The Truth of All Things
by Kathy Penrod
Truth, in its purest form, is all around us. It can be hard to see, hard to understand, because the chaos of the world can drown it out. But it’s there. The great thing is that our loving Heavenly Father has given us a way to discern the truth. He doesn’t care where we live, what color we are, how much education we have or what our past has been. God wants us to find and know truth.
But, in our world full of lies, misunderstandings and false gods, how is it possible to actually know of truth?
The answer is Moroni’s promise.
Moroni was an ancient prophet who lived on the American continent approximately 421 years after the birth of the Savior, Jesus Christ. He helped keep and compile the records of earlier prophets. He was the last prophet to write in the Book of Mormon. And, knowing the importance of record he kept, he left all those who will read it, with a promise.
I would guess that most every member of the church knows this promise, as it has been a way for each of us to know of the truth of the Book of Mormon and the truth of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ. This scripture is recited in church classes from the time we are small. We hear it preached from the pulpit on Sundays, our teenagers learn about it in their Seminary classes. Our missionaries use it as they strive to teach others of Jesus Christ. It is the challenge that is given to honest seekers of truth.
Quite often the only part of the promise mentioned is Moroni 10:4. We tell people, just read the book and pray about it. It sounds simple and sometimes, that’s all that is needed for people to understand the truth. But, while still simple, there is really quite a bit more to this promise. The whole promise is actually Moroni 10:3-5.
Lets look at it in its entirety. I have bolded the particular steps on which I wish to focus.
3. Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4. And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
5. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
Instead of just two steps (read and ask) there are actually six steps to Moroni’s promise.
First, we must read “these things.” We must read the Book of Mormon. If you read the whole chapter (among other chapters in the book) you will see that Moroni knew this whole record would someday be available to generations that had come after him. He wanted us to read the WHOLE Book of Mormon. Some can come to know without reading the whole book, but I believe that is the exception, not the norm.
Second, we need to remember. I love the word remember… it is used so often in the scriptures as a call to action. Remember. Remember the goodness of God. Remember how merciful He is to us. Remember the blessings He gives us. Remember who you are – a child of the Most High. Remember these things. There is great power in remembering. It is no accident that Moroni urges us to remember.
Third, we must ponder in our hearts. To me, pondering is so much more than just thinking about something. Webster’s dictionary actually defines ponder as “consider something carefully… especially quietly, soberly, and deeply” and “to weigh in the mind… reflect on.” This is not just the lunch-break-daydream type of thinking… this is using your very soul to reflect and consider the words which have been read.
Fourth, receive these things. Again, let’s look close at the verbiage. One definition of receive is to “assimilate through the mind or senses” and another is “to permit to enter.” I think we can learn valuable lessons from looking closer at these meanings. This means we learn enough about what we are reading so we can understand it. It means we allow it to enter our hearts. We give way to any preconceived ideas and allow the words to work within us. We must open our hearts and minds if we are to obtain an answer of its truth.
Fifth, now we are ready to ask God. We have done the work. We have studied it out. Now, with a sincere heart and faith in Christ, we are ready to beseech the Creator of the Universe in behalf of our quest for truth. Just like every step mentioned thus far, this one also takes faith. This is probably the hardest step to maintain that faith. Sure, God can answer us, but will He? The answer is, unequivocally, YES!
Sixth, know the truth. We are promised we can know the truth of ALL things. It doesn’t just apply to the Book of Mormon. Where there is truth, we can find it and know it. It is important to listen for His quiet promptings. Some people gain answers immediately. Some people have answers develop over the course of months – or even years. The answer will come to each of us differently, in God’s own way and own time. Don’t discount an answer because it’s different than you expect or doesn’t come as quickly as you might like. If there is truth to be found, and I promise that there is, then we can know of that truth. We CAN know the truth of ALL things.
So, next time you are presented with the opportunity to read the Book of Mormon, and I hope that is soon, remember these six steps. We can reach beyond belief and come to KNOW of its truth. God wants that for each of His children. He wants that for YOU.
(If you do not have a Book of Mormon, you can get one here, free of charge.)