“Our Search for Truth,” New Era, Aug. 2020, 2–5.
Never in the history of the world have we had easier access to more information—some of it true, some of it false, and much of it partially true.
Consequently, never in the history of the world has it been more important to learn how to correctly discern between truth and error.
Part of our problem in the quest for truth is that human wisdom has disappointed us so often. We have so many examples of things that mankind once “knew” were true but have since been proven false.
For example, in spite of one-time overwhelming consensus, the earth isn’t flat. The stars don’t revolve around the earth. Eating a tomato will not cause instant death. And, of course, man actually can fly—even break the sound barrier.
The thing about truth is that it exists beyond belief. It is true even if nobody believes it.
We can say west is north and north is west all day long and even believe it with all our heart, but if, for example, we want to fly from Quito, Ecuador, to New York City in the United States, there is only one direction that will lead us there, and that is north—west just won’t do.
Of course, this is just a simple aviation analogy. However, there is indeed such a thing as absolute truth—unassailable, unchangeable truth.
This truth is different from belief. It is different from hope. Absolute truth is not dependent upon public opinion or popularity. Polls cannot sway it. Not even the inexhaustible authority of celebrity endorsement can change it.
So how can we find truth?
As we all know, it is difficult enough to sort out the truth from our own experiences. To make matters worse, we have an adversary, “the devil, [who] as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour” (1 Peter 5:8).
Satan is the great deceiver, “the accuser of [the] brethren” (Revelation 12:10), the father of all lies (see John 8:44), who continually seeks to deceive that he might overthrow us (see Doctrine and Covenants 50:3).
The adversary has many cunning strategies for keeping mortals from the truth. He offers the belief that truth is relative; appealing to our sense of tolerance and fairness, he keeps the real truth hidden by claiming that one person’s “truth” is as valid as any other.
Some he entices to believe that there is an absolute truth out there somewhere but that it is impossible for anyone to know it.
For those who already embrace the truth, his primary strategy is to spread the seeds of doubt. For example, he has caused many members of the Church to stumble when they discover information about the Church that seems to contradict what they had learned previously.
If you experience such a moment, remember that in this age of information there are many who create doubt about anything and everything, at any time and every place.
You will find even those who still claim that they have evidence that the earth is flat, that the moon is a hologram, and that certain movie stars are really aliens from another planet. And it is always good to keep in mind that just because something is printed on paper, appears on the internet, is frequently repeated, or has a powerful group of followers doesn’t make it true.
Yes, our world is full of confusion. But eventually all of our questions will be answered. All of our doubts will be replaced by certainty. And that is because there is one source of truth that is complete, correct, and incorruptible. That source is our infinitely wise and all-knowing Heavenly Father. He knows truth as it was, as it is, and as it yet will be (see Doctrine and Covenants 93:24). “He comprehendeth all things, … and he is above all things, … and all things are by him, and of him” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:41).
Our loving Heavenly Father offers His truth to us, His mortal children.
Now, what is this truth?
It is His gospel. It is the gospel of Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ is “the way, the truth, and the life” (John 14:6).
If we will only have enough courage and faith to walk in His path, it will lead us to peace of heart and mind, to lasting meaning in life, to happiness in this world, and to joy in the world to come. The Savior is “not far from every one of us” (Acts 17:27). We have His promise that if we seek Him diligently, we will find Him (see Deuteronomy 4:29; Proverbs 8:17; Acts 17:27; Doctrine and Covenants 88:63).
Our Heavenly Father knew how difficult it would be for us to sift through all the competing noise and discover truth during our mortality. He knew we would see only a portion of the truth, and He knew that Satan would try to deceive us. So He gave us the heavenly gift of the Holy Ghost to illuminate our minds, teach us, and testify to us of the truth.
The witness of truth from the Holy Ghost is available to all, everywhere, all around the globe. All who seek to know the truth, who study it out in their minds (see Doctrine and Covenants 9:8), and who “ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, [will know] the truth … by the power of the Holy Ghost” (Moroni 10:4).
Yes, your loving Father in Heaven would never leave you alone in this mortality to wander in the dark. You need not be deceived. You can overcome the darkness of this world and discover divine truth.
The Lord knows you; He loves you. The Lord has great confidence in you. He knows your successes, and He is mindful of your challenges and questions in life.
It is my prayer that you will seek the truth earnestly and unceasingly, that you will yearn to drink from the fount of all truth, whose waters are pure and sweet, “a well of water springing up into everlasting life” (John 4:14).