A Response to “Biblical” Criticism of Spiritual Witnesses Part 2

Go back to Part 1.

What ‘Testimony’ means to Latter-day Saints

Our TBC friends start by defining what “some” (an obvious reference to Latter-day Saints) consider a testimony. They say,

” ‘Testimony’ is understood by some to be sure knowledge received by revelation accompanied by a warm feeling of calm unwavering certainty. It is granted by several who bear such a testimony that this is essentially an inner experience not given to explanation or based on reason or logic.”

In this first paragraph, what are the elements they say are part of the LDS definition of a testimony?

Regardless of who understands testimony as the distortion above, testimony in the LDS Church is understood as

a spiritual witness given by the Holy Ghost. The foundation of a testimony is the knowledge that Heavenly Father lives and loves us; that Jesus Christ lives, that He is the Son of God, and that He carried out the infinite Atonement; that Joseph Smith is the prophet of God who was called to restore the gospel; that we are led by a living prophet today; and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Savior’s true Church on the earth. With this foundation, a testimony grows to include all principles of the gospel” (True to the Faith).

In this paragraph, what are the elements we say are part of the LDS definition of a testimony?

  • Spiritual witness (or sure knowledge) given by the Holy Ghost (or revelation)
  • Important foundational elements of a testimony include a knowledge about God, Jesus Christ, Joseph Smith, living prophets, and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

There is an element of similarity, namely that a testimony is based on revelation from the Holy Ghost.

That is were divergence begins, though. The additional qualities given by TBC – the warm-fuzzy feelings, the inability to describe experiences, and the abandonment of logic – are little more than straw men that deliberately distort the truth.

For a more detailed discussion of each of these distortions, follow the hyperlinks above or below (feelings of warmth or calm, Part 3; inexplicable experience, Part 4; forgoes reason and logic, Part 5).

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