Facing difficult challenges is hard to do at the time. My children are grown, but I remember the times when my daughters got their braces. That was never easy. They are expensive, painful, and restrictive. They could not eat all the things they wanted to at the time, and they had to tend to their cleaning and flossing with particular care. But those are just memories now, and every time my daughters flash those pearly whites, I think “I am so grateful we did that when we did.”
Having the Savior as part of our lives is what makes us well and wholesome and complete, especially when we are incapable of facing life’s challenges on our own. When you grow lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don’t blame the lettuce. It needs more water, fertilizer, less sun, or whatever.
We were not supposed to get through this life on our own. Doing this all by yourself is a deception. We don’t battle through life all on our own. We are meant to overcome our challenges with His help, and He has provided many resources at our disposal.
I used to try to prove the Church was true. I don’t do that anymore. I know it is. Do you try and prove to the other team that you are winning the basketball game? Of course not—the score is evidence enough. Do you believe that France exists? Probably, but if you have been there, you know that it is real because you have experienced it for yourself.
So does this also apply to the authenticity of the Church and the gospel of Jesus Christ? I believe it does.
I don’t need more evidence to confirm that the Church is true and the gospel is sound. And neither do you. It is apparent to everyone that wants to know.
Ye shall know them by their fruits. This scripture is often used when discussing the evidence of the Lord’s true church, but it applies to other things as well. Let’s discuss a few of these cases:
“Where did you go to get your education?” The answer to that question is as numerous as the people on this planet, but the response to why you decided to go there is much more uniform. “Choosing this school was easy because it is a well-known university for graduating successful candidates” OR “I went to such-and-such because I wanted the best education possible.” Millions of students go to thousands of institutions of higher learning to get their education. They make these selections based on many different criteria, but one reason is paramount: Do these institutions deliver what they said they will? If the answer to that question is yes, then students line up to register and attend those schools. They collectively invest millions of dollars to do so.
I happen to live in an area that is having an economic boom right now. Studies show an estimated $3 billion coming into this area in the next five years, and you see it all around. Housing developments, office buildings, government, infrastructure, and opportunity are everywhere. Why would there be such an influx of business and economic growth if investors and other entrepreneurs didn’t believe they would make money and see a return, perhaps a significant return, in their investments? They wouldn’t, but they do so because the growth and prosperity is evident.
When we board a plane, our expectation is that we will arrive at the right destination, on time, with our safety and well-being in mind. Any carrier that doesn’t provide those assurances goes out of business or is quickly penalized by air traffic control. It would be ludicrous to think that we would use airlines to travel about the country and world if we had serious doubts on whether they could get us to our destination or not. We rightfully expect them to deliver the goods, so to speak, and provide the service for which they have been paid. To expect anything else would be neither wise nor prudent—and so we continue to frequent those airlines that show up on time and provide the services we seek.
A popular pastime of our day is to listen to digital music over and over. Young people and adults all over the world connect their earbuds and AirPods and other devices so they can listen to their favorite tunes usually in the form of playlists. That’s great, and we all have found ourselves participating in these activities at one time or another. But what if the songs we listened to didn’t follow the notes on the page or the expected measures in the song? If the tones were off key and the chords foul, the music would not be pleasant or predictable, and we would find ourselves scratching our head and wondering why we are listening at all. We would soon change the song or stop altogether.
So if we can anticipate education, air travel, economics, and music to provide the expected outcome, why would it not be reasonable for us to expect the same from our religion? The goal of the gospel of Jesus Christ is to deliver the hoped-for expectation. That’s the best part—it does and we can.
39 For behold, this is my work and my glory—to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. (Moses 1:39)
Often people mistakenly expect churches to provide a strenuous set of requirements that keep us from doing the things that we really want to do. That could not be further from the truth. From my experience, religion teaches us the best way to have fun, experience lasting joy, and reach our full potential. My church and religion is flourishing and adds to my life in so many ways that I have a hard time enumerating in just a few words all the good it produces in my life. Its teachings thrill the heart and often soar above my expectations. The economic boom of my religion attests to a vibrant spiritual and temporal wealth. And it just feels right and is harmonious. It is simply what you would expect from a living, loving Heavenly Father that wants to be part of our everyday lives.
I have put its claims to the test through my life. The Church consistently delivers that which it claims. The gospel of Jesus Christ helps us navigate life when times are difficult, and it allows us to thrill in life during the times that are good, and there are plenty of those as well.
The teachings made in the scriptures and the Book of Mormon, those of living apostles and prophets, and direct revelation from God guide and direct us in our lives today and empower us when we need it.
“It’s not about proving the Book of Mormon is true with facts. I can tell you that this is not fiction, but I am not here to argue. You have to read it for yourself, and ask God so that he can tell you whether or not I have a case.”
41 And what is it that ye shall hope for? Behold I say unto you that ye shall have hope through the atonement of Christ and the power of his resurrection, to be raised unto life eternal, and this because of your faith in him according to the promise. (Moroni 7:41)
The incredible claims made by the Church are not hard to believe; they are evidence of the authenticity of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Would you expect anything less to come from God?
That’s the truth.
“Even so every a good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.
A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.
Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.
Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” (Matthew 7:15–20)
In 1989, Walter Penning formed a consultancy based in Salt Lake City and empowered his clients by streamlining processes and building a loyal, lifetime customer base with great customer service. His true passion is found in his family. He says the best decision he ever made was to marry his sweetheart and have children. The wonderful family she has given him and her constant love, support, and patience amid life's challenges is his panacea.