expect the desired result if you end the experiment prematurely?

If you have not cast the seed aside, and have planted it in your heart, and you nourish it and allow it to grow, then it will grow - if it is a good seed. I'm not talking about Mormonism alone, I'm talking about anything that claims to be truth. In this case more specifically, about the existence of God. But let's take a smaller step than that to begin with.

What is something moral or good that you subscribe to?

Regards,

Vanhin

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You know,at times I doubted our Lord's existence.Like when I had 3 babies pass away at birth or the same day,then my sister was murdered and now my hubby has been diagnosed with a terminal illness,where he could live 3 years or as much as 10. But I really thought and watched and listened to things.I was on the verge of a break down and when I decided to give up all my hurt and pain to our Lord,I have been doing so much better.

If we have doubts about God,all we have to do is look around,at things in our life,our family,the love we have with our spouse and so much more.

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Knowledge can in deed be obtained, and those who have obtained it are in no better position to cause others to believe their claims than those who have not obtained. However, those who have obtained knowledge, are in a position to instruct others on how they can obtain it for themselves.

When one reached this pinnacle of life, that individual would want others to join them.

The Brother of Jared's faith allowed him to see the finger of the Lord. But clearly his knowledge of the physical reality of God was limited enough for him to admit that, "[he] knew not that the Lord had flesh...". So even then, his knowledge was not perfect. He saw the finger of the Lord because of his faith (see verse 9), not knowledge.

However, we learn from the record that the Brother of Jared did know something. What was that? He knew that the Lord was a "God of truth, and canst not lie." That knowledge along with his faith, qualified him to be brought back into the presence of the Lord. He didn't know the reality of God any more at that point than before he saw God.

I would not call it faith when Moriancumer already knew the voice of the Lord prior to this event. It is more than faith but less than perfect knowledge [witnessing or Perfect Day].

Vanhin, as you stated, it was not perfect knowledge, for perfect knowledge requires witnessing the event. Again, Moriancumer knowledge was only made perfect through witnessing and was added to his edification by seeing Lord's appearance. This is why I stated, this is the latter step beyond knowledge [Perfect Day].

Edited by Hemidakota

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