How do you find truth? Does the Holy Spirit play a role? Where do the good feelings come from that you feel when listening to the words of Christ? I’ve heard many people argue that the “conversions” of LDS people are based at least partially on feelings, not facts from the Bible. I am one of those Mormons that have had spiritual confirmation of my faith (the Mormon faith). I know that some of you may be rolling your eyes when you read that, but I really do believe it.
This is one of the most compelling reasons why I stay in the Mormon Church, despite some negative views people have. I sincerely prayed to God that he would confirm to me the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. I did not receive an answer the first few times I prayed and decided to give it one last chance before I left the Church (I couldn’t stay any longer if it was false and we are promised by the church that God will answer us). Well, I will just say that the answer I received by way of what I believe was the Holy Spirit was so different than any other feeling I had felt before that I am convinced that it was from God. No, I didn’t see an angel or a vision. I’m just a normal person not prone to imagine things that aren’t there.
Although I have had this experience, in the last year I have learned of some events and quotes from past Mormon leaders that have challenged my faith. I continue to try to sift through the hateful, bigoted propaganda and truthful, accurate information on the Internet and in books. My belief that the Holy Ghost answered my prayer many years ago has also been challenged (Though I am still inclined to believe that God did answer me).
My question to you is how do you know if something is true or false? You may want to appeal to the Bible. That is fair enough, but what if you want to know if the Bible is true? Think about you most basic core beliefs. Why do you believe it? Was it what your parents taught you or did you have something happen that convinced you of it? The idea (taught by Mormonism) of the Holy Ghost teaching us truth makes sense to me. We are told what the fruits of the Spirit are in Galatians:
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,
23 Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law. (Gal 5:22-23)
So it is biblical that we actually FEEL something good when the Spirit of God is with us. It is also biblical that the role of the Holy Spirit is to teach us. Some of the more powerful scriptures that illustrate this point are below:
20 Thou gavest also thy good spirit to instruct them… (Neh. 9:20)
11 But when they shall lead you, and deliver you up, take no thought beforehand what ye shall speak, neither do ye premeditate: but whatsoever shall be given you in that hour, that speak ye: for it is not ye that speak, but the Holy Ghost. (Mark 13:11)
Holy Ghost shall teach you in the same hour. (Luke 12:12)
Holy Ghost also is a witness to us. (Heb. 10:15)
Holy Ghost . . . shall teach you ALL things, and bring all things to your remembrance. (John 14:26)
Acts 2:37 they were pricked in their heart.
So why is that people discount feelings? Is it because they don’t believe that the Spirit functions through feelings (see Gal. 5:22-23 above) or is it because they are convinced that the feelings they feel are from God, but if someone from another faith describes similar feelings they are not? I’m not quite clear on this because I talk to people from other Christian faiths that say they “feel” the Spirit. I don’t doubt that they do, but some how they discount my experience. Help clarify this for me.