For the Strength of Youth
April 2024

“Really?,” For the Strength of Youth, Apr. 2024.

Come, Follow Me

Jacob 4


Yes. Really. The prophet Jacob taught a key to understanding the greatest reality.

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“Get real.” “Be realistic.” “Live in the real world.” People sometimes say things like this when they think someone is being naïve or engaging in wishful thinking.

And it’s true—ignoring reality can be a real problem. (You don’t want people thinking that, for instance, the law of gravity doesn’t apply to them. That could end badly.)

But reality is big—bigger than many people realize. In fact, the biggest and most significant part of reality goes far beyond just this life and the physical world we perceive through our five senses. It can only be spiritually perceived.

The prophet Jacob in the Book of Mormon taught some vital truths about this bigger reality and how we can know and understand it.

Why Not?

Jacob taught his people about the greatest reality there is: Jesus Christ and His role in Heavenly Father’s plan. Then Jacob said, “Marvel not that I tell you these things; for why not speak of the atonement of Christ, and attain to a perfect knowledge of him, as to attain to the knowledge of a resurrection and the world to come?” (Jacob 4:12).

In this statement, Jacob taught some significant truths:

  • There’s more than just this life—there’s a resurrection.

  • There’s more than just this world—there’s a “world to come.”

  • Most important, Jesus Christ made all of this possible for us through His atoning sacrifice.

  • We can gain a knowledge of these things.

Those are big realities. And like Jacob said, why not speak of them?

Then Jacob had something to say regarding how he knows these things and speaks so plainly about them.

“Things as They Really Are”

Jacob taught: “The Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be” (Jacob 4:13).

Only through the Holy Spirit can we know the truth—“things as they really are,” the full reality. How do we do that?

The fact is that much of a person’s understanding of reality—both physical and spiritual—rests on trust.

We trust our five senses to give us direct experience with physical reality. We also place our trust in outside sources—parents, teachers, books, articles, websites, photographs, maps, videos—all kinds of things. Over time, we verify facts by experiencing things ourselves, or we see facts reinforced.

Just as we learn to trust our five senses, we can learn to trust in our ability to sense spiritual things.

And we need to learn to trust certain outside sources in spiritual matters. We need to have faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and trust in Them and Their love. We need to trust in the Holy Ghost. We need to trust in the prophets, the scriptures, and other sources of revealed truth. And we need to trust in the testimony of others.

As we exercise faith and trust, we can have spiritual experiences ourselves and see spiritual truths reinforced over time. We’ll see the bigger reality that Jacob talked about:

Jesus Christ is real. His atoning sacrifice is real. His Resurrection is real. Our resurrection is also real. This life is real. And the afterlife is real. Heavenly Father’s plan is real. These are things as they really are and really will be. Embracing this reality can change our lives forever.