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Dear Gramps,

My question deals with doctrine. I am currently a Protestant, but came from a Catholic upbringing. My current set of beliefs is probably 90% from studying scripture and maybe 10% from church affiliation. Above anything, I want to know God in all of His fullness, and in doing so I am reading the Book of Mormon with an open mind and praying in faith for God to show me “if these things are true.” I can see me accepting the Book of Mormon as true and even in seeing Joseph Smith as a Prophet. My problem comes with doctrines and beliefs that are nowhere near to what I believe and often times just the opposite. How would you suggest this be handled?  Thanks and God bless,

BD

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Answer

 

Dear BD,

Congratulations! You have espoused one of the noblest desires that can be encompassed by mankind. John has told us that this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent. (John 17:3.) God is our Father {Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live? (Hebrews 12:9.)} and He loves His children {As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you: continue ye in my love. (John 15:9.)} Since our loving Father desires that we come to know Him, who He is, and what great things He has done to provide for the salvation of His children, He will help us to come to know Him.

It is appropriate that we learn what we can about God from the revelations that He has given to His prophets. So it is important to study the scriptures, where the knowledge of God is revealed to man. However, the scriptures lend themselves to various interpretations, and there are many different notions about who God is and what He is like. Not more than one of them could be true.

There is one sure way to find the true interpretation of the scriptures, and that is to ask God the Father, in the name of Jesus Christ, if He will reveal the truthfulness of the scriptures to you. Of course, in the asking, we must do all within our power to live in compliance with what we understand to be His will. The great and last prophet of the Nephite nation, Moroni, put it this way–

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 10:4-5.)

Perhaps it would be well to hold in question all your former beliefs in anticipation of receiving an answer to your prayers. If, for instance, you were to ask the Lord to reveal to you that the Book of Mormon is indeed the word of God and contains, as it claims, the fullness of the everlasting gospel, and the Lord were to answer your prayer and give to you a firm and unalterable conviction that the book were true, then all your doctrinal questions would be solved.

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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