Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Joseph Smith—History 1:10 -- On Finding the Missing Answers

"In the midst of this war of words and tumult of opinions, I often said to myself: What is to be done? Who of all these parties are right; or, are they all wrong together? If any one of them be aright, which is it, and how shall I know it?"
Joseph Smith—History 1:10

I think that we all have times in our lives when we feel this way.  There are so many issues, and so many people claiming different things, interpreting the same facts in wildly different ways.  Research is useful, but often the two sides hate each other so bitterly that we are condemned for even thinking about the other side or considering its validity... not to mention the fact that it is almost impossible to find an unbiased source.  Joseph Smith was trying to figure out what church to join.  We might be considering the same thing, or politics, or world events, or policies at work or school.  There are a lot of confusing and harsh arguments out there.  I think when we feel this way, we should learn about the issues and think through them, certainly, but it might also be wise to ask ourselves, as young Joseph asked, how we can know the truth.
Joseph studied the scriptures to find the answer to his question, but when the different interpretations of the separate groups muddied the issue, he went straight to the source to find out what church to join.  He got on his knees and he asked God.  And God answered him.  It takes sincerity, dedication, and faith, but God will answer our prayers as well, if we approach him with humility and ask for his help.  Joseph acted on the advice of 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."  All men includes us. :)  There are ways to tell truth from error, and the best of them includes the guidance of God, who will help us think through the issues and see the light, enabling us not just to find our current answers, but to be better prepared to ask the next set of questions.  Today, let's remember that there are answers to our questions, and that God has promised us wisdom if we ask for it.  Let's do our research and then ask God for the answers that we can't find on our own.

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