Why it’s okay that I don’t understand everything

1 Dec

I am not a renowned religious scholar.  I study the scriptures, and I feel the Spirit as I do so. I learn things and receive promptings that teach me how to live and what choices are right. But I am far from knowing all the mysteries of life.

In 1 Nephi 11, Nephi has a vision in which he is taught the truths his father learned a few chapters previously. In this vision, an angel wisely employs the socratic method of teaching, asking Nephi questions like, “Knowest thou the condescension of God?” Poor Nephi, who is only just beginning to learn, responds, “I know that he loveth his children; nevertheless, I do not know the meaning of all things” (verses 16 & 17).

The other day, my companion and I were knocking on doors. It’s not the most productive thing we can do as missionaries, but when we have extra time and no appointments set up, we would rather be out talking to people one by one than wasting time waiting around for an appointment. We knocked on the door of a man who knows the Bible very well. He was very polite, but the conversation seemed to very quickly turn into an interrogation of what we believe about this verse and how we interpret that one. He asked us questions mingling his own beliefs with ours, and it was hard to answer.

I don’t have the answers to every gospel question. I can’t disprove anybody’s beliefs and I don’t want to. All I know is that God loves his children. I know that he has allowed a way for us to find truth for ourselves. I know that the Holy Ghost, that comforter which Christ left his followers (John 14:26), teaches and testifies of truth. So when I read the scriptures, when I study the teachings of the leaders of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and when I feel the Spirit whisper peace and joy to my heart, I know that they are true.

I don’t understand everything. But that’s okay because I have the ability to sift through things that have been taught and decide for myself what is true. What I have come up with is that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is amazing! I know that its teachings are true. I know that my Savior lives, and that he has made it possible for me to be clean and worthy to one day return to live with my loving Father in Heaven.

I do not know the meaning of all things, nevertheless, I know that he loveth his children.

Advertisements

2 Responses to “Why it’s okay that I don’t understand everything”

  1. zo-ma-rah December 10, 2010 at 1:23 am #

    Wonderful post. If only more people could learn this lesson. A few quotes came to my mind about this topic

    “True knowledge exists in knowing that you know nothing.”
    -Socrates

    “A conclusion is simply where you stopped thinking.”

    When we think of what God’s knows and that He wants us to have all of what He has; we have a lot to learn. There are basic principles we can understand. But I think that if a person starts thinking they have it all figured out they have another thing coming.

    For me the meaning of righteousness is always willing to accept more information from God and then changing our lives to match. Wickedness is then refusing further light and knowledge because of our pride. My biggest lesson I learned when I started blogging is that I’m not the one to give answers. I should not set myself up as a light to the world for myself . But rather I should direct all people towards Christ. I do this by writing so that others may form questions. I try to always acknowledge that I could be wrong.

    I think this post shows great humility. We must always recognized that we don’t have all the answers. God does. And it is to Him that we must go to get answers.

  2. Justin December 22, 2010 at 11:09 pm #

    We knocked on the door of a man who knows the Bible very well. He was very polite, but the conversation seemed to very quickly turn into an interrogation of what we believe about this verse and how we interpret that one. He asked us questions mingling his own beliefs with ours, and it was hard to answer.

    I once had a preacher who operates a very small church come knocking on my door. His church was relatively new at the time, and his was passing out flyers — asking people if they had a church-home — etc.

    My wife told him that we did already have a church we went to — he asked which one — she told him The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints — he smiled and said, “Oh, well great. God bless!” — as he was walking away, my wife heard him say, “Holy crap…what a waste.”

    So — my wife decided to send him a smart-alike email, telling him how thankful she was that he was spending his time trying to bring Jesus to people’s lives who may not know Him, etc.

    Well, my story is getting long — so I’ll just say that we were invited to eat diner with his wife at their home. And, much like your Bible-thumpper — this guy was very polite, but the conversation seemed to very quickly turn into an interrogation of what we believe about this verse and how we interpret that one. In fact, he started off our religious discussion by saying, “So, your god, Adam, he lives on Kolob right?”

    However, unlike your story I do tend to have answers to every gospel question. And typically find myself quite prepared to disprove another’s beliefs.

    But you are on to something when you wrote “I don’t want to.” Because I’ll tell you that even when you do answer every question and bring to light every erroneous belief of another — he or she will still not change. I have yet to convince another person to change their mind about religion, diet, or politics by having a single conversation with them. For these three, change will only come after a singly large, devastating life experience or after a long course of personally-driven study and reflection.

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: