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Dear Gramps,
I would like to thank you for your response to my question. I have found articles on the internet outlining the contents of The Structure of Scientific Revolutions in some detail. I have spent the last couple of hours reading through these articles and have found that it seems to make a lot of sense. In reading this I now feel I have a lot better understanding of why people accept religion and indeed it has made me realize that a lot of science is accepted on faith as well especially by myself. I have said time and time again that I accept science as it is provable, however it has occurred to me that personally I am able to prove only a very small percentage of scientific facts are true, but in general I believe in science because I trust that someone else has done all the hard work and proved for me that the concepts of the particular science are true. So in that case I find myself questioning why I might disbelieve religion for the same reason, I suspect that through my own life’s experiences I could prove some parts of religion are true equally as well as science. Unless I have missed the point, one of the main points of this book is to show that accepted paradigms are only accepted as long as a more provable newer paradigm does not conflict with the existing one, therefore I can extrapolate from this that potentially nothing that I believe to be true in terms of core science is necessarily true and hence using science as a reason for not accepting religion is flawed.

If I am now willing to accept that I should be open to new concepts of belief, how should I investigate the possibilities and is loving someone reason enough to investigate one religion over another? Thank you,
Colin

Answer

Dear Colin,
Some very objective reasoning on your part! So many people are tied so dogmatically to their scientific belief system, that they are incapable of considering any point of view that is not in accord with “today’s” science.

I think that your care and concern for another person is a perfectly valid reason for investigating her belief system. If, after an objective examination you were to find that it had value, it would very likely cement your relationship. (And on the side, such an effort on your part really demonstrates the sincerity of your commitment to her).

I mentioned that Mormonism is a rational theology. Here is an objective experiment or test that you could apply that may yield some positive results. In order to validate the experiment, the a priori conditions associated with the experiment must be accepted and utilized, exactly as in any scientific discipline. In science we accept as true the a priori postulates without subjecting them to any proof.
Experiment–to test the validity of the Book of Mormon.
Brief background–one of the Articles of Faith of the Mormon Church is the following—

We believe the Book of Mormon to be the word of God. We also believe the Bible to be the word of God as far as it translated correctly.

Joseph Smith, who translated the Book of Mormon from Egyptian characters into English, said of the book,

“I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and that a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book.”

To prove–that the Book of Mormon is the word of God.
a priori premises–There is a God who is the Father of the spirits of all mankind. As our Father, He loves us, and is vitally interested in our welfare and in our eternal salvation. He has commanded us to pray to him, and has promised to answer our sincere prayer, offered on the principle of faith. Faith represents another a priori condition, that faith being a full confidence that the Lord hears and answers our prayers to Him. In other words, expect that He will communicate with you.

The experiment–Read the Book of Mormon. At the beginning of each page, ask a prayer. The prayer would be to sincerely ask the Father to reveal to you that the Book of Mormon is indeed the truth, as it claims to be. That represents a total of 531 prayers–a highly significant statistical number.

Now, having myself performed the same experiment, and being acquainted with numbers of other people who have done the same, I can promise you, in the name of the Savior, that if you will fulfill the conditions of the experiment, before you finish reading the book the Lord will have answered your prayer and you will have received a personal testimony from God that the book is indeed true.

This experiment comes from the Book of Mormon itself. The last prophet of the Nephite people, of whom the Book of Mormon is a record, wrote the following—

Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things (Moroni 10:3-5).

Please let me know how things turn out.

Gramps

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