Truth Offends the Ignorant and Guilty

A truth I learned as a boy from reading the holy scriptures is that “the guilty taketh the truth to be hard, for it cutteth them to the very center” (1 Nephi 16:2). I also learned that “the truth shall make you free” (John 8:32). Yet, society at large does not hold these or any truths to be sacred. Few things are as despised and abused in our Marxist-inspired culture as truth. So universally hated and feared is truth that we have collectively conceded that “telling the truth is a revolutionary act.” I submit to you, however, that there are only two groups of people who hate, conceal, or reject truth – the ignorant and the malicious or guilty.

Truth is ennobling. Truth is liberating. Truth is power! In my article “What is Truth?” I observed:

Truth is a knowledge of things as they really are now and in eternity. Truth is eternal. Truth emanates from God. Truth can be learned only through the ministration of the Holy Spirit. Truth will triumph over all lies in the end. And because it reigns eternally victorious over all error and centers in Jesus Christ, the truth shall make us free.”

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Let’s be clear – truth is not subjective. The very definition and nature of truth suggests something that is unchanging and unalterable. Truth does not change. Truth cannot change. The great religious giant Spencer W. Kimball once delivered an address entitled “Absolute Truth.” In it, he gave us these wise words:

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. . . .

If men are really humble, they will realize that they discover, but do not create, truth. . . .

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. . . .

. . . I repeat, these are not matters of opinion. They are absolute truths. These truths are available to every soul” (President Spencer W. Kimball, “Absolute Truth,” BYU Address, September 6, 1977).

Truth is simply the reality of things as they are – not as we wish them to be. Truth does not bend to our will – it is eternally self-existent and independent. Popular opinion has zero bearing on truth. All of humanity could gather and vote to abolish gravity and yet gravity would remain. The majority might dismiss the divinity of Jesus Christ, but Jesus is still the Christ, the Son of God, the Creator of this earth, the Redeemer of mankind, the King of king and Lord of lords. Truth does not need your consent or society’s approval to exist.

Truth is one of the major active ingredients in the only remedy that can cure our society. But a remedy is only effective if we properly diagnose the problem, if we take it in time, and if the mixture is correct. Yet, year after year I see a growing antipathy toward truth. Reality has been dismissed. Black is called white, darkness is called light, hate is called love, permissiveness is called tolerance, and lies are called truth. We have wholly disregarded Isaiah’s ancient warning:

Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evil; that put darkness for light, and light for darkness; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter!” (Isaiah 5:20).

The religious leader and former judge Dallin H. Oaks made a keen observation about the current trends in our society:

Evil that used to be localized and covered like a boil is now legalized and paraded like a banner. The most fundamental roots and bulwarks of civilization are questioned or attacked. Nations disavow their religious heritage. Marriage and family responsibilities are discarded as impediments to personal indulgence. The movies and magazines and television that shape our attitudes are filled with stories or images that portray the children of God as predatory beasts or, at best, as trivial creations pursuing little more than personal pleasure. And too many of us accept this as entertainment.

The men and women who made epic sacrifices to combat evil regimes in the past were shaped by values that are disappearing from our public teaching. The good, the true, and the beautiful are being replaced by the no-good, the “whatever,” and the valueless fodder of personal whim. Not surprisingly, many of our youth and adults are caught up in pornography, pagan piercing of body parts, self-serving pleasure pursuits, dishonest behavior, revealing attire, foul language, and degrading sexual indulgence.

An increasing number of opinion leaders and followers deny the existence of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob and revere only the gods of secularism. Many in positions of power and influence deny the right and wrong defined by divine decree. Even among those who profess to believe in right and wrong, there are “them that call evil good, and good evil” (Isa. 5:20; 2 Ne. 15:20). Many also deny individual responsibility and practice dependence on others, seeking, like the foolish virgins, to live on borrowed substance and borrowed light.

All of this is grievous in the sight of our Heavenly Father, who loves all of His children and forbids every practice that keeps any from returning to His presence” (President Dallin H. Oaks, “Preparation for the Second Coming,” General Conference, April, 2004).

Without question, evil is masquerading as good these days and the enemy of all mankind is persuading us to adopt practices and principles which have proven the downfall of empires and peoples in times past. For instance, transgenderism and homosexuality – two twin mental and spiritual disorders – are being promoted by the Establishment press, Hollywood, and complicit academia as “normal,” “natural,” and “healthy” while heterosexuals are labeled as “abnormal,” “unloving,” and “bigoted.” Drag queens are infiltrating our schools and libraries, holding reading times with students and having children sit on their laps. Society denies the reality that there are only two genders and instead allows people to choose from an ever-expanding smorgasbord of identities ranging from “non-binary” to “pangender” to “gender fluid” to “two-spirit” to “questioning.” And so forth.

Remember, truth cuts the guilty to their core. They inwardly know they’re living a lie, but they don’t want to give up the fantasy. They prefer a comfortable lie to an uncomfortable truth. And truths which, if acknowledged, would force them to change their minds or behavior, are the worst. To indulge their fantasies and neuroses without feeling the sting of guilt, deluded people shout down, cover up, and censor those speaking truth.

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One such example prompted me to write this article. Yesterday, I attempted to share an article from Conservative Media on Facebook. The article is titled “FBI: Over 5 Times More Killed with Knives than Rifles.” The article in part stated:

FBI crime stats for 2018 show over five times as many people were killed with knives and/or other cutting instruments than were killed with rifles.

The FBI data shows a total 1,515 deaths by knives and/or other cutting instruments vs. 297 deaths by rifle in 2018. . . .

Ironically, over 100 more people were killed with hammers and clubs than were killed with rifles in 2018.

It must be noted that the category of rifle includes all kinds of rifles, not just bolt action or semiautomatic, not just pump or lever action. So the gap between knife homicides and rifle homicides or hammer/club homicides and rifle homicides would be even larger if contrasted only with semiautomatic rifles, versus rifles of all kinds.”

These facts, these statistics, these truths, forcefully refute the false narrative that America is plagued by gun violence, that rifles (including assault rifles) are a danger to society, and that gun control is a necessary solution. Apart from socialist-controlled cities like Chicago and Detroit which implement strict gun control laws that disarm and make defenseless ordinary citizens, the United States has virtually no problem with gun violence and ranks as one of the safest nations on earth. In actual point of fact, far more people are killed by knives than by those oh-so-scary “assault weapons.” This is the reality – your daily dose of distortions from the media be damned.

Obviously, the Elite and those mind-addled dupes who promote their anti-Freedom, anti-Constitution, anti-America agenda can’t allow the reality to be known. They can’t afford for people to know the truth that America is a great nation, that we are generally safe, and that guns protect us, save lives, and deter crime and tyranny. So what do they do? They do what they do best – censor the truth, demonize truth-sharers, and spin lies to warp minds. When I attempted to share Conservative Media’s article, Facebook gave me an error message which stated: “Your message couldn’t be sent because it includes content that other people on Facebook have reported as abusive.”

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Abusive? This is what the truth is to socialists, progressives, and liberals – “abusive.” The Social Justice Warriors and cultural Marxists can’t allow truth to spread. Truth destroys their agenda which is based on lies. So they go out of their way to flag the truth as “abusive,” “offensive,” and “against community standards.” But let’s be honest: Truth is only “abusive” and “offensive” to an ignorant or malicious person.

In this case, there are no doubt some deluded, emotion-driven, bleeding-heart types who legitimately think that either the FBI’s statistics are wrong or that Conservative Media made up the story, and that perpetuating the “lie” would endanger more people. However, in order to fall into this category, you have to almost be willfully, intentionally ignorant and fully out of touch with reality. You can’t claim the appellation “intelligent” if you believe guns are a problem or that gun control would save lives. More likely, the people who reported this fact-based article as “abusive” have malicious intent against our Freedom and desire the triumph of their Marxist ideology over traditional Americanism.

Another example of truth-hating that has dominated the news lately is the story of the Swedish socialist Greta Thunberg and her cacophony of global warming lies. In case you were fortunate enough to miss it, the sixteen-year-old George-Soros-approved socialist Greta Tintin Eleonora Ernman Thunberg, who might have literal mental problems, went viral after sobbing and ranting at a U.N. climate change summit about how her generation has been “betrayed,” how the world will end because of global warming, and how the rising generation will seek vengeance. In her talk vaguely addressed to world leaders (or, truthfully, to capitalists and anyone with sense to oppose communism), she ranted:

You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. And yet I’m one of the lucky ones. People are suffering. People are dying. Entire ecosystems are collapsing. We are in the beginning of a mass extinction, and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you! . . . .

You are failing us. But the young people are starting to understand your betrayal. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: We will never forgive you.

“We will not let you get away with this. Right here, right now is where we draw the line. The world is waking up. And change is coming, whether you like it or not.”

I’m not exactly sure who is dying because of fictitious “global warming” or how any sane and honest person can claim we’re beginning a “mass extinction” because Americans like to drive SUVs, yet that’s what this little socialist soldier claimed.

It’s the same communist clap-trap, only this time with an indoctrinated, enraged teenager as the poster child. In my books A Century of Red and Red Gadiantons, I made it clear that the environmentalist movement is a communist creation. I call it “green communism.” The end goal of the radical environmentalist movement is two-fold: 1) to get the nations of the world so hysterical with fear that they’ll give up their national sovereignty to the United Nations and allow the U.N. to redistribute the wealth of the West to third world nations (i.e. to local yes-men and despots); and 2) to initiate the world into pagan earth-worship.

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No matter how many Greta Thunbergs the Elite push forward to tug on our heartstrings, propaganda and hysteria can’t change facts. Whipping yourself into an emotional frenzy and lying about the so-called threat of climate change does not make it reality. The fact is man-made global warming is a myth. We are now at twenty straight years of global cooling – not warming.

For generations the climatologists have been wrong. First they predicted an ice age before the year 2000, then they latched onto the global warming myth, and now they have employed vague language like “climate change” to confuse people and promote their lies. Competent scientists have refuted the myth of man-made global warming. Literally tens of thousands of scientists have signed petitions disputing the mainstream claims – destroying the myth of a scientific “consensus.” And does no one remember the major “climate gate” scandal where it was revealed that the United Nations was forging the numbers to make it appear that the globe is cooling when in fact the data tell us that the globe is cooling?

It’s time, ladies and gentlemen, to speak out and refute lies and mental illness when they’re shoved down our throats as “truth” and “reality.” It’s time to admit that truth trumps people’s feelings. Should we lose our country or our Liberty because a sixteen-year-old girl cries and yells on national TV about something that isn’t even true? Should we lose our God-given rights and Constitution because some disaffected and delusional leftists think facts and statistics are “abusive”? When will we say enough is enough? When will we ditch faux “tolerance” and instead promote truth over error?

