"All things denote there is a God; yea, even the earth, and all things that are upon the face of it...and also all the planets which move in their regular form do witness that there is a Supreme Creator. - Alma 30:44
We were all driving in the car this last Thursday when the area got hit by a MASSIVE storm. Lightning struck the ground not 30 feet from us, and the vibrations from the impact shook the car. Scared the living daylights out of us. I was surprised to see that the thunderbolt was strangely orange, not the white-yellow we see in movies.
Also this week I did the baptismal interview of one Sister Sifford. Later on she asked me to actually perform her baptism this past Sunday, so I had the great pleasure of performing that ordinance for her. It was an unexpected blessing that I was dearly grateful for.
We had a lesson with a few college students this past week. We were talking to them about the Book of Mormon and they were having trouble accepting it. "Jesus appearing to people in the Americas?" they said. "That's ridiculous! That's impossible!"
"Do you believe the Bible?" I asked them.
They responded that yes, they did.
"In that case, you believe that 1) man was literally made from dust, that 2) the entire earth was literally covered with water at one point, and that 3) there was a man who could not only walk on water but actually rose from the dead, something that no one else in the history of the world has ever done before or since. Is it that hard to believe, then, that God could speak to people in America?"
They couldn't really argue with that one.
I followed up with another question: "How do you know if God is real?" My purpose in asking them that question was to see how they'd gotten a testimony in the past and thus compare that to how they'd get a testimony of the Book of Mormon. Their response was a halfhearted "Oh, well, just look at the earth around us. Obviously a God had to have made it."
"See, you look at the earth and you see that it is evidence there is a God. But an atheist looks at the very same earth and says that it's evidence that there is no God. With every piece of evidence that we see, there is always a faithful explanation for it and a doubtful explanation. It's the same with the Book of Mormon."
They still did not seem to get it, so we left them with that.
Later on, Elder Arnold asked E. Mastin and I the same question in companion study. "How do you know if the Church is true? How do you know if God is real?" It was interesting to see the different answers we gave. Mine was more based on logic, while E. Mastin's was more based on feelings and E. Arnold's was based on evidences he has seen for it to be true. I'll include a little bit of the main points of my testimony for you to consider:
1. The life of Jesus Christ. While I may indeed cry watching Sam carry Frodo up the mountain in Return of the King, the power of that story does not have the life-changing power of the story of Christ. There is something else there that motivates men to believe and to change.
2. The story of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. Would a liar have put up with so much persecution? Could any person have written the Book of Mormon on his own?
3. The story of the Church. Would something that was a fraud have survived under such conditions and flourished for so long as the Church has done?
4. The improbability of it all being false. Could all the modern-day prophets from Joseph to President Monson have been false? They testified of Jesus Christ; was He false, or just made up? He testified of Old Testament prophets; were they just made up? The improbability of so many good men being liars seems ridiculous to me.
5. My birth. Why am I the person I am? Why was I born Daniel Fisher in '93, and not in 493 or 1301 or 1967? There is no other explanation besides the Gospel as to why I am who I am: a loving Heavenly Father sent me at this time to my family.
Those are just main parts of my testimony that God is real and that the Church is true. I love you all. Hurrah of Israel!