Sincere Testimony

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In 1881, John Morgan?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùa pioneer of education in Utah and who taught the likes of Heber J. Grant, Orson F. Whitney, Mathias Cowley, J. Golden Kimball, and Brigham H. Roberts?¢‚Ǩ‚Äùpublished a pamphlet titled “Plan of Salvation”. One of the things he said in it is the following:

Sincerity of belief does not in any way establish the correctness of a principle. Only an unimpeachable testimony can do that. Man?¢‚Ǩ‚Ñ¢s belief does not affect a principle in the least. The whole world may believe a principle, and it may be untrue; the whole world may refuse to believe a principle, and it may be true.

Can insincere people testify of truth? Can someone who does not believe in the reality of the First Vision testify that it occurred?

10 thoughts on “Sincere Testimony

  1. how can one testify it occured if they did not believe in it? It would be like not believing in Adam and Eve living in the Garden of Eden and yet go around saying it happened.

  2. That’s what I am asking. Is truth really independent of a person’s sincerity? If so, then can an insincere person testify of truth?

  3. I think it could be possible to be touched by the spirit from hearing truth regardless of the sincerity or worthiness of the source. There seem to have been many missionaries who have struggled in the faith privately but have brought others to a knowledge of the truth.

  4. Kim, I think your question really comes down to how you define “testify.”

    If testify means to speak with a witness of the Spirit, then the answer seems to be no. If testify means just to speak or declare something, then the answer seems to be yes.

  5. Whether we believe in something or not is completly irelavent. the degree to which we believe means nothing. I can be in a soundproof shack below a dam that has burst. I can believe with all my heart and soul that the dam is safe. But that does not change the facts. Facts are independant of any belief.

    I have wondered why when I hear someone bear their testimony about the first vision that the spirit leaves. I know the first vision was a reality. So why would the spirit not testify of it? If a person says “The first vision did happen the spirit will testify of it. But if they state that “I know the first vision to be real and they don’t know it, then the spirit will not testify of it because it is not truth. It is referred to as “the Spirit of Truth”

  6. There are three things you can testify of – 1) What you Know to be True, 2) What you Believe to be true, 3) What you hope to know about.

    A lot of people in and out of the church gets these three badly mixed up.

  7. Brigham Young said something to the effect that if the Devil spoke a truth, we would owe him our Amen.

    Eric: Amen. (Oops, sorry for the juxtapostion, it was not intentional, and nothing is implied towards you.)

    ltbugaf: Have you ever been on a full-time proselyting mission?

    Ray: I think the Spirit sometimes works according to what the testifier is saying/thinking/feeling and his/her attitude. And sometimes the Spirit works according to what the listener needs.

    If you already have a testimony of the subject being spoken of, then you don’t have a need for the Spirit to confirm someone saying it. Not all instances of bearing a testimony require the presence of the Spirit. He’s not “obligated” to confirm the words of sincere or insincere testifiers. Not every testimony, even the most sincere ones by the most worthy of testifiers, demands, requires or obligates His confirmation.

    You may feel the Spirit withdraw as an indication that the speaker is insincere. However, the person next to you may feel the Spirit get closer to them because they need a confirmation that what is being said is true, and they aren’t in a position to discern the sincerity of the speaker/testifier. The Spirit is not obligated to confirm the same things to all members of the audience at any given time.

    However, let me share a warning. In the past I’ve sometimes felt the Spirit depart due to the fact that I was judging the speaker when he bore what I thought was an insincere testimony.

    Sometimes I feel the Spirit depart due to the words/actions of others, and sometimes the Spirit departs for MY unkind or unjust thoughts directed at the speaker.

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