My encyclopedia estimates there are 900,546,000 Catholics, 840,221,000 followers of Islam, and many more religious faiths, all of whom apparently believe they are correct. We don’t know how many of these millions of people believe they have also received a personal witness from their gods, much the same as Mormons believe they have. It is little more than childish namecalling on your part to brand my request as “vain” that you prove there is a God.
All religions have convinced themselves that they are persecuted for faith in their Prophet. I would just like you to give me some proof of your convictions. What proof do you personally have that there even was an “Angel Moroni”? Have you seen him? My estimation is that he is another of Joseph Smith’s imaginary friends, and you have chosen to go along with his ruse. Is there some benefit you get from this belief that you couldn’t get otherwise?
Thank you in advance for your answer. You must get several questions like mine. I would like to keep this discussion civil, and sincerely hope you will do the same.
You are undoubtedly sincere in your questioning. And you have asked perhaps the most fundamental of all questions: “Which of all the churches is right, and how can anyone know which one it is?” There was a time when I asked the same questions. I used to think, there are a lot more Catholics than there are Mormons. How do I know that they are not right?
You have also asked some rather personal questions about my own experience, and since you seem to be sincere, I will attempt to answer them. No, I have never seen the Savior or God the Father or the Angel Moroni. But I will tell you in complete sincerity and with deep humility that I have heard the Savior’s voice; I know who He is; He has talked with me! He has told me that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the very Kingdom of God on the earth! That is how I know what I do.
Now, I do not expect you to believe what I have said just because I have said it. You will believe what you will. You are perfectly free to do so, and I have no problem with whatever you wish to believe. But let’s try to consider your question from your point of view, analyzing three possibilities regarding God:
1) There is either a God or there isn’t. If there is no God, then the universe came about by chance and this life is the sum total of human existence, in which case the survival of the fittest among men would probably be as appropriate a way to go as any.
2) There is a God who is the organizer of the universe–the first great cause, the ultimate force, but this god is not the Father of the spirits of mankind and does not participate in the day-to-day activities of the human race. Here the concept of reward and punishment follows only the natural consequences of interaction with the physical laws of the universe. Prayer to such a God may provide psychological benefits to the believers, but that would be the extent of the benefit of prayer.
3) There is a God who is the Father of the spirits of mankind, who not only is the creator of the universe, but who, as the Father, loves His children, is interested in their welfare, has planned for their eternal happiness, has revealed to His prophets the plan of salvation for each of His children, who desires them to know Him, who is anxious to bless them, who will reveal to them His will if they will only apply to know in the manner that He has prescribed. In this scenario, God will let us know what His will is concerning us. He will give to each of His children who put themselves in a position to hear Him all the information that they need in order to return to His presence.
Now we can assume that any one of the three possibilities is correct. Let’s assume that the first possibility is correct, but that we don’t believe it. Will our disbelief make an difference? No, because there is nothing there.
Let’s assume that the second possibility is correct, and that we don’t believe it. Will it make any difference? No, because that god does not interfere with the affairs of men anyway.
Let’s assume that the third possibility it correct, and that we don’t believe it. Will it may any difference? It will make all the difference in the world, because we will shut ourselves off from all the blessings that God desires us to have.
Now, if we want to find out if God, the Father, really exists and is who He says He is, there are two ways that we may go about it. 1) We may use the scientific method-examine all the possibilities, weigh the evidence, and with logic and deductive reasoning come to a conclusion; or, 2) we may use the method that God Himself has prescribed.
The scientific method will never work since we are examining qualities, values, and variables that cannot be quantified nor measured in any scientific laboratory. The only possible way to find out about God as the Supreme Being is from God Himself. Fortunately, he has revealed to men what they must do to find out about him. Since this question reaches to the very heart of existence, it is nothing superficial, casual, or flippant. It requires a certain attitude on the part of the supplicant, and a certain perseverance.
Let me suggest one specific approach to the answer to your question. It will take a little time, but if there is indeed a God, the Father of the spirits of men, who is interested in their welfare and who hears and answers the prayers of the honest in heart, then He will answer your prayer. Here is what I suggest. It concerns the Book of Mormon. Now, I understand that you do not believe that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. No matter. The book exists. It came from somewhere. In a hundred and seventy years since its advent, no one, although some of the most prepared intellectual minds have sought to do so, has proven it be other than what it claims to be.
This is the plan. Read the Book of Mormon, with an open, inquisitive mind. If you have already read it, read it again. Try not to prejudge the book. Study each of the concepts as you come upon them. Think about them and ask yourself if you think that they are true or valuable concepts. Now, there is one more condition. You must make the assumption for this exercise that the third possibility above is true. With that assumption, ask the Father in sincere, humble prayer at the beginning of each page that you read if He will let you know that the Book of Mormon is true. If He will answer your prayer, you will know who God is, who Jesus Christ is, and which is the correct and true Church.
Hopefully, I’ve answered some of your questions. I really hope that you will put me to the test, and I would be most anxious to learn how it goes with you.