I'm watching conference. It is on pause for a moment while I put some thoughts down.
Walter F. Gonzales just gave a talk about the need to spend time learning and knowing things through the power of the Holy Ghost.
Yesterday, I was driving home from Bountiful and I thought about how easy it is to create evidence.
I was thinking about an episode from Scandal.
In this episode, the president receives a photo (evidence) that leads him to believe that he would be justified in attacking an evil regime. Later in the episode it is revealed that the photo was doctored.
I thought about this as one of the speakers yesterday afternoon talked about a letter released in the 90s that destroyed his friend's faith. This letter was later revealed to be a fraud.
Elder Gonzales's words struck home this morning as he talked about the importance of building a foundation of faith through the Holy Ghost. In years past, it would be plausible to combine a testimony built on the spirit with one built with historical facts and images that hold up the seemingly fleeting "feelings" of the spirit.
Now as I find myself trying to define and identify my faith, I think back to moments where I felt the truthfulness of the gospel. I can see the hardfloor beneath me and the light shining from the kitchen when I knew that an investigator and mother of 4 had decided to become baptized. I can still remember the feeling sitting in the home of the Bozicas' when I felt the spirit say--"He knows. Ask him to be baptized." It was our first meeting with him so it seemed crazy--but he knew.
My faith is a part of me. It is built from quiet moments driving through the country side when I felt a conviction that God and Jesus Christ live. It does not come from photographs or well-crafted arguments--not that I am opposed to scholarship--but it isn't a foundation for faith.
So these are my thoughts. I know it is ironic to post a painting of Jesus in a post about not needing physical evidence as a foundation for testimony--but I love this picture. The softness of the eyes reflects the humble compassion that the Savior feels towards all of us crazy imperfect people.
In times when it seems impossible to know who is lying and who is telling the truth--there is a way to have confidence in your convictions.
I should unpause the DVR now. Enjoy your weekend!
If you want to watch General Conference, you can find it here:
General Conference for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints