Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge, a General Authority Seventy for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, spoke at Tuesday’s BYU Devotional about standing strong with faith, even amid antagonistic voices.
Elder Corbridge began with a story about an assignment for which he had to read material that was antagonistic toward the Church. It left him with a feeling of darkness and prompted him to write down some of the thoughts he incorporated into this address.
Even with all the antagonistic material out there, according to the prophet Daniel, the kingdom of God will stand forever. But, Elder Corbridge asked, will you and I stand forever?
Deception is the sign of our time and we will all be challenged in some way, said Elder Corbridge. Those deceptions come on a broad spectrum, including distractions that take our time away from what’s most important. Truth enables us to overcome deception and distractions.
According to Elder Corbridge, we do not always have all the knowledge we need, so we make incorrect decisions. We act on our beliefs, but sometimes we are wrong.
“The challenge is not as much closing the gap between our actions and our beliefs, rather the challenge is closing the gap between our beliefs and the truth,” he said.
So, how do we avoid deception? How do we close the gap between our beliefs and the truth?
Identify primary questions
First, Elder Corbridge said we must distinguish between primary and secondary questions. Primary questions are the most important. Secondary questions are unending but will get answered or fall into perspective as primary questions are answered. Primary questions are questions such as whether there is a God who is our Father, whether Jesus Christ is the Son of God, whether Joseph Smith was a prophet and whether The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the kingdom of God on earth.
“You can deal with things you understand and things you don’t understand, things you agree with and things you don’t agree with, without jumping ship altogether,” said Elder Corbridge.
Learn through various methods
Another way we can avoid deception is to find answers by learning truth through various methods including the scientific method, the analytical method, the academic method and the divine method. They all offer important elements of finding truth. Elder Corbridge said that the divine method trumps all others by tapping into the powers of heaven.
Elder Corbridge then returned to his experience reading those antagonistic materials. He identified the gloom he felt then as the absence of the Spirit. In contrast to those documents and that feeling, he said that the scriptures bring the light and Spirit of God.
Sometimes, when others read those materials, they attempt to learn the truth by eliminating every doubt instead of learning by the Spirit. However, said Elder Corbridge, you cannot prove the Church is true by disproving every claim against it. You can’t learn truth by elimination.
“With the things of God, affirmative proof finally and surely comes by revelation through the Spirit and power of the Holy Ghost,” said Elder Corbridge. With that knowledge and faith, Saints can stand forever.
Believe that with God all things are possible
The last way Elder Corbridge shared to avoid deception is to believe that with God all things are possible. He has already created the most phenomenal occurrences of all time: all of us.
“While it is understandable that we may be challenged by the extraordinary, we shouldn’t be because ordinary things are actually more phenomenal…. The healing of the withered hand is not nearly as amazing as the existence of the hand in the first place.”
Elder Corbridge closed with his testimony. “I know by my experience, all of it. I know it by evidence and the evidence is overwhelming. I know it by study and most surely I know it by the Spirit and power of the Holy Ghost,” he said.
Next Forum: Matt Luhn, Story and Branding Consultant for Pixar
Matt Luhn, story and branding consultant for Pixar, will deliver the next BYU Forum on Tuesday, January 29, at 11:05 a.m. in the Marriott Center.
His remarks will not be broadcast or archived.