One of the unique aspects of serving as a missionary online is the vast amount of anti-Mormon material we are exposed to. Much of it I was not familiar with before I came here to be a missionary. I have not done a lot of research myself on many of the things I have been exposed to. I have never learned Hebrew, I have not done an in depth study of ancient civilizations, and I have never visited the Holy Land to see Jerusalem and see where Christ was born. I do not need to rely on any shroud, any ruins, or any physical evidence to know God is real, and to know He cares for me. Neither do I believe those things can let us know God loves us. They may help, but they are not the answer. I do know the Bible and the Book of Mormon are true. As I read through many of the anti-Mormon criticisms I often think of this verse from the Book of Mormon;
“O that cunning plan of the evil one! O the vainess, and the frailties, and foolishness of men! When they are learned they think they are wise, and they hearken no unto the counsel of God, for they set is aside, supposing they know of themselves, wherefore, their wisdom is foolishness and it profiteth them not. And they shall perish. But to be learned is good if they hearken unto the counsels of God.” --2 Nephi 9: 28-29
When they learn, they think they are wise. Accumulating knowledge does not make a person wise. When I think of wisdom, I think of King Solomon. In the scriptures we read the Lord telling Solomon “I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart; so that there was none like thee before thee, neither after thee shall any arise like unto thee.” Wisdom comes from the Lord. Why was Solomon blessed with such great wisdom? I am certain a large part of it had to with him being the King and ruler of the Israelite nation. But I think we learn some more important qualities in the verses before as Solomon asks the Lord. As the Lord asks him what he desires he says “I am but a little child: I know not how to go out or come in. . . . Give therefore thy servant an understanding heart to judge they people, that I may discern between good and bad: for who is able to judge this thy so great a people.” Looking at those verses it is clear to see the humility which King Solomon had. It is clear to see the dependence which he had on the Lord. I know as we rely on God to find our strength, just like Solomon, we can find those things which bring us the most strength in our own lives. (1 Kings 3)
The Book of Mormon is able to link humility with strength very clearly;
“And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them.”
I think in many ways humility can be shown through the trust we have in the Lord. We trust that His way is better than ours, and we are willing to follow Him and those things He wants us to do. As we trust in God, how is it we are able to learn and gain knowledge from Him? As with King Solomon, it is most clearly a gift from God. King Solomon did not gain wisdom from study, he did not gain it from schooling, but he gained it from asking. James 1: 5 tells us “If any of your lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.” The honest seeker finds answers. God helps us when we let Him provide the answers. “But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.” (1 Corinthians 2: 14) The Spirit of God is the Holy Ghost. It comes to us in our lives as we focus on developing the Christ-like qualities in our lives. As we are meek, and humble, as we focus on serving others, and as we focus on doing God’s will we open ourselves up to His Spirit. We not only take the time to read the scriptures, we pray, ask God for His help, and we experiment on the things of the Spirit. We “try” them like we read in 1 John 4: 1-3. We watch the faith and blessings grow as we read in Alma 32. The true things of God bring us the gifts of the Spirit. They help us have a more Christ-like love in our lives, we have a greater sense of peace, we are better able to endure the trials we have, we have faith grow in our lives, and as we continue to be meek and humble, the Lord is able to bless us.
I do know this is the true church of Jesus Christ on the earth. I have never met God, and I have never seen an Angel. I never met Noah, and I never met Moses. I did not see Lehi sail with his family to the Americas. I wasn’t here to see Jesus Christ walk the earth. I never met Joseph Smith; in fact, I have never met any of the living prophets or apostles on the earth today. However, as I have trusted on God I feel my eyes have slowly been opened I have been able to see more clearly. Through the cancer I have had, I have been able to better understand the doctrine of the church. I can better understand the Atonement of Jesus Christ as I see the need for it in my life. The Plan of Salvation takes on new meaning as it is the only thing which provides answers to the questions I have had. I might not be able to explain in words all of the blessings I have seen. I cannot explain how I have come to an understanding myself, but I do know it is there for those who seek it. As I have found the comfort peace and understanding in my life, I know it is there for others as well. I am blessed to be here as a missionary to share it with others.