Journey

My Journey from unbeliever to believer.

I was raised in a loving home with two parents – what can be described as a typical family, a dad, a mum and two children. God and religion were not the topic of discussion except as a sort of dinner table analysis. How deep can you discuss philosophy with an eight year old? (I know that some eight year olds can be quite insightful, however I was not one of them.) I came to see religion as a cultural phenomenon and often was found reading about cultures and their religion. I became somewhat an expert on the ancient Egyptian, Scandinavian and Greek mythos and pantheons. The modern Judean/Christian beliefs did not interest me and in the area where I grew up I was not exposed to any Muslims, although I would have not treated them any different from other believers I came across.I did read the Bible but I did not understand why the story of Jesus was repeated four times.

I continued in this state until my very late teens when I started looking at the profiles and working habits of people who were financially successful, I was not at the time and was quite keen to earn some serious money. One thing in common to a lot of these people was their belief in God and many of them attributed their success to this God.

With this new knowledge I started my thought process. First I asked myself ‘is there a God?’ I pondered this and in some way I prayed about it but the result was that I started believing in God. I still had no idea of the nature of God, or his attributes or even if you could assign a Gender to a supreme being. I mean, ‘is God a being’? It was suddenly a confusing thing. One day you don’t believe in God and the next you realise that there is a God. It was as if I had learned something new and I had. What I did not know at the time was that the Holy Ghost, the Testifier of Truth, had confirmed to my spirit this new knowledge. I had had a spiritual witness.and a question was answered. I started to look for more information, I read the Bible again but this time I read it with the inquisitive mind of one who is learning something new. I asked another question, “Can I trust the Bible?”, the answer was again clear, “Yes!”. From there the questions to God came more rapidly, “Is Jesus the Son of God?”, How do I pray? I soon learned that the questions I received answers to straight away were questions that were important and easy to answer. Things I did not get answers to were questions that I had not yet thought deeply enough about or had not yet studied.

I attended a Spiritual Revival, lots of singing, lots of witnessing and a quasi-ceremony asking new believers to accept Jesus. I stood up – I accepted. I felt the spirit witness to me. Then the minister stood up and said what thought was the strangest thing, “now your prayers will be heard by God, whereas before your prayers would bounce of the ceiling now that you have accepted Jesus, your prayers will travel all the way to Heaven”. This confused me, I had felt the witness from the Holy Spirit my prayers has been answered and I had never formally (or informally) accepted Jesus as my Saviour, it had not yet occurred to me to do so. I determined that I needed to do more study and that this study would not come from a revival group meeting. I would look for someone to study with and God would tell me when I learned true principles.

Questions that got answered and I contributed to my testimony.

  • Is there a God? – Yes
  • Is the Bible a book I can trust? – Yes
  • Is Jesus the Son of God? – Yes
  • Are prayers answered? – Yes
  • Are all prayers answered? – Yes, but not always in the way you want.

Later I joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints but I will discuss that experience in a future entry.

Published in: on November 5, 2008 at 4:46  Leave a Comment  
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Faith

What is Faith?
Faith is the belief to act.

I could leave the explanation there, but it would not do it justice. For many years Faith has been defined as ‘strong belief’ but this is not correct. Paul told the Hebrews that “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen“.’ James in his epistle said “faith without works is dead’ (read James 2). In the Hebrew language Faith is verb (a doing word) and therefore implies action, too often we assume that Faith means we believe and that God will make things happen because we have this Faith. Things only happen when we act on the things we believe. Faith is often presented as something very special or something very difficult to obtain; on the contrary Faith is something available to everyone. When we act on our belief we exercise our Faith and we will be rewarded accordingly.

In Matthew Chapter 5 the Saviour teaches “Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;
That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.
For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same?
And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more
than others? do not even the publicans so?
Faith is to do what is taught, to pray for them that despitefully use you. The Belief is to trust the teachings, the Exercise is to Act – to pray for them. Together this is Faith. For each principle taught there is belief and action; the trust that the principle is true and the action you take on it.

faith cometh not by signs, but signs follow those that believe.” (Doctrine and Covenants 63:9) is it so hard to accept that The signs come only to those that both believe and act on those beliefs?

This is my testimony, my understanding of the principle. I encourage you to think about this and to discuss it with your family and friends. And if you desire post a reply.

Published in: on September 6, 2008 at 11:30  Leave a Comment  

Shall we talk?

This is my first entry. I intend to discuss my religious views and learnings. I hope you will enjoy it.

Evert

Published in: on August 17, 2008 at 3:26  Leave a Comment