We have an uphill battle ahead of us. The path will be long and difficult because we’ve tolerated the lies for so long they now weigh us down. But the truth is worth the struggle. In one of my favorite single declarations ever made, Thomas Jefferson stated:

[P]olitics, like religion, hold up the torches of martyrdom to the reformers of error” (Thomas Jefferson to James Ogilvie, August 4, 1811).

We must be the Reformers of Error for our generation. If we who know the truth, whether it be about religion, politics, economics, or what have you, do not step forward and give the truth voice, who will? Our enemies are doing everything they can to burn us. They’re attacking us with the fury of Jesuit Inquisitions. But stand firm – the truth is on your side. And know that if our enemies figuratively burn you for telling the truth, you’re in good company – the company of patriots and prophets, reformers and Freedom Fighters.

The ultimate act of truth-suppression known to humanity occurred when the Jews murdered our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Our Lord testified: “[Y]e seek to kill me, a man that hath told you the truth, which I have heard of God” (John 8:40).” The hard-hearted Pharisees, Sadducees, and their fanatical followers hated the truth so badly that they arrested, falsely accused, and cruelly killed the very Son of God, the Messiah, the Redeemer of mankind.

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The Savior gave us a key to discern whether or not we love truth. He said:

For every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved.

But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John 3:20-21).

Light is knowledge and truth. The Lord is “the light of the world” (John 8:12). God is also the “Spirit of truth” (John 16:13; Doctrine and Covenants 93:9, 11). During His perfect life and ministry, the Lord’s light shone so brightly that it illuminated the darkness that consumed the Kabbalistic Jewish rulers. These demagogues were frequently baffled and overpowered by the Savior’s light, wisdom, and truth. They could not continue leading the Jews down their darkened path as blind guides while the Savior’s light beamed for all to see. Therefore, the Jewish leaders conspired to kill Jesus and did just that when the Savior’s mission – His Atonement – was complete.

Today, there are those in our midst who behave like the Pharisaical Jews and wish to silence those whose light exposes their lies, conspiracies, and wickedness. Those who knowingly and intentionally conceal truth have firmly established themselves in Satan’s camp. What the Lord explained to the Jews applies with equal force to liars and malicious individuals today:

Ye are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father ye will do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaketh a lie, he speaketh of his own: for he is a liar, and the father of it.

And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not. . . .

He that is of God heareth God’s words: ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God” (John 8:44-45, 47).

Honest and sincere people, when they hear the truth presented to them in its purity, believe. Those who are not honest in heart reject the truth when they hear it. It is the same in religion as it is in politics. Again I cited Jefferson:

[P]olitics, like religion, hold up the torches of martyrdom to the reformers of error.”

We have a choice to make. We must decide whether we’ll side with truth no matter how uncomfortable or unpopular it may be or whether we’ll shield our egos and fantasies with convenient lies. There is no middle ground between truth and error, fact and falsity, light and darkness. If one is sincere but ignorant, that can easily be corrected. There is nothing shameful about not knowing something that no one has ever told you before. However, once truth is presented to us, then we have a moral obligation to accept or reject it. And this choice shows us who we really are and where we really stand.

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There has never been a time when Christians and patriots weren’t persecuted and hated. It’s part of the burden of discipleship and patriotism. But if we love our Faith, our Families, and our Freedom, we must shoulder the burden and manfully do our duty. God will support those who love truth more than ignorance, truth more than popularity, and truth more than convenience. Stand for truth, my fellow countryman! Stand and be counted!

THESE are the times that try men’s souls. The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman. Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph.” – Thomas Paine, The American Crisis, No. 1, December, 1776

Zack Strong,

October 2, 2019

My Witness of Christ

“I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth” (Romans 1:16).

My faith in, and personal witness of, the divinity of the Savior Jesus Christ is the central plank in my life’s creed. More than any other thing, the Gospel of Jesus Christ has informed my principles, my politics, and the most decisive decisions of my life. I see and judge all things through the Gospel lens. It is no exaggeration to say that I am who I am primarily because of the pure and simple doctrines of the Son of God. I ask your indulgence as I share my personal feelings about my Savior and His Gospel and the profound influence they have been in my life.

At the outset, I want the reader to know that I do not bear testimony simply of things I have read in a book, that I heard a pastor preach, or that my parents taught me. My testimony does not come from intellectual reasoning alone. Rather, I can stand before the world and declare that my witness comes from the Holy Spirit. It is a personal and private witness that I have independent of every other person on earth. I gained this knowledge through the Spirit after sincere searching, study, fasting, and prayer.

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I have always believed in Jesus Christ from the time I was a child and heard my parents teach of Him. However, mere belief – as important as belief is – is not equal to knowledge. A person can read something in a book and believe it. He may hear a professor lecture on a topic and have faith that he has just heard the truth. However, only the knowledge imparted to one’s spirit by the Holy Ghost can rightly be called a witness or a testimony. Therefore, when I bear my testimony or witness of Jesus Christ and the points of His doctrine, please know that I am speaking not from my secular learning or out of mere hope, but from the spiritual confirmations that have been whispered to my soul on numerous occasions by the Holy Ghost.

Of the many things I can bear witness of, I first testify of the reality and existence of God the Father. He lives and governs in the Heavens. He is the literal Father of Jesus Christ. He is also the literal Father of our spirits. We are His literal sons and daughters. We lived with Him before it was our appointed time to come to earth to be tested for our faithfulness to His teachings.

