Faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true. (Alma 32:21)
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. (Hebrews 11:1)
There are certain things that I do know. I know that there is a God. I know that the power of the atonement of Jesus Christ has worked miracles in my life. I know the Book of Mormon brings me joy. But there are a lot of things that I don’t know. I don’t understand all the answers and I can’t answer all the questions.
But if I did have all the answers, then I wouldn’t have faith. If I knew everything perfectly, I wouldn’t need faith.
And I like faith. Because I am not capable of understanding everything right now. I can know some things, but not everything. And faith means I don’t have to know everything right now. I don’t have to have it figured out.
Faith means that there is hope in dark places. Faith means that there is more to life than I understand. Faith means that there is help and happiness ahead. Faith means that there can be unexpected miracles that bring joy.
I can have faith. I can’t have all the answers. But I can have faith.
Information is so easily available that we can basically find whatever information we want. Some of it is incredibly useful, but some of it is also inaccurate and even destructive.
When I teach my kids in school, we don’t combine religion with other subjects. I teach science from a completely scientific perspective. We watch lots of videos about evolution because my kids like animals. I also teach creation, but I teach it separately.
Religion for me is a matter of faith, and I approach it very differently than I do any other area of study. Even when I try to be intellectual about it, I don’t care very much about proof. Faith is faith, and faith is good when it brings me joy and blessings.
There are a lot of questions in the world and there are a lot of evidences for one thing or another. What we think and believe changes, and it can change really rapidly. So we almost completely rely on other authority for what we know. We often believe things that are completely false because it’s our instinct to immediately believe something. We’re not very good at being skeptical and really figure out what is true and not. Either we believe everything or we believe nothing. Knowledge and truth can seem slippery and confusing.
But I do believe in truth. And I believe in can be found in a lot of places.
I don’t think truth is intellectual. Sometimes the most important things are our own experiences and our own feelings. And while truth is not relative, our own experience and viewpoint is relative.
Truth may not always seem consistent because we don’t fully understand something yet. And I think truth can be more complicated (and a lot simpler) than we want it to be. It’s not always a matter of true or false. Sometimes it’s both at the same time and exists in probability instead of yes or no. Sometimes we see contradictions where both sides are right.
Sometimes we are asking the wrong questions, so there is no answer to the question. And if knowledge is a puzzle, then sometimes we are using the pieces to build the wrong puzzle, which is why we might find holes and unsolvable problems.
We just can’t understand everything. And that’s okay. I don’t understand it, but I’m going to keep living anyway.
I love learning in lots of different ways. But in all the complications and theories, my favorite sort of truth is something that I can’t really express and I don’t even know if I fully understand it.
The greatest joy I have found is in my family, in my church, and in trying to love and do good to others. I don’t always understand everything about the gospel of Jesus Christ, but I do know that it has brought me direction in my life, purpose, hope, and happiness.
I love going to church and reading the scriptures. Whenever I wake up and read scriptures first thing in the morning, I have better days. When I pray and try to follow the promptings I receive, amazing things happen.
And that’s truth right there. I make mistakes and I’m wrong. I have questions and I don’t understand. But I don’t need proof, because I have hope and I have happiness, and that’s enough.