One day when I was around ten years old my mom and I were listening to church music in the car. I remember the song about the first vision of Joseph Smith came on the radio. As I listened to the words I realized that we were taught, and my parents believed, that God and Jesus Christ had appeared to a fourteen-year-old boy. I remember how stunned I was because I thought my parents were pretty intelligent people, but I couldn’t believe how absurd it all sounded to me. Right then I blurted out to my mom how ridiculous and stupid the whole thing sounded. This, I thought, certainly could not be truth. My mom, being very wise challenged me to pray about it and find out if it were truth. I realized then that I wasn’t exactly sure what truth was.
Fast forward a few years and I stood on a door step as a missionary testifying of the truthfulness of the that very same experience. The person standing at the door stopped me mid-sentence and said, “Before you go on, will you please give me your definition of truth” My answer was not very good but I muttered something out that did not satisfy and rather than argue my companion and I moved on our way. That very day I decided that I needed to study truth and figure out what it was so that I would have an answer next time.
The definition that sat the best with me is from Doctrine and Covenants 93:24, which states that truth is things as they really were, as they really are, and as they really will be. This matches with the dictionary definition which describes truth as conformity to fact or reality. Furthermore I discovered that there are absolute truths in the world. Some of these absolutes include the commandments of God, the Bible, the Book of Mormon, and words of modern day prophets. Dallin H. Oaks said, “We believe in absolute truth, including the existence of God and the right and wrong established by His commandments. We know that the existence of God and the existence of absolute truth are fundamental to life on this earth, whether they are believed in or not. We also know that evil exists and that some things are simply, seriously, and everlastingly wrong.” Russell M. Nelson said, “Truth is truth! It is not divisible, and any part of it cannot be set aside.”
As a young single adult in the world today I am faced often with interesting conversations, and a flood of information from the internet, news media, text books, and sometimes just really intelligent people. It can be hard at times to know what is truth and what is opinion. As I formulate my own ideas of this truth I find that applying the principles I learned in the first two stories can be helpful.
First, it is important to acknowledge that you have a question. Many times I think we fear our questions and avoid thinking about them or trying to figure out answers. In the same sense we can let these questions get in the way of things we already know the answer about. This is applicable to religion yes, but to also to everything we face in life. It’s alright to admit you don’t understand things or how they work, or why they happen, at the same time being careful to find a balance. Jeffrey R. Holland said, “Be as candid about your questions as you need to be; life is full of them on one subject or another. Don’t let those questions stand in the way of faith working its miracle.” To me the miracle of questions is that you can eventually find answers.
Second, use your resources. We have quick access to the words of Christ. Many of us even carry them around on our cell phones at the click of a button. We can search the scriptures. Prophets and people who have gone before have shown us many ways in which to find answers. Talk to your family. My mom was able to give me counsel the first time, and my mission companion the second. Most of all, talk to God. Prayer is a way that we can ask God our questions and He will guide us to the answers.
Third, be willing to change your mind if you get an answer that you are not expecting. When I prayed and studied after challenging my mom I was led to an answer that I did not expect. When I didn’t know the answer at the door step I studied it out. Using my resources, I got an answer. But getting an answer is not enough. You have to act on the answer you get.
The very question that challenged me is more evidence that God answers our questions. He answered me twice, as a child and a missionary. He also answered Joseph Smith when he prayed and sought truth and help with his questions. Ironically the thing I questioned is evidence of my answer. God does want us to know His will and his ways. He wants us to grow in knowledge and wisdom. He will provide a way for truth to become clear to us as we diligently seek it.
Ashley Dewey is extremely talented at being single. Hobbies include awkward conversations with members of the opposite sex, repelling third dates, talking to boys about their girl problems and to girls about their boy problems. In her spare time she also has a very fulfilling school life, work life, and social life. Besides being a professional single, Ashley is also a BYU graduate with a degree in linguistics (Aka word nerd). She enjoys studying other languages, particularly American Sign Language, and finds most all of them fascinating. She is currently pursuing a masters degree in Teaching English as a Second Language. Ashley works most of the time and has often been accused of being a workaholic. Currently she works full time as a merchandiser and supervisor in a retail store, and part time doing social media work. On her day off she works (really it doesn't feel like work) in the Provo LDS temple. The only kind of work she finds difficulty focusing on is house work. Her favorite activities in her free time are reading, writing, creating social experiments, and spending time with great friends and family. Specific activities with those family and friends include: going to concerts, plays, dance recitals, BYU basketball and football games, and watching sports on television.