President Dieter F. Uchtdorf: ‘Receiving a testimony of light and truth’

Credit: IRI
Credit: IRI
Credit: IRI
Credit: IRI
Credit: IRI
Credit: IRI
Credit: IRI
Credit: IRI

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf delivered this “joyful message” in his Saturday morning conference address:

“God Himself — the Lord of Hosts who knows all truth — has given His children the promise that they can know truth for themselves.”

The second counselor in the First Presidency began by describing the depth and vastness of the universe. Less than a century ago most astronomers assumed the Milky Way was the only galaxy in the universe. The development of more sophisticated telescopes revealed their assumptions were wrong. In truth, the heavens are filled with numberless galaxies.

“The immensity of the universe didn’t suddenly change, but our ability to see and understand this truth changed dramatically,” he said. “And with that greater light, mankind was introduced to glorious vistas we had never before imagined.”

For many, it is hard to believe what cannot be seen.

“It seems to be a trait of humanity to assume that we are right even when we are wrong. And if that is the case, what hope is there for any of us? Are we destined to drift aimlessly on an ocean of conflicting information, stranded on a raft we have poorly pieced together from our own biases?”

Is it possible, asked President Uchtdorf, to find truth? He offered a resolute answer.

“The Everlasting and Almighty God, the Creator of this vast universe, will speak to those who approach Him with a sincere heart and real intent.

“He will speak to them in dreams, visions, thoughts and feelings.

“He will speak in a way that is unmistakable and that transcends human experience. He will give them divine direction and answers for their personal lives.”

Some will scoff that such a thing is possible. They may say God has better things to do than hear and answer a single person’s prayer.

“But I tell you this: God cares about you,” he said. “He will listen and He will answer your personal questions. The answers to your prayers will come in His own way and in His own time and, therefore, you need to learn to listen to His voice. God wants you to find your way back to Him, and the Savior is the way.

“God wants you to learn of His Son, Jesus Christ, and experience the profound peace and joy that come from following the path of divine discipleship.”

President Uchtdorf then offered a straightforward experiment — with a guarantee from God — that is available to every man, woman and child:

First — search the word of God.

“That means reading the scriptures and studying the words of the ancient as well as modern prophets regarding the restored gospel of Jesus Christ— not with an intent to doubt or criticize but with a sincere desire to discover truth. Ponder upon the things you will feel and prepare your minds to receive the truth.”

Second — consider, ponder and fearlessly strive to believe.

“Be grateful for how merciful the Lord has been to His children from the time of Adam to our day by providing prophets, seers and revelators to lead His church and help us find the way back to Him.”

Third — ask Heavenly Father, in Christ’s name, to manifest the truth of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

“There is also a fourth step, a very important one given to us by the Savior: ‘If any man will do [God’s] will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself’ (John 7:17). In other words, when you are trying to verify the truth of the gospel principles, you must first live them.”

By following those four steps, God is bound by His word to manifest the truth through the power of the Holy Ghost.

The Savior taught long ago, “That which is of God is light.”

“The more we incline our hearts and minds toward God, the more heavenly light distills upon our souls,” President Uchtdorf said. “And each time we willingly and earnestly seek that light, we indicate to God our readiness to receive more light. Gradually, things that before seemed hazy, dark and remote become clear, bright and familiar to us.”

President Uchtdorf declared that the Church is a place for people with all kinds of testimonies. “There are some members of the Church whose testimony is sure and burns brightly within them. Others are still striving to know for themselves. The Church is a home for all to come together, regardless of the depth or the height of our testimony. I know of no sign on the doors of our meetinghouses that says, ‘Your testimony must be this tall to enter.’”

The Church, he added, is for all people who seek Christ and His perfecting power. It is a place of welcoming and nurturing, not of separating or criticizing.

“In the end, we are all pilgrims seeking God’s light as we journey on the path of discipleship. We do not condemn others for the amount of light they may or may not have; rather, we nourish and encourage all light until it grows clear, bright, and true.”

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