In our glorious pre-earth home, we learned of our Father, walked with Him, talked with Him, felt of His love, experienced His embrace, and enjoyed His divine presence. There we learned of His Plan for our progression. Like any good father, our Eternal Father wants us to become like Him and to possess everything He possesses. The Apostle Paul affirmed this truth when he taught:

“The spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

“And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ” (Romans 8:16-17).

If we follow the steps outlined in the Gospel of the Son of God, we can become the “heirs of God” and receive the fulness of His blessings and glory and exaltation alongside our Savior Jesus Christ.

In the pre-mortal state of existence, we were taught the particulars of our Father’s Plan, called alternatively the Plan of Salvation or the Plan of Happiness, including the need for a Savior to redeem us from our inevitable failures. The scriptures attest that we “shouted for joy” at the prospect of coming to earth to prove ourselves and, through our faithfulness, qualify to enjoy eternal life with our Father (Job 38:7). I testify and affirm that I know we lived before and that we will live still after the death of our mortal bodies. So emphatically do I know the reality of our pre-earth existence that I wrote an entire book – The Lineage of the Gods – to witness of it and to teach the plain truth.

Lucifer was also in the beginning. The Bible confirms that he was there when the Father presented His Plan to His children. Lucifer thought he knew better and proposed an amended version of the Plan – a version which denied our right of individual agency and accountability but which, he claimed, would lead to the salvation of every soul. Through his plan, Lucifer intended to became the Savior and turn everyone’s hearts toward him. He secretly wanted to “exalt [his] throne above the stars of God” (Isaiah 14:13) and claim the position of Deity.

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Angels do not have wings, but it is a good image of Lucifer’s defeat nonetheless

Naturally, Lucifer’s self-serving and Freedom-destroying plan was rejected by our Father. Upon being rejected, Lucifer rallied his supporters and rebelled against the Father. John stated that this caused “war in heaven” (Revelation 12:7). One-third of Heavenly Father’s children sided with Lucifer while two-thirds rejected the Adversary’s plan and sided with Jesus Christ and their Eternal Father (Revelation 12:4).

You and I were among the two-thirds who originally chose the Lord and rejected Satan. Now we are here on earth, with our memories of those earlier times deliberately veiled, to prove whether we will again choose the Father’s Plan for our eternal happiness. The great quest of life is to again learn about the Father’s Plan, as well as Lucifer’s plan which is embodied in communism, and to choose the correct path. This quest is difficult because Satan hates us and is waging relentless war against us (Revelation 12:17). However difficult to follow, the only correct path is that which leads back to the Father through our Mediator Jesus Christ.

I testify that Jesus of Nazareth is the Christ, the Anointed and Chosen One. Before His mortal birth, He was Jehovah of the Old Testament. When He was born of Mary, He became known as Jesus. He is the literal Son of God in both body and spirit. While fully human as to His flesh, He was also fully God. Because of this, He was and is the only One empowered to fulfill the Father’s Plan.

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The Lord fulfilled the Plan of Salvation by sacrificing Himself to appease the demands of eternal justice and broken laws. Because He was the only sinless One, He stood outside the grasp of justice and the curse of broken laws. The sacrifice of His guiltless blood appeased justice and gives the Lord the power to extend mercy and grace to those who believe in His name, repent of their sins, become baptized and receive the Holy Ghost, and who follow His commandments with sincere heart to the end of their lives. The Savior’s sacrifice is called the Atonement which means that by His blood and mercy we are again made one with God.

Elder Richard G. Scott, a modern apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ, eloquently explained the necessity of Jesus’ Atonement:

“Each of us makes mistakes in life. They result in broken eternal laws. Justice is that part of Father in Heaven’s plan of happiness that maintains order. It is like gravity to a rock climber, ever present. It is a friend if eternal laws are observed. It responds to your detriment if they are ignored. Justice guarantees that you will receive the blessings you earn for obeying the laws of God. Justice also requires that every broken law be satisfied. When you obey the laws of God, you are blessed, but there is no additional credit earned that can be saved to satisfy the laws that you break. If not resolved, broken laws can cause your life to be miserable and would keep you from returning to God. Only the life, teachings, and particularly the Atonement of Jesus Christ can release you from this otherwise impossible predicament.

“The demands of justice for broken law can be satisfied through mercy, earned by your continual repentance and obedience to the laws of God . . . The Redeemer can settle your individual account with justice and grant forgiveness through the merciful path of your repentance. Through the Atonement you can live in a world where justice assures that you will retain what you earn by obedience. Through His mercy you can resolve the consequences of broken laws” (Elder Richard G. Scott, “The Atonement Can Secure Your Peace and Happiness,” General Conference, October, 2006).

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The scriptures amply attest that Jesus Christ is the only One through whom we may receive forgiveness of sins and return back to our Father one day. The Atonement not only secures the salvation of those who repent and follow Christ, but it offers the Savior’s help, mercy, love, and blessing in times of need, distress, depression, sickness, and persecution. Paul gave one of my favorite statements when he insisted:

“For we have not an high priest [Jesus] which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrew 4:15-16).

The ancient prophet Alma likewise testified of “the throne of grace.” Said he:

“[B]ehold, there is one thing which is of more importance than they all – for behold, the time is not far distant that the Redeemer liveth and cometh among his people. . . .

