Monday, March 10, 2014

Faith: To all those "atheists" out there...

This week has been unbelievably powerful. I have a strong testimony of fasting and prayer and would encourage all of you to experiment on it, especially you missionaries. Towards the beginning of my mission in Mustang (about 6 months out), I was reading a passage in the Book of Mormon about missionaries that "taught with power...because they had the Spirit of Prophecy and of Revelation" and it was because they "gave themselves to much fasting and prayer". Ever since then I have fasted every week starting Saturday night before we partake of the sacrament. It changed my mission and my life forever and I have a deep testimony that it will bring the "power of the Spirit" into your lives. My companion has been doing it with me and we have seen unbelievable things in Midwest City. I wish we could say it was something special that we were doing, but we really aren't. If you are struggling, fast and pray. If you aren't struggling, fast and pray and you will receive a greater portion or a greater endowment of that "light, which lighteth every man that cometh into the world". 

So we are teaching a bunch of people that are very intelligent when it comes to the "philosophies of men". It has been a whole new experience. It feels a little like edmond. The Book of Mormon covers that though, its chill. We are visiting a man who is such a cool guy. He thinks deep and he asks questions. I have learned so much in our visits. However, he wants evidence to believe in a God and to believe that the Book of Mormon is other words, like most people, he wants a sign. Sounds a lot like Korihor. Well I learned this week that those who choose not to believe in a God are actually walking by faith. It takes more faith to believe there is no God then to believe there is one...heres why. It blew my mind. (forgive me if i get intense, this is a big deal in the world today and has been on my mind)

Epistemology is a branch of philosophy that focuses on the question of "What is real, or what is true?" There are many different ways that people judge whether something is real or true. Authoritarianism states that we can believe something because someone with "authority" and "experience" has stated so. Rationalism looks at whether something is rational or logical (truth is always logical, but logic isn't always true... I have come to realize that out here). There are so many different vehicles that we can use to find truth, but I want to focus on empiricism. Empirical evidence is one of the more popular methods that people use today to believe something is true or real. We gather empirical evidence through the senses...that is to say, in order to "know" there is a God we would have to experience it with our senses (Seeing, feeling, touching etc.). In the Book of Mormon we read of an "anti-Christ" named Korihor. This story is in the Book of Mormon because there are so many "Korihors" out there today. I believe that is one rising challenge that our generation will face that might be different from the past and I believe that God knew it too, thats why its in the Book of Mormon. In chapter 30 of Alma, Korihor comes to Alma and states that "it is impossible to know of things to come" because you cannot see them and thus, you cannot "know" there will be a Christ. In other words, he is saying that you cannot "know" there is a God because you cannot see it (Alma 30:15). Korihor says that in order to know that something is true, you must have evidence based on empiricism (experience with senses, seeing touching feeling...etc). Alma knows that Korihor is a liar and in turn asks a question and confounds all the "atheists" to ever live. "What evidence have ye that there is no God?" (Alma 30:40). Korihor is asking for evidences that prove the existence of a God, yet he cannot provide any evidence that there is "no God", in other words, he is basing his entire argument on faith. (What he also doesn't understand is that Faith is the evidence of things not seen Heb. 11:1) In order for Korihor to prove there is no God, he needs the same evidence he is asking from Alma. He needs to come up with a "sign" that will prove that there is no God. In order to do that he would have to search every cubic centimeter of the entire universe searching for this God (because this "God" is not of this earth). That is to say that God doesn't move (which we believe He does), because what if after Korihor searches point A and doesn't find God, and then goes to search point B and God moves back to point A? This creates a paradox in itself that makes me laugh at all atheists. Essentially, in order to prove that there is no God, Korihor would have to be a "god" himself. 

On the other side (the logical side), proving that there is a God is so much easier then proving there is no God. All it would take is for one person to see or have an "experience" with God and we would have "a witness" or evidence to base our argument on. What Korihor doesn't understand is that by stating there is no God, he is walking by faith because there is absolutely no evidence to base that "belief" on. But when we say we believe in God because we have the witnesses of prophets ever since the world began, testimonies from our own "empirical" experiences, and the holy scriptures...people mock us. This can be applied to anything I think. What evidence do you have that the Book of Mormon is not true? And what is your evidence based upon? Is it logical, does it have authority to back it up? We have so many witnesses today that witness to us that there is a God, that He loves us and that we MUST obey His commandments and "forsake the things of this world" in order to follow Him. It is so much more "pleasing to the carnal mind" (Alma 30:53) to say "there is no God and there are no commandments" and to trust in the things of the world, then it is to say there is a God. It takes a lot more trust and hope to say there is no God, because if there is a God, (and there is a lot more evidence to prove there is then not) then according to Gods word, you will be held very accountable for rejecting His counsels because you chose to believe the precepts of men and put your trust in the the things of the world instead, which eventually will die and corrupt and rot away, just like us. Its our choice. I would strongly invite you to be more believing and trusting. If you want to know if something is true...ACT!! Pray to God, you can have a witness and evidence for yourself if you will only experiment and awake to the reality of these things!!

I leave you my witness and this I do know, and this I do believe, that God is real. He is true. He loves us and always will. His hand is yet reached out to all of His children if we will but humbly repent and have faith in His Son Jesus Christ. Through Christ, we can have life that is everlasting and happiness that last forever. This is His great work and we will all be accountable. Take it seriously, stay humble and go to Him in prayer often. 

I love you all. 

Elder Dallin Cutler

p.s please pray for sun :)

Funny sign thingy. Made me laugh

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