Wednesday, September 8, 2010

How to Distinguish Good from Evil, Truth from Error

"For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints" (1 Corinthians 14:33)

We live in a world of chaos. A world where people are confused…and rightfully so. There are so many voices in the world that compete for our attention and unfortunately many that "call evil good and good evil" (see Isaiah 5:20).  It is not God’s desire for us to be confused.  He is not the author of confusion…people are. So how do we know what is good and what is evil and what is truth and what is not? How do we determine what is actually from God?

The Prophet Moroni in the Book of Mormon gives an answer to that question. His answer is so simple yet it makes so much sense.

“Wherefore, all things which are good cometh of God; and that which is evil cometh of the devil; for the devil is an enemy unto God, and fighteth against him continually, and inviteth and enticeth to sin, and to do that which is evil continually.”

“But behold, that which is of God inviteth and enticeth to do good continually; wherefore, everything which inviteth and enticeth to do good, and to love God and to serve him, is inspired of God. (Moroni 7:13-14)

The Prophet Moroni also teaches that every person is given the “Spirit of Christ” or the “Light of Christ” which enables them to judge between good and evil. Our Conscience is a manifestation of the Light of Christ.

“For behold, the Spirit of Christ is given to every man, that he may know good from evil; wherefore, I show unto you the way to judge; for everything which inviteth to do good, and to persuade to believe in Christ, is sent forth by the power and gift of Christ; wherefore ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of God.

“But whatsoever thing persuadeth men to do evil, and believe not in Christ, and deny him, and serve not God, then ye may know with a perfect knowledge it is of the devil; for after this manner doth the devil work, for he persuadeth no man to do good, no, not one; neither do his angels; neither do they who subject themselves to him.” (Moroni 7:16 -17)

It’s so simple yet so profound. I love the whole chapter of Moroni 7. To find the text of the complete chapter Click Here.

One of the reasons why I decided to do a post on this subject was because I was thinking about the internet. I was thinking about how the internet can be a source for both good and evil. The internet is a sea of both true and untrue information. I was thinking about the people out there who are sincerely interested in learning more about the Mormon Church. In this day in age, what’s the first thing we do to retrieve information on a particular subject? We Google it! So then of course, those unsuspecting persons who are interested in the Mormon Church Google “Mormons”. The problem with this is that along with the true and accurate information about the church on the internet, there is just as much negative and inaccurate information about the church. So how then do you know what’s true and what’s not?

One solution to this problem is… go to the source. If I want to find out more about baseball, I would ask a baseball player, not a football player. I will more likely get accurate information talking to a baseball player than I would a football player. If I want to find out more about the Lutheran church, I would talk to a Lutheran, not a Catholic. And if I was serious about getting to the truth about the Lutheran church, I would talk to someone who is active in their church and who takes their religion seriously by actively living their religion. So if a person is interested in or has questions about the Mormon faith, why not ask a Mormon? Ask a Mormon who actively lives the Mormon religion. Or, another option… go to the internet! But once again, the key to accurate information is to go to the source. The church has many great websites (see my sidebar for some of them), but I think that is probably the best way to learn more about the church. They recently redesigned the site and it’s wonderful! Members of the church all over the world have created profiles which give others a glimpse into the lives of members of the church. The profiles also include answers from the members to frequently asked questions. I especially love the profiles which include a video. Here are examples of two different profiles.

There are so many misconceptions about the Mormon Church, and much of that is due to the inaccurate information on the web. Some information you might come across is just from people who are uninformed… people who believe everything they hear and regurgitate inaccurate information instead of making the effort to find out the correct information. On the other hand, there are numerous sites and blogs on the internet whose sole purpose is to spread negative information and lies about the church. How unfortunate it is that many are deceived by the lies of men. I’m not saying that all the information on these anti-Mormon sites is false. But what I have found is that they twist the truth. They mix truth with lies/inaccuracies and they try to “call evil good and good evil” (see Isaiah 5:20). They are really good at what they do and do it quite convincingly. It always amazes me to think that some people spend so much of their lives speaking ill of other people and religions. I personally would never trust the words of anyone whose intent is to hurt and deceive. Let’s go back to the scriptures mentioned above. Do these anti-Mormon sites invite and entice others to do good and to love God and to serve him? Not in my opinion. I always think of the Scripture, “By their fruits ye shall know them” (Matthew 7:20)

So my advice? Go to the proper sources for your information. And as you are making an effort to sift through all of the voices of the world, remember that your best source will be God. God is the source of all truth. Pray to God and ask that He will guide and direct you and help you to distinguish between truth and error.
Let the Light of Christ be your guide

For those persons who are honestly and sincerely seeking for truth, this is your guide…truth will always manifest itself in the form of peace. Gravitate towards the sources that fill your heart with peace. 

“Wherefore, take heed my beloved brethren, that ye do not judge that which is evil to be of God, or that which is good and of God to be of the Devil.” (Moroni 7:14)

Forgiveness: My Burden Was Made Light

Forgiveness and the power of Jesus Christ enable a man to survive losing his wife and several children in a car accident—and allow the offending driver to begin rebuilding his own life.

What an amazing story!!