When it comes to finding the answers to life’s questions, I would do well to follow the key given in D&C 9:8, which teaches:
But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right…
All problems, if I’m going to get answers, require that I do some research. I have to do my homework. I have to ask questions to people who know things, Google questions to find research done by others, and ponder what I find. I have to pay a price, so to speak. Many answers come in the middle of the research.
But when it comes to spiritual things, there are a few answers that cannot be “found out” through research alone. Some things must be revealed by God in the form of personal revelation. Some examples include:
- Does God exist?
- Is He my Father in Heaven?
- Did Jesus die for me?
- Is the Book of Mormon the word of God?
- Are there really prophets on the earth today?
- What is God’s view of marriage?
Now, with this said, that doesn’t mean there shouldn’t be research done. Certainly, one who is trying to find the answers to the questions above still needs to “study it out in [their] mind”. In many instances, studying things out in our minds and doing research is preliminary to asking God in faith. It is a requirement. And this research will produce all kinds of answers; many good, many not reliable.
But one cannot find God through research alone. One cannot determine the authenticity of the Book of Mormon through research alone. Although there are a lot of opinions out there regarding what a family is, and many of them are very logical and well thought out, you can’t find God’s view through a poll or magazine article. Neither you nor I are able to determine if Jesus died for us through online surveys, mathematic equations, or reasoning alone. It isn’t that people aren’t smart enough or that the appropriate tests haven’t been developed. That isn’t it at all. These truths aren’t discovered; they’re revealed.
I know there is a lot written about religious items, principles, events, etc. There are endless opinions. Endless. So, after much studying, there comes a point where you won’t be able to settle within your heart whether certain things are “true” until you ask God and wait for, pray for, and recognize a revealed answer.
And with that…you know…
These views are personal, and are not the official views of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints...