John, you asked a really good question earlier today, by the way. Thanks. That was a good question, I thought. I don't think you got a great answer to that, but I thought that was a great question. So you said a couple of times that, like you just said, you believe with all your heart that Jesus Christ is your savior and you believe that the prophets are prophets. And at what point is that a belief? And at what point is that a knowledge? And that's something that I think a lot of people think about. And I think about a lot is like, okay, I believe this, but there's a lot of things that, for example, wouldn't say I'm comfortable saying that I know something is true. I can say I believe it. But at what point does it become that for you where you can distinguish between a believer? It is such a great question. And I'll tell you, I had this funny conversation last month with my visiting teacher, whom I adore. She is awesome. And she really took me on. And she said, Sherry, it bugs me. Can I say something you do that bugs me? Yeah, sure. Tell me what bugs you. And she said, It bugs me when you get up and say, I know something. I said, What? What bugs you? And she said, Well, like when you get up and say you know the Book of Mormon, the Word of God. And I said, I do know that. And she said, No, what you really mean is you believe it. You really believe it. And I said, No, I think I know it. We really had this very interesting back and forth. And she said, Well, just so you know, that really bugs me. Not just you, but you do it all the time. So I'm telling you, you bug me. And so look, this is what I've come to. There are things today that I believe and there are things that I know. Okay, and here's how. Eighth section of the Doctrine Covenants, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart by the Holy Ghost. This is the Spirit of revelation. I think revelation has to come to the mind and the heart. For a long time, I wondered why that was actually, and a lot of times when you read about revelation, it actually talks more about the heart than the mind, actually. That's curious, too. If you know, don't you think that's your thinker at work? And it finally dawned on me that you cannot convince your brain of something your heart doesn't feel. You know how when somebody tells you something and you say, I'm not really buying that. I just don't get that feeling. But I've learned how to tell what it feels like for me when the Spirit is telling me that's true. I hear it in my mind, I process it in my mind. At the same time, I have a certain feeling that I've come to recognize. At your age, I did not know the distinction. I didn't know the distinction. I knew what the Spirit felt like. I knew what it felt like to feel the Spirit. I did not know what it felt like to get revelation. In fact, somewhere in my early 20s, I was trying to make a difficult life decision, and I fast and prayed about it a number of times. I couldn't figure out what the answer was. I called a friend of mine that's an older brother, mentor figure. He and I went to graduate school together, but he was 10 years older than I was when I was at graduate school. He and his wife had become dear friends, and I called them and asked them if he could give me a blessing. Sure, come on out. I went out to their house and he said, I know you've been praying and fasting about this. What's the Lord told you? I said, I can't tell you. And then He asked me this question, and it was one of those moments that was one of those hinges. Your life turns on. And He said, Well, have you? I said, I can't tell. And he said, Well, have you asked the Lord to teach you what it feels like for you and what it sounds like for you if He's talking to you? And I said, No, I don't think of asking. He said, That's a great thing to ask. Ask him. He said, You're asking him to teach you the language of Revelation. And you have to learn from you because it will be different from me. He said, Here's the rulebook for the language of revelation right here. So I started looking at every time there was evidence of direct communication from heaven to somebody on Earth and put little checks in my scriptures. And if you open up my scriptures, you'd see that there's little red checks in the margins everywhere. So I started saying, Okay, what can I learn about those? Well, so I started trying to learn. And little by little, I've been tutored. When the Lord knows that you want to learn to talk to Him, He'll start to teach you how. And what you'll find is He'll lead you to scriptures and you'll hear talks where you think, Oh, there's a little clue. And pretty soon you start to be able to tell, Oh, the Spirit is ratifying something I just heard. That's when I think I could say, I know. I heard a prophet say this or I read this, or I heard a talk in SACRE meeting, and the Spirit says, Yeah, that's true. That's when I say I can know. Until I've had that, then it's a belief. But when the Spirit tells me that in the way I'm learning to recognize, I think I can say I know. That's why I know the savior is my savior. That's why I know that this is the word of God, because I've had experiences with it, and it had been ratified here. And there's a lot of stuff I don't know. And I say, I don't know about that. I haven't figured that out yet. But I want to repeat something I hope I said earlier, and that is the more experiences you have with the Spirit, the less churned up you get when you have questions. Because you're able to... I may dialog about it. In fact, I probably will dialog because I like dialoging about things. But if it's not resolved yet, I can let it ride for a while because I'm figuring it will get resolved. It might be tomorrow, but it might be ten years from now. It's probably the marriage thing that's allowed me to develop this attitude of, better take a longer view.

Understanding the Distinction Between Belief and Knowledge in Matters of Faith | A Discussion With Sheri Dew

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Understanding the Distinction Between Belief and Knowledge in Matters of Faith

 

In the discourse of faith and spirituality, the distinction between belief and knowledge holds significant weight, especially within religious contexts. The conversation between two speakers in the provided transcript delves into this very topic, offering valuable insights into the process of transitioning from mere belief to a profound sense of knowing in matters of faith.

 

The conversation begins with John, a student, raising a thought-provoking question about the distinction between belief and knowledge in the context of religious convictions. This question strikes at the heart of a dilemma that many individuals grapple with, prompting an exploration of the nuanced journey from belief to knowledge.