“And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

“And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

“Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of the people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me” (Alma 7:7, 11-13).

While working out the Atonement in the Garden of Gethsemane, the Savior took upon Himself the terrible weight of guilt felt by those who sin. What’s more, He took upon Himself the physical and mental pains, anguish, and suffering we experience through sickness, abuse, accidents, etc. He felt our heartbreak, feelings of loss, depression, confusion, anger, and betrayal. He felt everything horrible you have ever experience or will ever experience. He not only felt and experienced that all that you have experienced, but all that everyone has experienced or caused others to suffer. There is nothing you have ever felt that He doesn’t fully understand from His own personal experience. The Spirit intellectually comprehends everything, but the Savior voluntarily took upon Him all our physical suffering so that He could actually comprehend it and therefore know how to alleviate our pain and mend our broken hearts, minds, and bodies. He truly is the Great Physician.

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It is this same Jesus who is the Lord of lords and King of kings. It is He whose name we must take upon ourselves. It is He in whose holy name we pray. It is He who calls us to Him and offers His mercy on terms of repentance and faithful obedience. It is Jesus Christ who will soon return to earth to cleanse the earth, heal the persecuted, and claim His right to rule. Though I do not and cannot comprehend the depths of suffering He endured in Gethsemane and on the cross in order to be able to offer me His forgiveness, mercy, and love, I thank Him for His gift! I know He is the Son of God, the Redeemer of Mankind, and the only One before Whom I will bow and worship.

I also testify of the third member of the Godhead, the Holy Ghost. Each member of the Godhead – the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit – is a separate and individual Being. These three souls are united in their efforts, desires, and goals. Their great work is to help us return to Them and to become like Them. This would be impossible without the Holy Spirit. It is the Holy Ghost who confirms truth to our minds and hearts. Without His confirming whisperings, we could know nothing of God or the Savior. All revelation comes through the workings of the Spirit. When a person testifies that they know Jesus is the Redeemer, they can only do so after having the Holy Ghost testify this same verity to them.

The priceless and incomparable blessing of the companionship and guidance of the Holy Ghost comes to us only after we have been baptized into the Lord’s Church and have had authorized Priesthood holders place their hands upon our head and direct us to receive the Holy Ghost. This gift of the Holy Ghost is one of the chief blessings in mortality. It is this member of the Godhead who teaches us of Christ, gives us a testimony, guides us through life’s dark times, sanctifies us from sin, and prepares us to return to our Father in Heaven. I testify that, though I have at times ignored His soft voice, the Holy Spirit is a reality – a real Being whose sole mission is to testify of the Father and Son and bring us to Them.

I further give my witness of the divine origins of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. This organization is the Lord’s true Church established again in our present day. The Savior established His Church when He was upon the earth and directed Peter, James, John, and His apostles to spread it to the world. This they faithfully did. However, both the historical and scriptural records are painfully clear that the Lord’s Church, after just a couple generations, went astray and ceased to bear the divine stamp of approval.

The New Testament is full of warnings about impending apostasy. Paul warned that there would be a “falling away” (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4). Peter, the Lord’s chief apostle, testified that there would be “false teachers” in the Church which would preach “damnable heresies” and lead the Saints into error (2 Peter 2:1-3). Even in Old Testament times prophets foresaw the future and noted that there would a mass apostasy from the truth. Amos, for instance, prophesied:

“Behold, the days come, saith the Lord God, that I will send a famine in the land, not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the Lord:

“And they shall wander from sea to sea, and from the north even to the east, they shall run to and fro to seek the word of the Lord, and shall not find it” (Amos 8:11-12).

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The martyrdom of Peter

The apostasy happened as predicted. The wayward Christians “changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator” (Romans 1:25). The Lord’s apostles were tragically martyred, ending the chain of Priesthood authority needed to perform vital saving ordinances like baptism. The lack of authorized prophets ended the flow of formal revelation between the resurrected Redeemer and His Church.

As unbelief and false ideologies ensnared the Saints and the prophets were killed one-by-one, the Lord’s Church ceased to exist. Because there were no prophets to speak in the name of the Lord and expound correct doctrine, the Lord’s simple teachings became confused, perverted, and mixed with pagan traditions. All of these things made necessary a full restoration of the Priesthood, prophets, and the organization of the true Church.

From the beginning of man, whenever the Lord has had dealings with us, He has operated through prophets. Therefore, it is not surprising that the Lord called a man to be a prophet when He saw the time was right to restore His Church. The young man whom He called was named Joseph Smith. This humble Christian was searching for the true Church when he took the advice found in James 1:5 and prayed to know the answer to his problem.

The Father of us all responded to Joseph Smith in a powerful, unprecedented manner. The Father, accompanied by the Son of God and the palpable power of the Holy Ghost, appeared to the fourteen-year-old Joseph Smith as he knelt in humble prayer in a now sacred grove of trees in New York state. Joseph Smith asked the Heavenly Beings which church He should join. The Savior answered that Joseph should join none of them because they had all perverted His Gospel. Joseph was informed that he was to be the instrument in the Lord’s hands to restore His ancient Church, complete with its powers and Priesthoods and doctrines.

