How Can We Know the Truth

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Feelings are not always a sure indication of truth?

No matter how deeply felt, our emotions can end up betraying us.

Falling “madly” in love with someone doesn’t necessarily mean that person is right for us.  Certainly, in the moment it feels that way.  But since falling in love can be more emotional than rational, we need to be extremely careful about making an immediate commitment.  Our falling in love may turn out in the long run to be nothing more than infatuation. 

You see how some people think they can trust their beliefs in just about anything, simply because they feel strongly about them. 

Take for example – the Pharisees in the Bible.   Jesus pointed out to them that they were believing in a lie (John 8:43-47).

And, while sincerely believing they were right – their false beliefs led those Pharisees to call for the death the Son of God.

Our convictions – no matter how strong – are insufficient for determining what is ultimately true!

Our thoughts, our feelings, and our desires, are very important.  But we should not place sole reliance on subjective means to determine what is true.

Jesus teaches us that to determine truth we must ABIDE in HIS WORD. 

This is, why Christians love the Bible and are eager to submit our feelings and beliefs to God’s Word … not the other way around.

And relating that to the Book of Mormon which Joseph Smith said was the “most correct of any book on earth” – we have come to discover it has had over 3,913 changes. 

You have asked me to pray about the Book of Mormon to know that it is true.  But rather than relying on a good feeling to tell me it’s true – I only need to read it to see the apparent contradictions, anachronisms, plagiarisms, and lack of physical evidence – to know that logically and scripturally it cannot be true.  

You see, Elders, feelings are not a reliable guide to knowing truth about spiritual matters. 

The Bible frequently tells us to study diligently and meditate on God’s word.  People go into error, not because they lack an emotional experience, but because they lack knowledge of the Scriptures. 
The Bible points out that we should pray for wisdom and knowledge (James 1:5-8). 

Yes, it does say to pray for wisdom and knowledge but, that is different than praying for a feeling or a “burning in the bosom”.  The prayer for wisdom and knowledge is answered when we study God’s word – The Bible.  To ask God to tell us right from wrong by a feeling, would be an unscriptural prayer.  By trusting in feelings, we show a lack of respect for what God has ALREADY told us in His Word.

Then the bottom line is – our MINDS should govern our emotions and feelings.


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Nephi Moroni ?

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Joseph Smith first claimed it was Nephi who visited him in his “First Vision,” NOT Moroni, as is now stated in the latter publishing of the Book of Mormon.

Here is a
quote from Joseph Smith himself, found in the Church-published newspaper:  Times and Seasons,
April 15, 1842  “When I first looked upon
him I was afraid, but the fear soon left me. 
He called me by name, and said unto me that he was a messenger sent from
the presence of God to me, and that his name was Nephi.  That God has work for me to do,… He said
there was a book deposited written upon gold plates, giving an account of the
former inhabitants of this continent, and the source from whence they sprang.”

Times and Seasons, April 15, 1842, vol. 3, pg. 753 Joseph Smith Papers .org

Joseph lived for two years after the name Nephi was printed in Times and Seasons, and being the editor he never published a retraction.  Two months later in 1842, the Millennial Star printed in England, also published Joseph Smith’s story stating that the angel’s name was Nephi. The newspaper quotes, “Again, we read the history of our beloved brother, Joseph Smith, and the glorious ministry and message of the angel Nephi, which has finally opened a new dispensation to man.”

Again, he never published a retraction or made any
alterations to his own writings. 

There has even been some confusion when it comes to LDS canonized Scriptures.

In modern printings of the History of the Church, Nephi has been changed to read Moroni.  But other than a couple of references where the name Moroni appeared in 1835 and 1838, the angel firmly became Nephi in Joseph Smith’s writings.

Mormon Apostle Orson Pratt changed it from Nephi to Moroni in the 1878 edition of the Pearl of Great Price.  It appears, as with the several First Vision accounts, the story of the angel’s visits evolved over many years.

Apparently, Nephi was the name he had settled upon and
intended to be used for his angel. 

Let’s not forget that Joseph Smith said the angel’s name was Nephi, not Moroni.  In the end, a statue of the angel Moroni now appears, covered in gold leaf atop LDS temples.  While the angel Nephi is consigned to the pages of the Book of Mormon.

Millennial Star, 1842, vol. 3, pg. 71

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Pearl of Great Price, 1851 edition, pg. 41

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