The title of this article is a bit misleading. See, I don’t really care what your truth is. And you shouldn’t care what my truth is. The only thing either of us should care about is what the truth is.
Truth is not a subjective, personal thing. It doesn’t belong you or to me. It’s not individualized or arbitrary. It doesn’t fluctuate and it’s not fleeting.
Yes, there are things that can be true for you but not me and in one moment and not the next. My favorite color is emerald green, for example. Perhaps yours is Halloween orange. But these preferences, while true, do not constitute “truth.” They’re relative, subjective, and changeable.
Truth is an absolute. The very definition of the word “truth” depends on a belief in absolute reality. Webster’s 1828 defines “truth” in several ways, including:
“Conformity to fact or reality; exact accordance with that which is, or has been, or shall be. . . .
“True state of facts or things. . . .
“Correct opinion. . . .
“Exactness; conformity to rule.”
Truth was, is, and will be. Truth is reality. Truth is correct and right. Truth is exactness. Truth is upheld by eternal laws and rules. And, crucially, none of this depends on your opinion, acceptance, or support.
I can’t stress enough how little your personal opinion matters to the truth. It means less than nothing to the truth whether you believe in it or not. Just as ignoring the sun doesn’t make it stop shining, ignoring the truth doesn’t make it cease to be. It’s always there, like it or not.
This is not a psychological question like, “If a tree falls in the forest and no one’s there to hear it, does it make a sound?” Truth doesn’t care if you’re in the forest or what you hear; truth just is. Truth is self-existent and independent. Truth trumps opinion every time. The only valid opinions on consequential matters are those which conform to truth.
If truth is absolute and fixed, unphased even in the slightest by our feelings or acceptance, you may logically conclude that finding and living according to truth is the crux of life. You may even ask: “How can I know ‘the truth’?” That, dear reader, is the right question.
To accept the answer, however, requires humility and submission, honesty and sincerity. You have to really want to know the answer. You have to be prepared to act on the answer received. Intellectual curiosity isn’t sufficient to find or keep the truths that matter most. More is required. If you’re sincere at heart and prepared to find out what that “more” is, keep reading.
To learn truth, we must first acknowledge that the most impactful truths are spiritual. Spiritual truth cannot be known or comprehended except through spiritual means. Unless you’re prepared to use spiritual methods, you’ll remain devoid of the truth that satisfies, empowers, and saves. People often lower their sights and only believe what they can ascertain with their five senses. What a pitifully limited existence that must be! There’s so much more! But, as I said, this “more” requires not merely the intellect or the senses, but the spirit and the heart.
As noted, there are requirements to learn truth. There are sacrifices to be made, preconceived notions to be jettisoned, and ego to be extinguished. Humorist Arnold H. Glasow once made a play on the phrase “the truth will out.” He said, “the truth will ouch.” Yes, truth can hurt, shock, and bite, but oh how it heals, illuminates, and lifts! A little more seriously, Glasow is purported to have said: “If you want the truth on your side, get on the side of truth.” That, reader, is the key.
You have to be submissive to truth. You have to be willing to set aside your assumptions. You have to forsake what you think you know for what really is. Reality, truth, verity – this is what matters; your opinions do not. We must learn to embrace the truth, whatever the truth. That’s a hard thing to do. It’s difficult because it forces us to acknowledge all that’s awful and ugly in ourselves, in others, and in the world. But the flip side is that it also enlightens us to everything that is good and beneficial in ourselves, others, and the world.
If you were blind, what would you give to be able to see? Those who live without truth are spiritually blind, though they may be distinguished in any number of worldly and temporal pursuits. A Nobel Prize, an Emmy, or an honorary doctorate mean exactly squat in the realm of the spirit. You can’t buy or earn your way into Heaven. You can’t bribe yourself to spiritual enlightenment. You can’t make a pilgrimage to Truth Land and come back with a sack of truth slung over your shoulder. Gaining truth doesn’t follow the patterns we’re accustomed to in daily life, meaning that to find it one must be truly dedicated.
Why should we give so much and work so hard to find truth? What are the benefits? For starters, truth gives us perspective. It answers the burning questions that the philosophers have always tried to solve. It shows us who we are, why we exist, where we came from, and where we’re going after this mortal life terminates. It shows how we fit in to the grand scheme of the universe and why our life has meaning. It shows us the relevance of our actions and the consequences of them. In short, truth is everything.