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Throughout the years, a large number of skeptics have mocked Joseph Smith for his account of this monumental vision. They have mocked him for claiming to be a prophet called of the Almighty to establish a Church and bring forth scripture and declare doctrine and prophesy with the authoritative words “thus saith the Lord. . .” Yet, notwithstanding the skeptics and all their spurious, hate-filled books and films and pamphlets attempting to demonstrate that the Prophet Joseph Smith was a liar, the Spirit confirms the truth to honest truth-seekers. And the truth is, as confirmed to my soul, that Brother Joseph was a good man, a man chosen of the Lord, a prophet of the Lord Jesus Christ. I honor and revere his name and happily bear witness of his calling as prophet of God and restorer of Christ’s Church.

The Prophet Joseph Smith defended himself and his vision of God the Father and His Son in these words:

“I soon found . . . that my telling the story had excited a great deal of prejudice against me among professors of religion, and was the cause of great persecution, which continued to increase; and though I was an obscure boy, only between fourteen and fifteen years of age, and my circumstances in life such as to make a boy of no consequence in the world, yet men of high standing would take notice sufficient to excite the public mind against me, and create a bitter persecution; and this was common among all the sects—all united to persecute me. . . .

“However, it was nevertheless a fact that I had beheld a vision. I have thought since, that I felt much like Paul, when he made his defense before King Agrippa, and related the account of the vision he had when he saw a light, and heard a voice; but still there were but few who believed him; some said he was dishonest, others said he was mad; and he was ridiculed and reviled. But all this did not destroy the reality of his vision. He had seen a vision, he knew he had, and all the persecution under heaven could not make it otherwise; and though they should persecute him unto death, yet he knew, and would know to his latest breath, that he had both seen a light and heard a voice speaking unto him, and all the world could not make him think or believe otherwise.

“So it was with me. I had actually seen a light, and in the midst of that light I saw two Personages, and they did in reality speak to me; and though I was hated and persecuted for saying that I had seen a vision, yet it was true; and while they were persecuting me, reviling me, and speaking all manner of evil against me falsely for so saying, I was led to say in my heart: Why persecute me for telling the truth? I have actually seen a vision; and who am I that I can withstand God, or why does the world think to make me deny what I have actually seen? For I had seen a vision; I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it, neither dared I do it; at least I knew that by so doing I would offend God, and come under condemnation” (Joseph Smith History 1:22, 24-25).

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Watch a film about Joseph Smith’s remarkable life and mission here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1xVw6PsSinI&t=2476s

What integrity and sincerity! I find in Joseph Smith a pure heart and noble motives. The Savior told us to judge a man by his fruit. If we apply this to the Prophet Joseph Smith, we must judge that he was a true Christian who did good, served his fellow man, promoted goodness and righteousness, condemned evil and spoke against corruption, and spent his short life bearing witness of truth.

Joseph’s sincerity is not to be doubted for, in the final equation, he refused to recant his testimony and was murdered alongside his brother for it. No man would suffer so much and give so much for a lie. There are much easier ways to become rich, famous, and powerful, if that was truly his intention. Yet, I declare my witness that Joseph Smith was a thoroughly good man who did more to uplift and elevate humanity than any man since Jesus Christ. Much of his work is embodied in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints which, through God’s Priesthood authority bestowed upon his head by the hands of angels and resurrected beings, he restored to the world.

Apart from a life of Christian service and love, the Prophet Joseph Smith left us tangible proof of his divine call to be a prophet and restore the Savior’s Church. He left us The Book of Mormon. Most people who reject and condemn The Book of Mormon do so without ever having seriously examined the book and without having sincerely prayed about its authenticity. The Book of Mormon is a book of scripture similar to the Bible. It does not replace or do away with the Bible and it certainly doesn’t contradict the Bible when the Bible is properly interpreted and understood. Together with the Bible, The Book of Mormon bears witness of Jesus Christ and confirms His true doctrines. The two witnesses have become “one” in the Lord’s hand, as Ezekiel foresaw (Ezekiel 37:16-19).

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See Ezekiel 37:16-19

Whereas the Bible is a collection of writings and revelations from Hebrew prophets living in the Old World, The Book of Mormon is a compilation of writings made by ancient Israelite prophets living in America. They lived on this very land, a land which the Lord has declared to be a Promised Land “choice above all others” (Ether 2:10). It was America that was the location of the Garden of Eden and many other historical events. It is a chosen and special land that has been inhabited for millennia by peoples specifically brought here by the hand of God. These ancient peoples had prophets and were led by the voice of Jehovah Himself. The culminating event among one of these peoples – the Nephite people – was a visitation by the resurrected Lord Jesus Christ after His Ascension in the Holy Land.

A 1960 publication of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints says this of The Book of Mormon:

“The Book of Mormon tells the same truths about God and His work that are told in the Bible, though in many cases in a more simple and plain way. . . .

“Jesus is the central figure of both the Bible and the Book of Mormon. Everything was written to emphasize His mission as Redeemer and Savior of the world. While the Nephites were camped at the Red Sea, three days’ journey from Jerusalem, Nephi saw in vision many of the great events that would happen down to our own time. Most importantly, however, was his vision of Jesus. Nephi saw Him as a babe in Mary’s arms. He saw Him as a man baptized by John in the Jordan River. Nephi saw Jesus with the twelve apostles going among the people healing their sick and ministering comfort and consolation to all alike. Finally, Nephi saw Jesus crucified on the cross for the sins of all men. All this happened in Palestine just as Nephi saw it in vision six hundred years earlier.

