Why I Believe
At a time when many, old and young, are deserting the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I give my testimony and why I remain faithful. But first:
What I Believe
I believe in a Father in Heaven, a personal God who is all knowing and all powerful whose work is 'to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man'.
To achieve this he organised the world we live on, organised man, gave man his agency allowing sin into the world that we might learn and become like Him.
Not leaving us in the dark he sent prophets to teach us and His Son to make immortality and eternal life possible.
I believe in Jesus Christ who came to the Earth to show us the way to eternal life (life in the Father), and to satisfy the demands of justice by atoning for the sins of all.
I believe that Jesus Christ, before leaving the Earth, organised a church for the 'perfecting of the saints, and for the work of the ministry.' However I believe over the centuries, important doctrine became confused, freedom of conscience was brutally suppressed and the chain of authority was broken so that only a restoration directed by Jesus Christ Himself could re-establish His church and doctrine.
I believe that Joseph Smith was the instrument by which that restoration was begun.
I believe that following the death of Joseph Smith the authority to direct His church fell to the 12 apostles of that time and that the senior apostle since then has been the Lords anointed prophet to teach and lead His church.
Why I Believe 1 - The Book of Mormon
Why I believe the above is rooted in my personal journey. When 17 years old two missionaries, Elder Richardson and Tullis, called at my parents home and my mother invited them back to chat with my sister and me; 5 months later I was baptised and confirmed into the church.
Why I believe and remain faithful is because of the instrumentality of The Book of Mormon which is defined in its title page that it is for
'the convincing of the Jew and Gentile that Jesus is the Christ, the Eternal God, manifesting himself unto all nations.'
At 17 I never understood who Jesus Christ was and what he was born to do. The Book of Mormon above all opened my eyes to a spiritual dimension and in particular led me to know Jesus Christ as my Redeemer and Saviour. Any uncertainty regarding how we came to have the Book of Mormon and whether it's historical narrative is accurate or not will never take from me what it achieved in me. I believe without doubt that every word in The Book of Mormon, except when there have been grammatical corrections, came only from the mouth of Joseph Smith.
I also believe what Joseph Smith said regarding the Book of Mormon,
'I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”
My first experience of the influence reading the Book of Mormon had on my life was when prior to baptism I was challenged by a missionary to give up smoking. At 17 I was a habitual smoker and had by self-control alone tried, unsuccessfully, to give it up. Taking the Book of Mormon with me to work and reading when I could gave me the power to defeat the habit. Over more than 50 plus years since, as a single adult, student, missionary, husband and father, my faith and the disciplines of life that bring happiness have accordingly become stronger or weaker as I have or have not read from its pages and abided by its precepts..
However, I do not believe that any book is perfect and infallible and for any scripture to be a final word, ie dogmatic, is damning.