The Theosophical Society, an openly Luciferian, occult clique with great power in high circles, maintains the motto: “There is no religion higher than truth.” Despite the origin, one must admit the validity of this bold statement. God Himself operates in conformity to truth and eternal laws. Far from being beyond the bounds of law, He is absolutely bound by absolute truth.
Rule of law is a Heavenly principle and God is God because He conforms perfectly to it. Were He to violate the dictates of truth, law, and right, He would cease to be God. But that will never happen. He does not lie. He does not vary. He never breaks a promise. Hence our ability to put unshaken faith in Him and His word.
Our Master Jesus Christ taught that “the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Who can argue this fact? Truth frees us from ignorance, superstition, and phony philosophies. Truth liberates us from doubt, confusion, and fear. Truth emancipates us from spiritual death, darkness, and deception. Truth is the light that illuminates our souls, the intelligence that flows from Heaven, and the spirit that animates all things.
Let’s be more specific. The truth that frees us is the truth about the Savior and His Atonement, Gospel, and Priesthood. Jesus taught plainly: “I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me” (John 14:6). He later elaborated: “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice” (John 18:37). Jesus’ voice is truth. Jesus is truth. God is truth.
Note that I did not say truth is God. God is God. He is a personal Being embodied in immortal flesh – a Holy Man who has passions and free will like any human. Significantly, He has all truth and knowledge. Yes, God is an exalted Man, whole and perfect in all good attributes and possessing all truth. By conforming perfectly to this truth with its laws, He has become our Father and God. By conforming perfectly to truth, Jesus – the literally begotten Son of God in the flesh – ascended to the right hand of our Father, now equally possessing all truth and power.
The Father and Son have the ability to help us likewise ascend, as They have, by conforming ourselves to the same truths, principles, and laws. From one truth to the next, we may climb upward as Jesus and His apostles taught. Remember, it is the truth that makes us free. It is Jesus who embodies this truth and shows us the way – “I am the way.” Through Him and the redeeming power of His grace, which overpowers justice and allows for repentance, forgiveness, and eternal progression, we may become “heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16-17).
You see, we are, like Christ, the literal spirit children of our Heavenly Father. This is not a mystery or a misconception. This is a core truth we must grasp in order to truly know God. And knowing Him, and the truth of His character and teachings, is “life eternal” (John 17:3). Just as children have, in an undeveloped and untapped form, every capacity their parents have, so, too, do we possess, in infantile and embryonic form, the capacities of God. I wrote an entire book, The Lineage of the Gods, to expound this life-changing reality. Please investigate it. The scriptural truths expounded therein will improve your life and unlock possibilities you’ve never imagined.
I’m very aware that this smacks of blasphemy to those who don’t really know God, yet it’s in the Bible. It’s in the revealed word to the prophets past and present. I just cited one verse from the book of Romans testifying of this marvelous truth that as God is we may become, and that all that the Father has is given to Christ and, by implication, to us if we become fully Christ’s (John 16:13-15). But there’s a key clarification that must be made.
We cannot do it alone. We cannot do it through intellectual study. We cannot become heirs of God through our will alone. We can only do it through conformity to eternal law, which law can only be known through the revelations of the Holy Spirit.
We must eventually learn to conform to all laws and all truths. The most important of these, in this mortal existence, is the truth that Jesus is “the way, the truth, and the life.” Only through repentance and the power of His Atonement can our mistakes, sins, and flaws be swept away, mended, and overcome. We can truly become “whole” through Him – the true meaning of the word “perfect” (Matthew 5:48).
Accepting this to be true, how, then, do we come to ascertain the truth? Do we turn to the Bible? Do we look on Google? Do we ask a pastor? Do we take a poll? Do we research it in the library? A moment ago, I stated that spiritual truth only comes by revelation of the Spirit. That’s the only way. Spirit-to-spirit communication is the key. Before speaking of that process more specifically, let’s state some of the ways we cannot learn the eternal truths which save and satisfy.
