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The knowledge of Jesus Christ Is A Gift-Ben Tolman

So Mikell just confessed to me that she accidentally skipped a lot of her talk. And so she said, you have to speak for about five or 10 more minutes than you were supposed to. Good thing. I had this morning to prepare, right? No, just kidding. So like she said, we're here for the summer. And For those of you who don't know what we're doing, we are those obnoxious people that knock on your door and then you're trying to get them off your porch while they're trying to sell you something, Just kidding. We try to be as as kind and pleasant as possible. We can take no and we can read your body language to say, okay, he serious when he says no. Um, so if we run into your door, and you're seriously saying, no, but somebody continues to push, don't blame it on us. So me, Landon and Bridger we're leading a team here and there's about 18 of us that we we go out each day and go knock on doors trying to sell pest control.

This job just like the mission allows us to meet a lot of cool people and a lot of crazy people. So I want to share, just a little experience that I had yesterday of this guy telling me about his ant problem. I knocked on his door and he said, hey, I'm moving so I can't buy your service but, there are ants here. The other day I fell asleep with candy in my mouth and I woke up with ants coming out of my nose. The reason I share that is because he turned around and he was like, "just so you know, I know what you're doing It's hard but, you can turn around and you can change your life. I grew up in the streets of Santa Ana. I was homeless and a heroin addict. I have changed my life through Christ." so I was like this is really cool.

And so, a typical day on this job, we wake up, we meet together as a team and then we could go through some trainings. It's almost like companionship study in the mission. And each day we try to teach people how to overcome specific objections that people give us. Luckily people are not as creative as they think they are. And everybody says about the same five things. I need to talk to my wife or husband, can you give me your card, I don't see bugs here or I've already taken care of it. That's the only things anybody says to us. So we're pretty good at responding to those same things. The reason I bring that up is because by the end of this talk today, I hope that I've taught you guys how to overcome three objections that we all receive very often as members of the church. I'm gonna be talking about Elder Bednar's talk, It's titled, we heedeth them not. There are three lies of the adversary that we are bombarded with consistently and I hope that I'm able to help you guys orient yourself when you receive these lies. The first is, you can believe in things but, you can't know anything. That's a common theme that I've felt from this generation. You can't know that Jesus Christ lives, you can believe that but that's false. The second is, truth is relative and what's true for you may not be true to me. But that's also a lie. There is a standing truth and we need to know how to orient ourselves on that standard of truth. and The third objection or lie that I want to talk about is summarized in the phrase, you do you. Basically the premises of that line is you should be who you are and lean into your unique self. Don't worry about what anybody else thinks or what God thinks. You be you. But we want to be like Jesus Christ, and that's who we should pattern our lives after. You can believe what you can believe but, you can't know anything. So this past Christmas devotional by Elder Renlund, he gave a talk called, And you can know too. So if any of you remember, it was awesome. He shared how his father bore his testimony during Christmas time and he bore a strong testimony that he knows that Jesus Christ is the Savior. And so Elder Redlund as a child was thinking, that's pretty crazy. Like how does my father know that Jesus his Savior? So when Elder Rendlun gave this talk it was at a perfect time for me personally,

Last summer, I had two of my siblings, as well as their spouses leave the church. And One thing that bothered them and that they brought up in conversations is that in people's testimonies, they would always say, "I know the church is true." They would always say, I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that would really bother them because they didn't think that that's possible. And then my friend shortly after also left the church, my best friend growing up. And so I was left, not doubting my testimony but questioning my testimony. Like okay, what do I believe? What do I know? That strengthened my testimony more than anything, is having these people leave. I was able to take that as almost a challenge to strengthen my testimony. Something that I love that Elder Redlund said is, this knowledge that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that he was crucified for the sins of the world is a spiritual gift.

