Like the title says, I'm a Mormon. Although I will strive to be accurate in all my commentaries, you need to know that my opinions are not necessarily those of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. To read more about the church, go to the source at www.mormon.org.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Religion and Empirical Evidence

A logical person requires evidence for belief; as well they should. We would not believe atoms existed without proof through microscopes and studies of their nature. We would not believe anything outside our own experience without the confirmed experiences of others. Facts and figures need to be backed up with evidence from our own understanding. It is in this realm of empirical evidence where religion is often mocked for a lack of tested, tangible evidence. I wish to refute the idea that believers in religion and in Christ operate on “blind” faith and propose that individual experience of a believer equates to scientific, empirical evidence.

As Mormons we believe that all men, by virtue of being sons and daughters of God, have within them the light of Christ. This light of Christ can also be called the Holy Ghost or Holy Spirit. We believe the mission of the Holy Spirit is to guide men to all truth (John 16:13), to testify of Christ (1Cor 12:3), and to comfort (John 16:7). This means that regardless of religion or creed, every individual can feel the spirit in their lives when coming unto Christ and searching for truth.

When eternal truths are presented, the Holy Ghost will testify of the truthfulness through a manifestation of the Spirit. These manifestations of the Spirit are felt in a variety of ways (1Cor 12Moroni 7; Gal 5:22-23), but each is felt by the individual and is undeniable.

A spiritual experience can be just like a headache. You cannot show someone you have a headache. You don’t even know if the headache you’re experiencing is exactly like a headache someone else has. Science can explain why one happens; but even if you don’t show the scientific signs of a headache, your head still hurts! When you have a spiritual experience, you know for yourself of its reality.

Having the Spirit of the Lord testify truth to you is as real as seeing, smelling or touching. It is very much a sense that can be used as empirical evidence. Just as color would be difficult to explain to someone that was blind from birth, if you have not had a spiritual experience, it is difficult to explain. But just because someone else has not experience it or just because someone else does not understand it, this does not take away from the very real experience one can have with the Spirit.

I also want to make clear that Mormons do not have a monopoly on eternal truths or spiritual experiences. Many other people in many other religions, who seek truth and try to grow closer to God, experience and can testify of the near tangible feelings from God and His Holy Spirit. Followers of God don’t do so blindly, but with eyes wide open, having experienced God in a genuine way.

(For fun, click here to check out some famous scientists that are Mormons!)

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Robert! You have an amazing testimony- thanks so much for sharing it. :)

    ReplyDelete