Remember, truth is not a matter of popular opinion, scientific discovery, or voting. In this regard, the wise Christian leader Spencer W. Kimball once taught:
“This true way of life is not a matter of opinion. There are absolute truths and relative truths. The rules of dietetics have changed many times in my lifetime. Many scientific findings have changed from year to year. The scientists taught for decades that the world was once a nebulous, molten mass cast off from the sun, and later many scientists said it once was a whirl of dust which solidified. There are many ideas advanced to the world that have been changed to meet the needs of the truth as it has been discovered. There are relative truths, and there are also absolute truths which are the same yesterday, today, and forever—never changing. These absolute truths are not altered by the opinions of men. As science has expanded our understanding of the physical world, certain accepted ideas of science have had to be abandoned in the interest of truth. Some of these seeming truths were stoutly maintained for centuries. The sincere searching of science often rests only on the threshold of truth, whereas revealed facts give us certain absolute truths as a beginning point so we may come to understand the nature of man and the purpose of his life.
“The earth is spherical. If all the four billion people in the world think it flat, they are in error. That is an absolute truth, and all the arguing in the world will not change it. Weights will not suspend themselves in the air, but when released will fall earthward. The law of gravity is an absolute truth. It never varies. Greater laws can overcome lesser ones, but that does not change their undeniable truth. . . .
“Experience in one field does not automatically create expertise in another field. Expertise in religion comes from personal righteousness and from revelation. The Lord told the Prophet Joseph Smith: “All truth is independent in that sphere in which God has placed it” (D&C 93:30). A geologist who has discovered truths about the structure of the earth may be oblivious to the truths God has given us about the eternal nature of the family.
“If I can only make clear this one thing, it will give us a basis on which to build. Man cannot discover God or his ways by mere mental processes. One must be governed by the laws which control the realm into which he is delving. To become a plumber, one must study the laws which govern plumbing. He must know stresses and strains; temperatures at which pipes will freeze; laws which govern steam, hot water, expansion, contraction, and so forth. One might know much about plumbing and be a complete failure in training children or getting along with men. One might be the best of bookkeepers and yet not know anything of electricity. One might know much about buying and selling groceries and be absolutely ignorant of bridge building.
“One might be a great authority on the hydrogen bomb and yet know nothing of banking. One might be a noted theologian and yet be wholly untrained in watchmaking. One might be the author of the law of relativity and yet know nothing of the Creator who originated every law. I repeat, these are not matters of opinion. They are absolute truths. These truths are available to every soul.
“Any intelligent man may learn what he wants to learn. He may acquire knowledge in any field, though it requires much thought and effort. It takes more than a decade to get a high school diploma; it takes an additional four years for most people to get a college degree; it takes nearly a quarter-century to become a great physician. Why, oh, why do people think they can fathom the most complex spiritual depths without the necessary experimental and laboratory work accompanied by compliance with the laws that govern it? Absurd it is, but you will frequently find popular personalities, who seem never to have lived a single law of God, discoursing in interviews on religion. How ridiculous for such persons to attempt to outline for the world a way of life!
“And yet many a financier, politician, college professor, or owner of a gambling club thinks that because he has risen above all his fellowmen in his particular field he knows everything in every field. One cannot know God nor understand his works or plans unless he follows the laws which govern. The spiritual realm, which is just as absolute as is the physical, cannot be understood by the laws of the physical. You do not learn to make electric generators in a seminary. Neither do you learn certain truths about spiritual things in a physics laboratory. You must go to the spiritual laboratory, use the facilities available there, and comply with the governing rules. Then you may know of these truths just as surely, or more surely, than the scientist knows the metals, or the acids, or other elements. It matters little whether one is a plumber, or a banker, or a farmer, for these occupations are secondary; what is most important is what one knows and believes concerning his past and his future and what he does about it.”
Powerful assertions! Dear reader, understand that you can’t learn the things that matter most – spiritual and eternal truths – in a laboratory. You can’t find them under a microscope or via satellite. You can’t ride the lunar rover to the dark side of the moon and discover them. You can’t Google them or ask a stranger’s opinion on Quora. You can’t take a poll and find out these truths. You can’t learn them at university. Your degrees, titles, and certifications mean nothing in the quest for eternal truth. There is literally only one way that spiritual truth is obtained – through the Spirit.
There are many things mankind isn’t prepared to know quite yet, such as precisely how the Spirit’s power of communication operates. Yet, we know that it does. I testify that it works as the user manual says it will when we follow the right steps to the letter.
In a profound address titled “The Lord’s People Receive Revelation,” the theologian Elder Bruce R. McConkie said of the revelatory process:
“We can read about visions and revelations in the records of the past, we can study the inspired writings of people who had the fullness of the gospel in their day, but we cannot comprehend what is involved until we see and hear and experience for ourselves. . . .
