As I mentioned the other day, I’ve been getting a few questions from a couple of my high school friends, both of which are either studying to be or already are pastors in their faith.
Here’s the response I gave to one of them:
Sorry about not getting back to you sooner.
I’ll do my best to answer your questions, although I don’t consider myself a “theologist” by any means. First, the “evidences” you asked about…
I guess one of the best ways to answer this question is through a favorite scripture from the Bible:
Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.”
Mormons believe that the first principle of the Gospel is Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. For me, faith is “evidence” that what I believe is true.
One of the ways I’ve increased my faith in Jesus Christ and in His teachings is by serving an LDS mission for two years in Santiago Chile. As a missionary, I taught the Gospel of Jesus Christ to the Chilean people, the majority of which already had a strong belief in Jesus Christ as well. As we taught them about Jesus Christ and testified of his birth, life, teachings, death, and resurrection, the Spirit testified that what we were teaching was true. What we shared seemed to clarify some of Jesus Christs teachings in a way that helped them follow Christ more fully. I know it was not my “expertise” in teaching that converted these people, but that the Holy Ghost testified to them that what we were sharing was true.
The changes I saw in the lives of these humble people was a testament to me of Christ’s divinity and healing power in the lives of ALL His children, not just a chosen few. He wants us all to be happy and serve and honor Him throughout our lives.
Another “evidence” I have that supports my LDS faith is the Book of Mormon, “Another Testament of Jesus Christ”. I’ve read and studied this book, in conjunction with the Old and New Testament, since I was a young boy; and, just as talking of Christ causes me to feel the Spirit, when I read and ponder the teachings found in the Book of Mormon, I feel of its truth. Another favorite scripture I have is 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.”
When I’ve put this scripture to the test with an open heart and mind, I’ve received answers confirming my testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon. I’ve seen the power it has to clear up many doubts and mis-interpretations found in King James version of the Bible. “We believe the Bible to be the word of God, as far as it is translated correctly. We also believe the Book of Mormon, to be the word of God.” (LDS Article of Faith #8)
The final “evidence” I have is found within the walls of my home. I know that when I am doing my best to live the teachings of the Gospel, I’m blessed in more ways than I can count. I’ve been blessed with a beautiful family who I love. As we teach our children and live our religion, we feel the hand of God in our lives. The blessings aren’t always tangible things, but I’m learning all the time about the importance of recognizing God’s hand in all of my blessings.
I know that Jesus Christ came to the earth. I know that he lived a perfect life, free from sin or transgression. I know that He was Jehovah of the Old Testament, our Savior and Redeemer and the Holy Messiah of the New Testament. I know that He is the light, the truth and the life, and that no man returneth to the Father, but through Him. I know that He invites all of us to follow Him and to keep His commandments. I know that he is our advocate with the Father and that we’re saved by grace after all we can do.
I know that as I live my life as close to Him as I possibly can, that I’m given direction and answers to my prayers. And finally, I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ’s church restored again on the earth in preparation for the second coming of the Savior.
I hope that I’ve answered your questions and you can have a better understanding of what I believe.