So we know from Doctrine And Covenant, that we are each given spiritual gifts. Everybody has at least one given to them. We can develop and receive spiritual gifts as well. So that's an awesome principle. We can receive this spiritual gift to know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. This gift is not tied to a particular priesthood office, nor to a particular gender. Rather it is available to all who qualify for it. So, I hope that gets everybody excited that it's available to all of us, to know that Jesus Christ is our Savior. That inspired me to seek after this gift of knowledge. And I try, honestly, I can say, I know everything like my testimony that some parts are still strong beliefs. There are some parts that are knowledge. I know that God hears and answers my prayers. I know that Jesus Christ is my Savior and that I can receive healing through Him. There are other things that I believe that, like I said, it's a strong belief. I'm still working on gaining that knowledge. But So that's the first line that I hope you guys can all work to overcome. Is that you can know that the church is true? You can know that it's restored through Joseph Smith. And the Book of Mormon is true. For the second objection is truth is relative and what's true for you is truth. Today, we live in a society where we can hear anybody's opinion almost any time through social media. It's insane. It's really quite convincing sometimes. Nicole shared an interesting fact today, that fake news actually spreads seven times faster than real news on social media. And so that's something that's a little bit scary. But in DNC we read, "and truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were and as they are to come." So when we hear that somebody's questioning our testimony or questioning something that we know to be true, we can do what I like to call the truth test. Which is putting it next to the scripture, "Truth is knowledge of things as they were, as they are, as they were, and as they are to come. So this principle that somebody is saying wasn't a principal before, It's not really an internal principle, It's probably not truth. President Nelson says, "In coming days, it will be impossible to survive spiritually without the guiding, directing, comforting and constant influence of the Holy Ghost. That is the way that we can overcome the truth objection. We need to know how to receive personal revelations and to judge through the gift of the Holy Ghost. What is truth and what is not? President Nelson, says you don't have to wonder about what is true. You do not have to wonder who to trust. Through personal revelation, you can receive your own witness through the book of Mormon. That Joseph Smith is a prophet and that this is the Lord's church regardless of what others may say or do. No one can ever take a witness born to your heart and mind about what is true. Now the third line is you do you. So this is a little bit of a long quote, so bear with me. But this is a BYU professor, Anthony sweat. He's also written a couple books but he recently gave a BYU speech that was awesome. He said, "We live in a time that almost worships individuality, highlighted by the profound modern philosophical slogan of, hey you do you. We are force-fed day and night across social media, mass marketing, and political agendas, with well intended messages, such as follow your own path. Don't let anyone tell you what to do. Be independent and have it your way. So I'm going to pause there and these are all pretty enticing phrases. They're not always that. So these self-affirming but self-centric messages can be worthwhile in small doses, given the situation, but consumed, that today's societal rate, we may be overdosing on ourselves. So I really like this. We may be overdosing on ourselves when we are constantly thinking follow your own path. You do you. And so he continues and says Christian theologian, George MacDonald called the Attitude of being my own king and my own subject, doing, whatever I'm inclined to do from whatever quarter may come, the inclination, one of the principles of hell. Why? Because it stands in such stark contrast to Jesus's perfect lifelong submission to God. Defined by, not my will be done, but thine be done. While a common refrain today might be you do you, Christ's Covenant call is, be like me. So that's something that we really have to be aware of. It's important to embrace your personality, to be unique in your own way yes but, if that is your core value, that's when it becomes dangerous. Because as members of the church and as covenant keeping people, we commit to be like Jesus Christ. That should be our guide as we are molding our personalities and as we are molding our character. There is power in covenanting that we will obey the laws of God and not merely walk in our own way, after the image of our own God. Covenants and ordinances are like a compass. When we were lost, when we are confused we can remember. Okay We have made a baptismal covenant to serve others and be like, Jesus Christ. We and for those who have gone through the temple, we are endowed on the spiritual power to overcome, the adversary to discern between truth and error. And I just want to bear you my testimony, that as we center our lives on Jesus Christ. As we in the devotional last week, sister Nelson asked She encouraged all of us to ask, what would a holy young adult do? Or what would a holy latter-day Saint do?. When we ask ourselves that question, God will not fail us. When we pattern our life after Jesus Christ, we will be blessed with strength to overcome these objections. Objections we will receive constantly from social media, from siblings, from our best friends. So I encourage you guys all to consider how you can pull strength from your covenants. I encourage you to draw that strength every single day. And I say these things, in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.



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