“The Comforter knoweth all things; he is commissioned to bear witness of the Father and the Son, to reveal, to teach, and to testify—and he is broadcasting all the truths of salvation, and all the knowledge and wisdom of God, out into all immensity all of the time.
“How this is done we do not know. We cannot comprehend God or the laws by which he governs the universe. But that it does happen we know because here in the valley below, when we attune our souls to the Infinite, we hear and see and experience the things of God.
“The laws governing radio and television have existed from the time of Adam to the present moment, but only in modern times have men heard and seen and experienced these miraculous things. And the laws have always existed whereby men can see visions, hear the voice of God, and partake of the things of the Spirit. But millions of people everywhere live and die without tasting the good word of God, because they do not obey the laws which implant the revelations of the Lord in their souls.
“And may I say that the only way to gain true religion is to receive it from the Lord. True religion is revealed religion; it is not a creation of man’s devising; it comes from God.
“Man did not create God, nor can he redeem himself. No man can resurrect himself or assign himself to an inheritance in a heavenly kingdom. Salvation comes from God, on his terms, and the things men must do to gain it can be known only by revelation.
“God stands revealed or he remains forever unknown, and the things of God are and can be known only by and through the Spirit of God.
“True religion deals with spiritual things. We do not come to a knowledge of God and his laws through intellectuality, or by research, or by reason. I have an average mind—one that is neither better nor worse than the general run of mankind. In the realm of intellectual attainment I have a doctor’s degree, and I hope my sons after me will reach a similar goal. In their sphere, education and intellectuality are devoutly to be desired.
“But when contrasted with spiritual endowments, they are of but slight and passing worth. From an eternal perspective what each of us needs is a Ph.D. in faith and righteousness. The things that will profit us everlastingly are not the power to reason, but the ability to receive revelation; not the truths learned by study, but the knowledge gained by faith; not what we know about the things of the world, but our knowledge of God and his laws.”
Every word of this man’s statement is true. God reveals Himself or He remains unknown to us. We either come to know Him through the Holy Ghost or not at all. True religion is experiential. We don’t need to rely on a priest to tell us the truth. We don’t need to rely solely on the Bible which, though inspired and sacred, has passed through numerous faulty translations. We need merely communicate with our Father in Heaven and be taught by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The way we spiritually communicate is called prayer. Real prayer isn’t rote, memorized, or taken from someone else’s lips. The Lord’s Prayer, while a beautiful plea, was never meant to be recited. It simply teaches us a correct pattern that we are intended to apply in our lives.
In that Prayer, we learn that we must address our Father in Heaven. We should express gratitude to Him for the things we’ve received – our life, our bodies, our families, our friends, our daily bread, our homes, our knowledge, our experiences, our rights, our privileges, and so forth. We should then pour out our soul, sincerely asking for that which we desire – forgiveness, deliverance from evil and oppression, employment, health, etc. In the end, we should close in the name of Jesus Christ – He who commanded us to pray always.
The formula seems simple, does it not? Yet how many refuse to utter even the smallest of prayers! Saying the words might be simple, but it is the feeling behind them that’s essential. What we need I call “sincerity.” An ancient seer called it “real intent.” Whichever term you prefer is irrelevant. What’s relevant is that you truly mean it.
When you address your Father, you must at least believe with a particle of faith that He really is your Father. You must be sincere when you give thanks to Him or your words are vain and pointless. You must exercise at least a portion of faith when you ask for things or else don’t expect to receive anything. And when you do ask – for instance, for wisdom and truth – you must be prepared to act on what is received via the Spirit.
This willingness to act is the sincerity, or real intent, I mentioned. And remember, intellectual curiosity, as good as that is in other fields, is counterproductive in spiritual matters. Why would the Spirit bother to give you knowledge or a confirming witness of reality if you’re not prepared to honor that knowledge or conform your life to that witness?
The ancient seer I noted wrote of the way to discover truth. He said of the record he had written regarding the Gospel of Christ:
“Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
“And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.
“And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.
“And whatsoever thing is good is just and true; wherefore, nothing that is good denieth the Christ, but acknowledgeth that he is.
