Monday, June 8, 2009

Check Your Sources

I'm still thinking about this topic of sources of truth. Who do we believe? What sources should we read when studying to know truth? A blogger friend of mine who is a professor recently told that many of his students plagiarize. What is the most common source they use in their plagiarism? Believe it or not, most often they quote Wikipedia. For those who don't know how Wikipedia works, anyone can write on Wiki, and leave their own knowledge. So even with Wikipedia, you may or may not be getting accurate information. This leaves us with the question, "Which sources can I trust?"

Many people give their own testimony, but often those testimonies contradict. I have had bloggers comment on my blog that they have read the Book of Mormon and said they found it to be "full of evil". Should you trust their conclusion? I often give my testimony on this blog that I have prayed and have received an answer that the Book of Mormon is the word of God. Should you trust my conclusion? Both I, and the other blogger claim to have read the Book of Mormon, so which one should you listen to?

By and large, I would not trust any source that has a flavor of bias. I happened upon a blog today that made outrageous claims about my church, and supported those claims with emotional statements. That would be one source I wouldn't accept in seeking for truth. I believe a true source should be unbiased. If you are studying any subject and hear a tone of bias, you can know that the speaker may not be looking at the subject objectively.

The next question is one about accuracy. I don't think I have ever read anything printed about my church by outside sources that was entirely correct. There is always a slight misunderstanding (and sometimes large misunderstanding) about our beliefs, and we are presented in a way that is not accurate. I don't necessarily blame the originators of the information, because they are doing the best they can. I mean, if I asked you to write an article about nuclear fusion, you would do the best research you could, but ultimately, you aren't an expert, so could hardly be expected to write a perfect article. The best course of action for someone wanting to know about nuclear fusion would be to ask a nuclear physicist.

I always find it interesting that some churches spend so much time and energy combatting mine. Our church spends no money fighting other churches. We don't print informational tracts about them. We don't preach against them. We don't have classes to "warn" our members about them. We don't make films about them. We are secure in our own beliefs, and spend our time teaching what we believe. What we are taught as members, is to take the Holy Spirit as our guide in making decisions about what is truth.

I would suggest the same course of action to you. Your friends, or Wikipedia may tell you that the Book of Mormon is not true. I suggest that there is only one source that you should look to for accuracy. I suggest you study the subject out in your mind, then ask God, the Father, if it is true. God cannot lie, and will not lie. The Holy Spirit will confirm the truth of any thing to us if we ask with a sincere heart, with faith.

No comments: