Sunday, March 21, 2010

Seeking to Know God, Our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ

Each person has their own individual reason for either believing or not believing in God and everyone believes or does not believe in God each at different levels. However, some general themes run through many of those reasons. Some choose to believe because they were raised believing, have felt the Spirit and love of God, hope for a better life through their faith, and their faith sustains them. Some choose not to believe because of some trial that they encountered such as a death of a loved one and they convinced themselves that if a loving God existed, He would have saved them from such a trial. Some choose to believe because they encountered someone or something along the pathway of life that touched their hearts and they began to see that God does in fact exist. Some choose not to believe in God because they are apathetic and do not care enough to put forth the effort to believe in God; they do not understand the temporal and eternal significance of the existence of a loving Heavenly Father. Of course many other reasons exist, but it is with this last group in mind that I choose the article of the week.

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles gave a talk in the October 2009 General Conference entitled, “Seeking to Know God, Our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ.” I love this talk because Elder Hales beautifully explains all about why a testimony of God is so vitally important. Said Elder Hales, “Without God, life would end at the grave and our mortal experiences would have no purpose. Growth and progress would be temporary, accomplishment without value, challenges without meaning.”

He uses scriptures from each of the standard works, both the Old and New Testaments in the Bible, the Book of Mormon, the Doctrine and Covenants, and the Pearl of Great Price. He clearly illustrates that from the beginning of time all the way to today, prophets and many others have testified of the reality of God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ.

I conclude with one final quote from Elder Hales, “Brothers and sisters, you may already know, deep in your soul, that God lives. You may not know all about Him yet and do not understand all His ways, but the light of belief is within you, waiting to be awakened and intensified by the Spirit of God and the Light of Christ, which you are born with.

“So come. Believe the testimonies of the prophets. Learn of God and Christ. The pattern to do so is clearly taught be prophets of old and prophets today. ... Gaining this knowledge is ultimately the quest of all God’s children on the earth. If you cannot remember believing in God or if you have ceased to believe or if you believe but without real conviction, I invite you to seek a testimony of God now. Do not be afraid of ridicule. The strength and peace that come from knowing God and having the comforting companionship of His Spirit will make your efforts eternally worthwhile.”

I add my testimony to his and to all the prophets’ that God lives, that He loves us, and that belief and testimony in Him will both sustain and carry us through life and “bring [us] the greatest joy [we] will ever have.”