Recently I posted a blog on why I believe in God. Many of you emailed me directly and a couple of you left responses. This blog is written in response to a comment left by someone on my blog who says he doesn’t believe in God. I appreciate him getting in touch with me and sharing his perspective with me. It caused me to reflect on my beliefs. Here were the comments left on my page:
“…after careful consideration, pondering, reading, rationale, et. al, I’ve come to the conclusion that there isn’t a god. And because I don’t believe in a god, I only have to live for myself and those that I love. And I mustn’t fear death, for I also don’t believe in hell. It’s a wonderful way to live life. It makes me very happy.”
First off, I commend this person for sharing their views. Although many of his views are not aligned with mine, one of them is. The view that he loves those around him and loves himself. This I find to be very positive and there are many (including myself) that need to work on further developing the trait of loving and respecting oneself as well as his friends and family.
Next, I would like to offer some suggestions to my friend just in case my friend ever has a faint desire to learn if there is indeed a God and how to find out.
I would like to address a few laws that I know to be true. In Doctorine and Covenants 130:20 it states that when we keep the commandments of God, he is bound to bless us. It is a law and with every blessing there is a law attached to it. What are some laws of Heaven? Some examples include: Faith, Prayer, Tithing, Fasting, all of the commandments basically. For purposes of addressing the topic on hand, I would like to focus on the laws attached to faith and prayer.
The Law of Faith
In my opinion, the most beautiful and simple explanation of how to excersize faith is in Alma chapter 32 of the Book of Mormon. If my atheist friend even has the faintest desire to find out if there is a God, I recommend a careful study of this chapter. It outlines step by step how to excersize faith. Here are the steps:
1. Develop Humility (Alma 32 verses 12-16)
2. Desire to believe (verse 27)
3. Experiment upon the word (verse 27)
4. Hold on to truth…nourish the “seed” through prayer (verse 37)
5. Patience (verse 42)
6. Diligence (verse 42)
7. Recieve reward of Faith (verse 43)
If faith is a law, then god is bound to bless us with knowledge if we follow these steps. He only blesses us with knowledge and miracles according to our faith. ( 2 Nephi 27: 23; 2 Nephi 26:13) Alma compares faith to a seed that if planted in our hearts will grow into a tree of knowledge if we are patient and nourish the seed by reading and studying and believing. If we do not practice these steps then God can not bless us according to the laws of nature as seen when Jesus couldn’t perform miracles in the Bible because of lack of faith. (see Matthew 13:58 and 3 Nephi 19: 35)
However, numerous examples are contained in the scriptures of the miracles that are able to be perfomed because of following the prescribed steps of faith. Some examples are: the miracles of Paul in the bible (Acts 19:11); numerous examples of healings in the scriptures; and people receiving a testimony or witness of the spirit according to their faith. There are thousands of other examples in the scriptures that witness of miracles as well.
It appears that my atheist friend was almost ready to recieve an answer or witness that there is a God. He completed the steps of having a desire to know, and reading and studying. I’m not sure if this studying was done in humility. I’m not the one to judge, but if it was done in humility and he still didn’t recieve a witness then it was because he didn’t practice the law of prayer.
The Law of Prayer
In the scriptures it states: “All things ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall recieve” (Matthew 21: 22) This is a law. God promised he would do this and I testify from personal experience that he will. Examples of people recieving a witness that there is a God by praying include Enos in the Book of Mormon, Joseph Smith when praying to find out which church he should join, and other examples throughout the scriptures.
My atheist friend also commented on my experience I posted about praying to know if the Book of Mormon was true that there is no way that I could have had this experience and that it was something I had imagined up. This story reminds me of an anti-christ in the Book of Mormon named Zeezrom who challenged Jacob, a prophet of the time.
In closing and in response to my atheist friend, I want to tell you that I have tried the experiment on the words of God. I know that the law of faith and the law of prayer works. I know that I have felt God in ways that I can’t describe and that one can’t understand unless they have experienced them. I feel like Joseph Smith in a small sense that the experiences I’ve had I know are from God and I can’t deny them. If I were to deny that God has sent me His Spirit to testify that Jesus is our Savior, the scriptures including the Book of Mormon and the Bible are true, and that He (God) actually exists; I would be lying to God and myself. This I will not do.
I invite my friend to try this experiement with humility and faith. If you have the desire and patience I testify to you that you will recieve a witness.
If anyone reading this has similar experiences to share or ideas to help my atheist friend, feel free to contribute in your comments.