Knowing for Yourself

Knowing for Yourself


B: So the great thing about all this – well, among all the other great things we get through the Spirit – is that we can discover and retain eternal truth for ourselves.  We don’t have to trust anybody else.  There are no “experts” that we must turn to.  Not to say, of course, that we can’t benefit from the testimonies and experience of others, but at least through the Spirit we can know ourselves whether or not something is true.

Truth be told, this is the way things should be anyway, if you ask me.  If everything depended instead only on so-called experts, they may have far more influence and power than is healthy for society – that is, as concerns the true happiness of people.  If those experts recognized that they have that kind of influence over people – and perhaps some of them already do – there would be a significant temptation for them to abuse it, and they might become veritable dictators to some extent.  But because of this opportunity to discover truth on our own, which is available to anyone, nobody need feel confined to anybody’s opinion, or “best guess,” on what life or the universe is, nor do they need to be compelled to go along with the prevailing opinion of the masses at the time.

I believe I’ve said before that of course it’s unreasonable for us to know everything for ourselves.  Society is so complex and advanced that we should be willing to trust at least some others.  Fortunately, most people are trustworthy.  A society would be truly woebegone if it didn’t have any trustworthy souls.  But if we have the Spirit with us, we can potentially detect those who aren’t, and we can learn of all the things that are essential for us to live peacefully in this life.  The Spirit can, and will if we are willing to listen, tell us what things are true and what things aren’t.  We need not feel that society must be run by a bunch of experts who supposedly know better than we do, or entrust all our thinking to them.  We run a grave risk of losing our freedom if we so entrust them, besides merely the risk of them being wrong about things on occasion anyway (which happens from time to time, because men are fallible).

Therefore, regarding any issue, please recall that the experts (including the self-proclaimed types, such as I!) might just be wrong, and think for yourself about how they might be wrong.  Logical thinking encourages us to analyze any assumptions that are being made – what is NOT said may very well be as important as what is said.  Ask yourself, “how do they know?”  And if ever you find yourself at a dead end, not knowing what’s true and what’s false, remember you can always ask God for help.

A: What kinds of truth does the Spirit reveal to us?

B: All kinds, potentially.  Want to know what to do in a certain situation?  Ask God, and He’ll reveal it through the Spirit, if it is expedient in Him.

But consider this: do we want the revelations we receive through the Spirit to fit into a nice little box?  For example, if God gave us hints for how to improve education, would we insist that the hint fit within the current format that we have for it now?  Not saying that God wouldn’t give it to us like that, but what makes us think we can have the audacity to insist upon it?

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