This past week, I was scrolling through a social media page when I came across a question someone had posted: “Do you believe that many of the truths we cling to depend greatly on our own point of view?”
I had to stop and think about that question. To me, the question seemed contradictory. If something is our own point of view, how can it be truth?
After thinking about it for a couple of days and spending a little more time on the internet looking at what people generally think truth is, I’ve realized how unique it is to believe that truth is unchanging and always correct whether or not anyone believes it. This is not a widely accepted belief.
And I’m no longer surprised by all the confusion, division, and contention in the world. After all, if most people think that truth is essentially an opinion, how can anyone agree on what is right and what is wrong?
Truth According to the Internet
While doing several Google searches about truth, I came across a website saying basically that fact is something 100% provable and indisputable, but truth is something people believe based on their individual perspectives.
This actually blew my mind a little bit when I read it. But as I kept looking, this perspective of fact and truth seemed pretty prevalent across the search results.
So I took a look at Merriam-Webster’s website and found that truth is defined as “real things, events, and facts” and as “a judgment, proposition, or idea.” Which also seems contradictory to me.
Basically, the more I looked at Google for truth, the more I realized that the general perspective on truth is extremely contradictory. Truth is something people can’t agree on because, in their perspectives, it can’t be agreed on. No one has or lives the same truth as anyone else.
In some ways that perspective is valid. People rely on their personal experiences to determine their values and morals, and since no one has the same experiences as anyone else, it can be hard to prove that there is only one correct perspective in the world.
However, without an overarching truth to reference, how can anyone determine the right way to live and believe? If truth is dependent on individual perspectives, then no one can be wrong or bad. Goodness and correctness can only exist with base truths as a reference.
And, as Elder Richard G. Scott asked,
Since truth is the only meaningful foundation upon which we can make wise decisions, how then can one establish what is really true?Elder Richard G. Scott, “Truth: The Foundation of Correct Decisions,” 2007
After posing his question, Elder Richard G. Scott continued,
The best way of finding truth is simply to go to the origin of all truth and ask or respond to inspiration.Elder Richard G. Scott, “Truth: The Foundation of Correct Decisions,” 2007
Other apostles have given us similar advice: if you want to know what real truth is, go to the right source. As the creator of all things and the Omnipotent power of the universe, God is the source for real, absolute, unchanging truth.
Some people might say that a belief in God isn’t based on fact, so we can’t prove that God exists. And maybe, according to the scientific method, we would find it hard to give tangible proof that God exists. However, the truth of God isn’t scientific; it’s spiritual, and we can’t rely on our limited methods to understand the infinite word of God.
But there is more than one way to find truth. And the truth of God is true whether people believe it or not. God is real whether people believe in Him or not. We can find unchanging truth in a few ways:
- Study the word of God and His creations
- Ask questions and look for answers from God
- Trust the truth even when others don’t
- Look to Christ and follow Him
Jesus Himself said,
6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.John 14:6, King James Version
As the source of truth, Christ can give us truth – real truth that we can rely on to guide our lives because it holds true in every circumstance. It’s our reference so we can know what is right or wrong, what is good and what is dangerous.
Why It All Matters
The world is in a precarious state. We’re on the edge of truth being revealed to all, but Satan is right there too, looking to drag anyone he can down along with him when he falls.
And one of the best ways he can send us crashing down with him is to confuse truth with falsehoods.
Satan is a destructive being. He doesn’t care about us. The only thing he cares about is himself, and since he already screwed up his own future, he hates seeing people progress further than he can. So he does whatever he can to keep us from progressing.
And deception is his favorite tool to use against us. He’s literally called the father of lies because he is the first liar we ever encountered.
Because we have to face Satan every day, and because he does his best to trick us into falling with him, having real, unchanging truth is necessary to our success and safety.
God knows this. He knows us, and He knows Satan. So God gives us the truth we need so we have tools to defend ourselves against Satan when he tries to drag us down to hell. And so long as we hold on to that eternal truth of God, we can’t fall.