What would you do if you heard of someone taking their son up into the mountains and tying him to a pile of rocks to sacrifice him to God?  That probably wouldn’t fly over too well, yet Christians, Muslims, and Jews all revere Abraham as a prophet.

What about a man that killed a high-ranking official and then stole valuable records from him and fled into the wilderness, claiming that God told him to do all of these things?  That’s Nephi’s story in the Book of Mormon.

How about a more recent one? A man who claimed authority from God to translate additional scripture, build temples, and practice poligamy.  That’s part of Joseph Smith’s story.

These are a few examples.  Kaimi over at By Common Consent wrote more examples from the Old Testament as well.

So why is it that some people believe in Abraham, but not the New Testament and Jesus, yet others believe in the Bible, but reject the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith?  I believe it comes down to what people want to believe, along with what they are willing to allow the Spirit to teach them.

I believe strongly in the power of the Holy Spirit to tell you the truth of all things.  Although specifically referring to the Apocropha, Doctrine and Covenants, Section 91 gives a good example of using the Spirit to decipher and determine which scriptures to follow.  Below is part of the section:

  4 Therefore, whoso readeth it, let him aunderstand, for the Spirit manifesteth truth;

  5 And whoso is enlightened by the aSpirit shall obtain benefit therefrom;
  6 And whoso receiveth not by the Spirit, cannot be benefited….
According to this scripture, one can determine which scripture is true and which isn’t.  This is one answer, but it is highly subjective and people can interpret the Spirit in so many different ways.  However, I firmly believe that one can feel the light and truth of things that are true by the power of the Holy Spirit, and I know personally I’ve felt the spirit confirm many truths found in scriptures of all faiths. 
So when I read something in the scriptures such as Abraham sacrificing Isaac or Joseph Smith and others in the Bible practicing polygamy I figure they were individuals and maybe God told them to do it…maybe not.  It’s o.k. if I don’t know or understand everything.  I take the scriptures that I feel the Spirit with and apply them to my life.  Even though I don’t understand everything fully I’m grateful for the scriptures that help me learn and grow.
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