Science and Faith
Graduate Student, Bioengineering
Here in Utah there are many people of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. There are two members of the Church of Jesus Christ running as presidential candidates running for office this year and a variety of others in national and global positions. In light of this fact, I am writing to help explain some long standing questions people have about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints that have been posed. Especially I am writing to explain my personal views as a scientist and a Christian, a set of ideals that many have assumed to be contradictory. I hope that this article will help others understand how faith and science are complementary roles.
Faith, especially faith in God, is the act of believing something without seeing, when that thing is true. An example might be faith in God’s existence inspiring someone to pray or read scripture. This kind of faith leads to spiritual knowledge, or in other words, revelation directly from God. This concept may be foreign to some, so I will explain what I mean by revelation. The Holy Ghost is the third member or the Godhead. He has the ability to speak “in your mind and in your heart” (Doctrine & Covenants, Section 8, Verse 2) leaving behind undeniable “impressions” or “promptings.” This kind of revelation is available to all men and woman on earth, but will not come until faith is exercised first. These moments when He speaks to you are undoubtedly precious experiences that leave behind pure knowledge about God.
On the other hand, beliefs gained by sight alone, or scientific knowledge, leads to a correct understanding of truth as well. To a person who throws a pebble off a bridge, the law of gravity is immediately apparent, and that law is true.
So we have two methods of seeking true knowledge. One, by believing until we receive confirmation from God in our soul, the other, from seeing and in turn believing what is seen. Both lead to a correct knowledge when carried out honestly.
One word of caution, faith in false religion leads to incorrect traditions (and a loss of the confirmation of the Holy Ghost), just as believing a scientific theory that is incorrect leads to incorrect actions (such as how the Greco-Roman belief that too much blood was the cause of sickness lead to the practice of blood-letting, which hurt many people).
So to anyone who has not had a confirmation from the Holy Ghost of the reality of God, I would say, try an experiment of faith. Believe, practice and learn more about Him, and see if this does not lead to an indelible impression from the Holy Ghost. If there are any questions on how to do this feel free to visit the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints at www.mormon.org for further details.
“The Gift of the Holy Ghost: What Every Member Should Know.” President Boyd K. Packer, Acting President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, Training for New Mission Presidents, June 24, 2003. <http://lds.org/ensign/2006/08/the-gift-of-the-holy-ghost-what-every-member-should-know?lang=eng&query=confirmation+prompting>
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