“The Book of Mormon picks up the message and story of Jesus right where the Bible ends. It tells of His visits to America after his resurrection in Jerusalem. It tells how Jesus organized His Church among the Nephites with apostles at the head just as He had done in Palestine. To the Nephites He proclaimed the same principles of salvation, faith, repentance and baptism by immersion for the remission of sins as they are taught in the New Testament. He blessed little children and said they need no baptism because they are innocent and already free from sin. Like the Bible, the Book of Mormon foretells the coming of Christ in the last days to reign personally upon the earth.

“The great message of the Book of Mormon, then, is the same as that of the Bible; that Jesus lives and is the author of salvation to all who will believe and follow Him” (M. Lynn Bennion and J.A. Washburn, History of the Restored Church, 18-19).

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The Book of Mormon is, without any question, my favorite book. I have learned more from this one 500-page volume of scripture than all the other books I have ever read combined. There is a true power in The Book of Mormon. The Spirit resides in its sacred pages. It testifies of Christ at nearly every turn. It refers to the wondrous Atonement dozens of times and explains its doctrine in a pure and simple manner. It explains the nature of man’s Fall, the necessity of a Savior, the reality of the Savior Jesus Christ, the truthfulness of the Atonement, and testifies that salvation only comes through the Lamb of God.

A particularly powerful passage from The Book of Mormon expels any thought that the book is not a Christian book. The ancient prophet Nephi proclaimed:

“And we talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we preach of Christ, we prophesy of Christ, and we write according to our prophecies, that our children may know to what source they may look for a remission of their sins.

“Wherefore, we speak concerning the law [of Moses] that our children may know the deadness of the law; and they, by knowing the deadness of the law, may look forward unto that life which is in Christ, and know for what end the law was given. And after the law is fulfilled in Christ, that they need not harden their hearts against him when the law ought to be done away.

“. . . the right way is to believe in Christ and deny him not; for by denying him ye also deny the prophets and the law.

“And now behold, I say unto you that the right way is to believe in Christ, and deny him not; and Christ is the Holy One of Israel; wherefore ye must bow down before him, and worship him with all your might, mind, and strength, and your whole soul; and if ye do this ye shall in nowise be cast out” (2 Nephi 25:26-29).

Yes, Jesus is the Christ! The Book of Mormon brings people to Christ. It points its readers’ minds and hearts to the Redeemer. It encourages us to keep the commandments, to pray to the Father in Jesus’ name, to meet together to worship the Lord, to love God and our fellow man, to sustain the Bible as God’s word, to sustain the prophets which the Lord sends among us, to gain a personal witness of truth for ourselves rather than relying upon the words of men, and a thousand other useful and correct things. I love The Book of Mormon!

If The Book of Mormon is not true, then everything I have testified of is a lie. But The Book of Mormon is true. I know this because the Spirit has confirmed it to my mind, heart, and spirit on numerous occasions. I can stand before the world and declare the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon, the integrity of the Prophet Joseph Smith who translated it from an ancient record, and the importance of the book’s message.

One of the most important messages of The Book of Mormon is to warn us of Satanic threats to Freedom. My second book, Red Gadiantons, is partially devoted to explaining these prophetic warnings of secret conspiracies that anciently existed and which the past prophets saw would exist in our day and threaten the overthrow of the world. Elder Hans Verlan Andersen, a past General Authority of my Church, stated:

“It appears that one of the main purposes of the Lord in giving us the Book of Mormon was to warn us against destroying ourselves through the adoption of Satan’s form of government. Two mighty civilizations were destroyed on this land choice above all other lands and the cause of destruction was the same in each case – the corruption of the government by wickedness” (Hans Verlan Andersen, Many Are Called But Few Are Chosen, 64).

In modern times, prophets of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints have warned that the ancient record is true – a Satanic conspiracy bent on mankind’s destruction does exist. They have identified this Satanic conspiracy as communism. Much of my life’s work has been devoted to fighting communism for this very purpose. More to the point, when I was twelve years old I received a personal witness from the Holy Ghost that communism was not dead and the Soviet Union never collapsed, as the world assumed, and that communism remained the greatest threat to the world.

That knowledge fired my soul and I have worked endlessly to open people’s eyes to the truth I learned through the Spirit and have confirmed by thorough research and my experience living in Russia as a missionary. It is not merely a point of speculation, but a part of my actual knowledge that communism is the wickedest and most powerful enemy facing mankind and that it will consume us if we do not actively oppose it.

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Captain Moroni waving his Title of Liberty

The Book of Mormon not only discusses the workings and goals of Satan’s secret conspiracies, but provides a vibrant account of the antidote to its spiritual and political poison. My hero from The Book of Mormon is a great warrior called Captain Moroni. Moroni single-handedly saved his nation from defeat and subjugation in a series of bloody wars. It was this great man who rallied his people. He did so with a slogan he called the Title of Liberty. It read: “In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children” (Alma 46:12).

This Title of Liberty was hoisted upon every tower and loudly proclaimed throughout the land. Captain Moroni and his army fought valiantly to secure the Freedom of their people. They fought to defend the free government God had given to them and the right of the people, under that government, to make their laws and select their own leaders. It is a free government supported and defended by a righteous, Christian populace that has the power to thwart the machinations of evil individuals like modern communists.

