By Study and Also By Faith

An LDS (Mormon) blog representing a search for knowledge, understanding, and wisdom.

Saturday, April 25, 2009

"Recovering and Discovering Truth"

I often search the Ensign for various topics of interest to me. This morning I did a search on the word "seeking". I did not have a definite idea of what I myself was seeking, but I was curious about what I would find by searching for that one word.

While I found many articles and speeches from the Ensign, one that particularly caught my eye was by Edwin Brown Firmage and appeared in the April 1981 issue of the magazine. The title is "
Recovering and Discovering Truth". Elder Firmage's topic is encapsulated in his first paragraph:

I had an experience some time ago that led me to think and to pray intensely. The whole incident caused me to reflect on the ways we gain knowledge from our Heavenly Father, and on the intimate relationship that exists between intellectual and spiritual means of acquiring knowledge.
That interests me--the intimate relationship between intellectual and spiritual means of acquiring knowledge. Here are two more paragraphs from near the end of the article:
This very process argues against the false idea that prayer, study, and meditation, or deep thought are merely attempts to convince oneself of a particular principle. To the person who is sensitive to divine communication, pure revelation floods the very being in a way that makes it unmistakable. Whether the truth be in science, philosophy, or religion, that knowledge is now his in a way that it was not before. Again, Einstein said of faith: “Real faith, either to a scientist or a businessman or a minister of religion, involves the problem and struggle of searching.” The Lord said to Joseph and Oliver that “you must study it out in your mind.”

Finally, I have learned that one must use the truth he possesses before asking for more. An ancient Tibetan proverb says, “He who knows and fails to practice the precepts is like a man who lights a lamp in the darkness and then closes his eyes.” We have a loving Heavenly Father who possesses all knowledge. He is willing to share it with us as fast as we are able to obtain it by worthy effort and then truly make it “ours” by living it.
In the article, Elder Firmage quotes various philosophers giving their thoughts about where knowledge comes from. It makes for an interesting article.

I believe that our Heavenly Father does bless mankind with intellectual knowledge as well as spiritual knowledge. He is not limited to only things of the spirit. I also believe that He expects us to put forth a lot of effort to learn as much as we can and to think about what we've learned and how it can be applied to solve a problem or to answer a question before He will send to us the necessary missing knowledge.

What are your thoughts about this?

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Friday, April 24, 2009


There are consequences, good or bad, to every choice we make. A realization and an acceptance of consequences will make us freer than we otherwise would be. This may sound like a bit of a contradiction, but an Ensign article by Elder Robert S. Wood of the Seventy explains it better than I can. The article is titled "On the Responsible Self" and appears in the March 2002 Ensign. Elder Wood says:

Perhaps the symbolic nature of the second temptation is the least apparent of the three. But on reflection, this temptation points to a tendency to which we all are subject—the tendency to desire some miraculous delivery from the consequences of our actions; to be borne up, if you will, by angels or divine providence, with little effort on our part.
He then discusses personal responsibility and consequences in the rest of the article. It's good food for thought.

We do all have a tendency to want to be delivered from any negative consequences of our choices, but it is better and more freeing to make choices with positive consequences. Easier said than done, I know, but it is what we must strive for. Repentance and the Atonement make it possible to correct the mistakes we make (and we will make mistakes) and move forward to progress toward better choices.

There are an endless number of choices that we make throughout our lives. Although it is now popular to admonish one another to not judge, we do have to make judgements every day as to which choices we should make. The choices range from simple things such as what to have for breakfast to somewhat more serious choices such as whether or not to write that blog post about some favorite speculation of ours that might (or might not) be a bad influence on others. We also have major choices to make about education, jobs, marriage, and how we live the gospel. Every one of these choices has some kind of consequence. It would be a good thing for us to learn to consider the consequences anytime we make a choice. That will free us by helping us to make choices with positive consequences rather than negative consequences.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

Cute Things

My apologies for being such a slacker at blogging. I've had a lot going on, but I will try to post more often.

I recently became aware of two websites that are sure to make you smile!

Cute Things Falling Asleep

Cute Things Laughing

There's nothing like babies, kittens, and puppies!!!