“And ye may know that he is, by the power of the Holy Ghost; wherefore I would exhort you that ye deny not the power of God; for he worketh by power, according to the faith of the children of men, the same today and tomorrow, and forever” (Moroni 10:3-7).
Truth comes in this way and in no other. It comes “by the power of the Holy Ghost.” It comes “according to [our] faith.” It is always good and conforms to the teachings of Jesus Christ and “acknowledgeth that he is.” This soul-stirring witness comes only after much soul searching. We must “remember” the Lord, “receive,” “read,” and become acquainted with the Lord’s teachings, “ponder” them in our hearts, and then “ask with a sincere heart,” “real intent,” and “faith in Christ” whether what we’ve pondered and received is true. If we do each of these things in total sincerity and with the intent to obey and follow whatever knowledge is received via the Holy Spirit, we’ll receive it as surely as the sun rises in the morning.
I know this process works. I declare to you that I know it for myself, having received my own personal witness of the truths of salvation from the Holy Ghost. Many of these truths conflict with what the world teaches – even what Christendom at large teaches. Yet, when the Spirit imparts them to you, you cannot deny them or doubt.
Author Charles F. Raymond said: “Salute truth, even if she comes in rags. Hate error though she comes clothed in tradition, riding with a coach” (Charles F. Raymond, “This Banner Year,” Just Be Glad, 1907). Maintaining fidelity to truth will make us unpopular and cause us to go against the grain. We may have to forsake long-held traditions, cultural customs, or even violate corrupt man-made laws as did Daniel who prayed despite knowing he was violating the law and would be thrown to the lions. But if we truly love truth, isn’t that exactly what we ought to do?
My hero, Thomas Jefferson, wisely observed: “[P]olitics, like religion, hold up the torches of martyrdom to the reformers of error” (Thomas Jefferson to James Ogilvie, August 4, 1811). And so it is. People are so convinced that they’re right, yet most are wrong. Most people only believe they’re right because they cling to tradition and don’t have personal experience with the Holy Spirit to back up their assertions. Most Christians belong to the Church their parents took them to as children and only profess membership to keep the tradition alive – not because they’ve followed the revelatory process outlined above and know with every fiber of their being that it’s true.
Again, I say, our personal opinions matter not at all. What matters is the truth. Do you know the truth? Do you know who you are, where you came from before this earth life, and where you’re going when your mortal body eventually molders in the ground? Do you know the imperative of having a physical body, the purpose of this short mortality, and how to ensure eternal progression in the world to come? Do you really know who your God is, what your relationship to Him truly is, and what His divine attributes are? Do you comprehend the pure doctrine of Jesus Christ, the importance of the Fall of Adam, and the necessity of the Savior’s Atonement? Has the Spirit confirmed these truths to you or are you operating on blind faith, man-made tradition, and unsound creeds?
All of the things I’ve mentioned today can be positively known through the Holy Spirit of God. You can begin the process today – right now – by sincerely desiring to know the truth. You can fall to your knees and plead for wisdom from your Heavenly Father. You can start reading the holy books the Lord has revealed and the multitude of teachings His prophets have delivered through the generations. It all starts with a kernel of sincere, childlike faith. I invite you today to welcome this faith into your soul and cultivate it through fasting, study, pondering, and prayer.
There’s so much more than can and should be said on this topic, but I make an end. Know that truth isn’t subjective. There’s no such thing as “your truth” or “my truth.” There’s only truth – eternal, unfettered, unimpeachable truth. Our task is to humble ourselves, make the sacrifices necessary to obtain truth via revelation of the Holy Spirit, and then to remain true to what we learn.
Over the years, I’ve attempted to put into writing portions of my burning testimony of the Gospel of Jesus Christ and His Church. I commend those articles, linked below, to you today as I close with my witness again. God lives! He is our Father. He knows us perfectly. He hears our prayers. His Son is Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus atoned for mankind’s sins, rose from the tomb after being crucified, and has the power to save and heal us even now. As He operates eternally through law and order, He established a Church during His ministry. After a lamentable apostasy, it was lost from the earth. But in accordance with divine promises made anciently, His Church has been restored to the earth where it is led by a living prophet. There has been a gush of knowledge and revelation in the form of new holy books to confirm and support the Bible’s testimony of the Redeemer, to correct error, and to lead us to Jesus who is exactly what He said He is: “the way, the truth, and the life.”
Now, it’s your turn to find this out for yourself.
October 15, 2021