The account of Captain Moroni and his fellow Freedom Fighters is inspiring. I draw tremendous strength from it. One of Moroni’s most trusted generals was a man named Teancum. One day, I wish it will be said of me what it was said of him upon his gut-wrenching death: “[H]e had been a man who had fought valiantly for his country, yea, a true friend to liberty” (Alma 62:37). It has always been one of my highest aspirations to be like the Nephite Freedom Fighters Captain Moroni, Teancum, Lehi, and Lachoneus. I intend to do my utmost to see that the flame of Freedom is never extinguished and that my own countrymen look to God, their religion, their Freedom, their peace, their wives, and their children and do whatever it takes to preserve them.

I bear my witness of Freedom. It is an eternal principle. The Lord is more interested in extending the blessings of Freedom than any mortal who ever lived. His Atonement and sacrifice for us is the ultimate defense of Freedom. It represents Freedom from the grave, Freedom from sin when we repent, Freedom from despair as we turn our hearts, and so forth. As Paul told us, we have “been called unto liberty.” Because of this, we ought to “stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free” (Galatians 5:1, 13). Freedom – the most precious word in the English language!

To ensure Freedom in these last days of turmoil when Satan rages upon the earth making war against the Saints, the Lord inspired a group of men to establish a free country and Constitution. I bear my witness that the Founding Fathers of the United States were humble men of faith and goodness, that they were inspired by the Almighty to break away from tyrannical Britain and establish a free Republic, and that the Holy Spirit rested upon them and inspired them in crafting the Constitution. I revere the Constitution and consider it equally valid as any declaration of holy scripture. It is part of my religion. The principles of Liberty are part and parcel of the Gospel of Jesus Christ!

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In modern revelation given through the Prophet Joseph Smith, the Lord declared that He inspired the Constitution. He specifically commanded His followers to importune for a redress of their grievances through the appointed Constitutional method, or:

“According to the laws and constitution of the people, which I have suffered to be established, and should be maintained for the rights and protection of all flesh, according to just and holy principles;

“That every man may act in doctrine and principle pertaining to futurity, according to the moral agency which I have given unto him, that every man may be accountable for his own sins in the day of judgment.

“Therefore, it is not right that any man should be in bondage one to another.

“And for this purpose have I established the Constitution of this land, by the hands of wise men whom I raised up unto this very purpose, and redeemed the land by the shedding of blood” (Doctrine and Covenants 101:77-80).

The Lord Himself established the Constitution. He did it to ensure the Freedom of “all flesh.” He wants us to be free and to be accountable for our own choices. The Constitution, when correctly administered and interpreted, provides exactly this. So correct and important are the provisions of the U.S. Constitution that the Lord also revealed that anything “more or less” than them “cometh of evil.” Specifically, He revealed:

“And that law of the land which is constitutional, supporting that principle of freedom in maintaining rights and privileges, belongs to all mankind, and is justifiable before me.

“Therefore, I, the Lord, justify you, and your brethren of my church, in befriending that law which is the constitutional law of the land;

“And as pertaining to law of man, whatsoever is more or less than this, cometh of evil” (Doctrine and Covenants 98:5-7).

If at times I seem fanatically devoted to the Constitution and the men who crafted it, it is because it is part of my religion. I can witness of the truthfulness of the Constitution’s principles and of the integrity of the Founding Fathers as strongly and confidently as I can witness that Jesus is the Christ. I will die before I recant that testimony. As I live, it is true. And I will spend my days promoting the principles of the Lord’s Constitution, come what may.

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President Russell M. Nelson

Though I brushed upon it earlier, I want to stress that I have an emphatic, burning testimony that there are literal, living prophets in our midst today – men like Moses, Abraham, Elijah, and Peter who receive revelation for mankind in the name of the Lord and who hold the same Priesthood authority to direct the affairs of the Savior’s Church in our day. The most powerful witness I have ever received from the Holy Spirit in fact is the witness that prophets again walk the earth. I witness and testify that this is true.

At the present time, the man called of Christ to be the earthly president of His Church, and the man who holds the office of prophet, seer, and revelator for the world, is Russell M. Nelson. The Spirit reconfirms the truth that we have a living prophet whenever I hear him speak. I am so incredibly grateful to know – and I again declare that I know it with all my soul – that there is a prophet on earth. He is a man I can look to for sure guidance, wisdom, and inspired counsel. He is the Lord’s mouthpiece on earth – our captain and president. The entire world would benefit immeasurably from knowing and heeding the words of the Lord’s modern prophets, including President Russell M. Nelson.

I close my witness by repeating my unshakeable testimony of Jesus Christ. In Him all my faith and hope center. He is the Son of God. He lives as a perfected, resurrected, exalted Being of flesh and bone. He offered His own blood for a sacrifice in order to appease justice and grant you and me a chance to repent. This Atonement is the greatest event ever to transpire on this or any other world created by the hand of our Master. Through repentance and obedience to the laws and ordinances of His Gospel, we can receive His mercy and forgiveness, our wounds can be healed, our hearts can be changed, our families can be strengthened, and our world can be transformed.

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By calling upon our Heavenly Father in Christ’s holy name, we can receive answers to our most pressing prayers and perplexing questions. Yes, we can even receive a firm personal witness through the Holy Ghost that Jesus is the Messiah! With this witness etched in your soul, nothing can ever come between you and the Savior. I love Him and testify of Him and His present work to gather, save, and free mankind, in His sacred name. Amen.

Zack Strong,

August 4, 2019.

Click the following link to watch a well-made series about the life and ministry of Jesus Christ:

https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/bible-videos/videos?lang=eng