Recently I stumbled upon an online forum about Mormonism. As the people who participate in this forum are, for the most part, good and kind people, I was drawn into reading through it. Several more discussions have since popped up about LDS doctrine on this forum. It's been interesting, disappointing, disheartening, and strengthening all at the same time.
It was interesting to learn about the things people think about the Church and it's members. It was disappointing to see that so many people believed the lies they've heard about LDS church members. It was disheartening to see how many good people have allowed Satan to harden their hearts against the Church. And it was so wonderful to see that most of the participants, members and not, could discuss this amazing religion in a respectful manner; the basic testimonies offered by some members were extremely refreshing when things started to stray.
But really really finding out just what people disagree with in my religion has, for lack of a better term, planted seeds of doubt in my head.
No, not like, "I'm not sure this is really true..." Try as he might, Satan has thus far been unable to crack my testimony. It's been getting firmer and stronger for 25 years, it definitely won't be an easy task for him to actually get me to doubt what I know to be true. I still would like to kick him in the pants for trying, though.
No, these doubting seeds are more like distractions than doubts. For example, when I read a scripture about a revealed truth the thought pops into my head, "Yeah, but people who don't believe this will just point to such-and-such a scripture interpreted in such-and-such a way and say that means this isn't true." Instead of allowing the Spirit to teach me in that moment that what I've read is true, my mind is busy thinking of how others refute it. Does that make sense?
Anyway, I am not happy with that, so in effort to push through it, I offer my basic testimony.
I know God lives. I know Jesus is his son. I know that I am his daughter and that he loves me more than anyone else does. I know that Jesus Christ is my savior, redeemer, advocate, friend, and my way back to our heavenly Father. I know that his church has been restored through the prophet, Joseph Smith. I know that his prophet today is Thomas S. Monson. I know that the things taught in his church are true. I know my prayers are heard and important. I know that, through the blessings of temple covenants and ordinances, my family can be together forever. I know I have been richly blessed.
I am thankful for this knowledge. I am thankful for the direction and peace that they bring to my life.
I think it all comes back to this. I can be thankful for my washing machine, sunshine on the mountains, food in the fridge, the sweet smiles on my sons' faces, etc. But really, the meaning is sucked out of those things for me were it not for this knowledge that I have.
What are you thankful for today?