There is nothing more important than being true to the covenants we make with the Lord. Our eternal life depends on the principle of honesty. – Elder Richard J. Maynes
As I read an article today from LDS.org titled “Honesty” it caused me to reflect a lot on a couple of experiences:
1. The VP experience where I was called a liar and told I didn’t fulfill my end of the deal.
2. The online “debate” I’ve been having with LF about Mormonism vs. Christianity and who Jesus Christ really is.
I really want to be honest, true and straight forward in all my dealings. Beck and I went to the temple on Saturday and this first experience ran through my head.
I thought about the entire process. I thought about what I had done and what I hadn’t done. I feel the things I was blamed for were not entirely true: I did train the people adequately, I did go over categories and how to add products, and I did reach out to them to try to help them add content. I feel I did more than what the contract stated.
Could I have done even more – yes, of course. I could have been their webmaster and added all the content for them, held their hand through the entire process, and basically have done everything for them, but that’s not what they paid for and that’s not what the contract stated.
At the end of the day, I feel I have been very honest with them and have been willing to do even more than the contract stated.
As I think about the second experience, I’ve found a few scriptures that cause me to reflect:
So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two aPersonages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was bhated and cpersecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me dfalsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not edeny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.
What our entire “discussion” boils down to is this – whether or not I or he believes this experience happened. Everything else is just playing with words and scriptures. Luke has tried to tell me what I believe about Jesus; he’s tried to bring out “holes” he and his colleagues have found in the Book of Mormon; he’s tried to compare the “Jesus of the Bible” to the “Jesus of Mormonism” – but at the end of the day, it’s all about this scripture above: they don’t believe that the vision happened and we do.
Why do I believe it? Because I’ve read and studied the Book of Mormon, comparing it and cross referencing it with the Bible. I’ve felt the Spirit as I’ve read this book. I’ve received answers to my prayers because of this book. As I read the Book of Mormon, I’m drawn closer to God and His Son Jesus Christ. And, just like Joseph said, “…who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen [and felt]?…I [can] not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation.”
Another scripture I found that supports this feeling is found in Jacob 4:13:
Behold, my brethren, he that prophesieth, let him prophesy to the understanding of men; for the aSpirit speaketh the btruth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really care, and of things as they really will be; wherefore, these things are manifested unto us dplainly, for the salvation of our souls. But behold, we are not witnesses alone in these things; for God also espake them unto prophets of old.
Also in 2 Nephi 33:6:
The Gospel of Jesus Christ is plan and precious: He doesn’t want us to be confused or distraught about the truth. He wants us to do just as He asked, “Come follow me…”
I know that the Book of Mormon is true. Through this knowledge because of my experience, I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet and that he truly did have a vision of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ. Because of that experience, I also know that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has been restored in it’s fulness on the earth, in preparation for the second coming of the Messiah.
I know that the priesthood has the power to do all things. I know that being honest is a foundation for truth. In no way to I feel that I’ve had to lie or bend the truth in my conversation with Luke. In fact, I feel that I should probably be more straight forward and avoid worrying about offending him with the truth.
I’m grateful for the study I’ve had today. I’m grateful to know the truth.
I found one more talk that really hit home by President James E. Faust. It’s titled “The Truth Shall Make You Free“. Here are some of the things that stood out to me:
Sir Winston Churchill once said of someone, “Occasionally he stumbled over the truth, but hastily picked himself up and hurried on as if nothing had happened” (in The Irrepressible Churchill Stories, ed. Kay Halle , 113).
..As a means of coming to truth, people in the Church are encouraged by their leaders to think and find out for themselves. They are encouraged to ponder, to search, to evaluate, and thereby to come to such knowledge of the truth as their own consciences, assisted by the Spirit of God, lead them to discover.
…Searching and inquiring are a means of coming to a knowledge of all truth, whether that truth be spiritual, scientific, or moral. The restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ and all that it means to us came about because of the inquiring after truth of the 14-year-old Joseph Smith, guided by the passage, “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” (James 1:5).
…Some people in their searching, however, are not seeking for truth but are given to contention. They do not sincerely seek to learn; rather they desire to dispute,to show their supposed learning and thus cause strife. The Apostle Paul said to Timothy, “But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strifes” (2 Tim. 2:23).
“And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32)
“Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice” (John 18:37)