Thursday, January 14, 2016

Dieter F. Uchtdorf on doubt, faith, belief, and knowledge

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (b. 1940) served as a Seventy from 1994-2004, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve.  He has served as second counselor in the First Presidency since 2008.
"Satan, our adversary, wants us to fail. He spreads lies as part of his effort to destroy our belief. He slyly suggests that the doubter, the skeptic, the cynic is sophisticated and intelligent, while those who have faith in God and His miracles are naive, blind, or brainwashed. Satan will advocate that it is cool to doubt spiritual gifts and the teachings of true prophets.
"I wish I could help everyone to understand this one simple fact: we believe in God because of things we know with our heart and mind, not because of things we do not know. Our spiritual experiences are sometimes too sacred to explain in worldly terms, but that doesn’t mean they are not real.
"Heavenly Father has prepared for His children a spiritual feast, offering every kind of exquisite food imaginable—and yet, instead of enjoying these spiritual gifts, the cynics content themselves with observing from a distance, sipping from their cups of skepticism, doubt, and disrespect.
"Why would anyone walk through life satisfied with the light from the candle of their own understanding when, by reaching out to our Heavenly Father, they could experience the bright sun of spiritual knowledge that would expand their minds with wisdom and fill their souls with joy?"
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Be Not Afraid, Only Believe," Ensign, November 2015, pp. 76-79
Click here to read the full article

President Uchtdorf's talk to the recent Priesthood session of conference was beautiful and instructive. I appreciated the reminders about the blessings and importance of faith and belief; and the cautions about the tactics of the adversary in spreading doubt, skepticism, and cynicism. I have seen those tactics in play in those around me. We must never be "talked out of" the things we know and have experienced; our belief and faith are well-grounded, unless that subtle faulty logic is allowed to undermine them.

The two examples of contrast are helpful too.  We have an exquisite spiritual feast prepared by Heavenly Father. We should enjoy it deeply and personally, and not observe "from a distance" as do the skeptics, while they are "sipping from their cups of skepticism, doubt, and disrespect." How true is that description!  And then this analogy of light:

What a blessing and joy it is to live the Gospel life!

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