Is Truth Based on Feelings, or Facts?
Today we’re looking at a well known biblical verse Mormons use when testing for truth. They like this verse because according to Joseph Smith, it’s the whole reason he went to the woods to pray and ask God for help.
Joseph Smith-History 1:11; “…I was one day reading the Epistle of James, first chapter and fifth verse, which reads: If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
Smith explained it never occurred to him all the churches were wrong, but that was the very thing God revealed to him when he knelt down to pray, and ask which church he should join.
Joseph Smith History 1:18; “My object in going to inquire of the Lord was to know which of all the sects was right…(for at this time it had never entered into my heart that all were wrong)…”
Let’s take a look at this biblical verse, and two verses in Mormon canon Mormons use to justify the practice of trusting feelings over facts. Afterwards, we’ll have a few questions!
James 1:5; “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
Moroni 10:4; “…I would exhort you that ye would ask…if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.” [emp. mine]
D&C 9:8; “…you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.” [emp. mine]
The apostle James told us to pray for wisdom to see God’s purpose for our personal lives. He wasn’t telling us to pray for something God has already revealed to us.
If we’re supposed to use James’ example to ask for wisdom about things that are right or wrong, why don’t we pray about whether or not adultery, or strong-armed robbery is okay?
The reason why is because God has already laid down the ground rules, and has shown us what He requires!
Instead of trusting our feelings that can change from day to day, God tells us to study –
2 Timothy 2:15; “Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
If we’re to believe in something, or someone, our object of faith needs to have reliable, and transparent information. Faith is filled with substance. It’s tangible, and has relative information we can rely upon. Hebrews gives us two reasons why –
Hebrews 11:1-2; “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. 2 For by it the elders obtained a good report.”
Furthermore, God admonishes us to prove all things in 1 Thess. 5:21, which means we’re not supposed to have blind faith! He again gives us an example of how this is done in Acts 17:11. The Bereans will always stand as the model of what we should be doing as Christians when it comes to understanding why we believe.
The apostle John also told us to try the spirits in 1 John 4:1, not to pray about them. If we’re supposed to pray if the Book of Mormon is right, which version are we supposed to pray about?
Last, but not least dear friends, we find a time honored piece of advice from King Solomon –
Proverbs 28:26; “He that trusteth in his own heart is a fool: but whoso walketh wisely, he shall be delivered.”
So today we’ve seen magnificent advice from no less than five powerhouses who wrote by God’s Holy Spirit admonishing us to take heed when it comes to testing other gospels. The Apostles Paul, John, Luke, and James, King Solomon, and the author of Hebrews, who many believe was Paul. In the history of humankind, these are the ‘who’s who’ of godly advisors. Remember their wise counsel when you’re presented with another gospel! Testing for truth with our feelings is nothing short of anathema!
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