 

Sheri Dew responds by recounting a personal experience that encapsulates the essence of this transition. Through introspection and dialogue with a mentor figure, Speaker 1 articulates the process of seeking revelation and discerning the language of communication with the divine. This process emphasizes the importance of cultivating a personal relationship with faith and spirituality, transcending mere belief to attain a profound sense of knowing.

 

The transcript further elucidates the role of the Holy Ghost and the concept of revelation in solidifying one’s faith. Sheri Dew emphasizes the significance of the mind and heart in receiving revelation, shedding light on the intricate interplay between cognitive understanding and emotional resonance in matters of spiritual discernment.

 

Moreover, Sheri Dew underscores the transformative impact of seeking and recognizing spiritual experiences that are ratified by the Spirit. This validation serves as a pivotal turning point in the journey from belief to knowledge, fostering a deep-rooted conviction that transcends intellectual acceptance.


“John, you asked a really good question earlier today, by the way. Thanks. That was a good question, I thought. I don’t think you got a great answer to that, but I thought that was a great question.

So you said a couple of times that, like you just said, you believe with all your heart that Jesus Christ is your savior and you believe that the prophets are prophets. And at what point is that a belief? And at what point is that a knowledge? And that’s something that I think a lot of people think about. And I think about a lot is like, okay, I believe this, but there’s a lot of things that, for example, wouldn’t say I’m comfortable saying that I know something is true. I can say I believe it. But at what point does it become that for you where you can distinguish between a believer?

It is such a great question. And I’ll tell you, I had this funny conversation last month with my visiting teacher, whom I adore. She is awesome. And she really took me on. And she said, Sheri, it bugs me. Can I say something you do that bugs me? Yeah, sure. Tell me what bugs you. And she said, It bugs me when you get up and say, I know something. I said, What? What bugs you? And she said, Well, like when you get up and say you know the Book of Mormon, the Word of God. And I said, I do know that. And she said, No, what you really mean is you believe it. You really believe it. And I said, No, I think I know it. We really had this very interesting back and forth. And she said, Well, just so you know, that really bugs me. Not just you, but you do it all the time. So I’m telling you, you bug me. And so look, this is what I’ve come to. There are things today that I believe and there are things that I know. Okay, and here’s how. Eighth section of the Doctrine Covenants, I will tell you in your mind and in your heart by the Holy Ghost.

This is the Spirit of revelation. I think revelation has to come to the mind and the heart. For a long time, I wondered why that was actually, and a lot of times when you read about revelation, it actually talks more about the heart than the mind, actually. That’s curious, too. If you know, don’t you think that’s your thinker at work? And it finally dawned on me that you cannot convince your brain of something your heart doesn’t feel. You know how when somebody tells you something and you say, I’m not really buying that. I just don’t get that feeling. But I’ve learned how to tell what it feels like for me when the Spirit is telling me that’s true. I hear it in my mind, I process it in my mind. At the same time, I have a certain feeling that I’ve come to recognize. At your age, I did not know the distinction. I didn’t know the distinction. I knew what the Spirit felt like. I knew what it felt like to feel the Spirit. I did not know what it felt like to get revelation. In fact, somewhere in my early 20s, I was trying to make a difficult life decision, and I fast and prayed about it a number of times.

I couldn’t figure out what the answer was. I called a friend of mine that’s an older brother, mentor figure. He and I went to graduate school together, but he was 10 years older than I was when I was at graduate school. He and his wife had become dear friends, and I called them and asked them if he could give me a blessing. Sure, come on out. I went out to their house and he said, I know you’ve been praying and fasting about this. What’s the Lord told you? I said, I can’t tell you. And then He asked me this question, and it was one of those moments that was one of those hinges. Your life turns on. And He said, Well, have you? I said, I can’t tell. And he said, Well, have you asked the Lord to teach you what it feels like for you and what it sounds like for you if He’s talking to you? And I said, No, I don’t think of asking. He said, That’s a great thing to ask. Ask him. He said, You’re asking him to teach you the language of Revelation. And you have to learn from you because it will be different from me.

He said, Here’s the rulebook for the language of revelation right here. So I started looking at every time there was evidence of direct communication from heaven to somebody on Earth and put little checks in my scriptures. And if you open up my scriptures, you’d see that there’s little red checks in the margins everywhere. So I started saying, Okay, what can I learn about those? Well, so I started trying to learn. And little by little, I’ve been tutored. When the Lord knows that you want to learn to talk to Him, He’ll start to teach you how. And what you’ll find is He’ll lead you to scriptures and you’ll hear talks where you think, Oh, there’s a little clue. And pretty soon you start to be able to tell, Oh, the Spirit is ratifying something I just heard. That’s when I think I could say, I know. I heard a prophet say this or I read this, or I heard a talk in sacrament meeting, and the Spirit says, Yeah, that’s true. That’s when I say I can know. Until I’ve had that, then it’s a belief. But when the Spirit tells me that in the way I’m learning to recognize, I think I can say I know.

That’s why I know the savior is my savior. That’s why I know that this is the word of God, because I’ve had experiences with it, and it had been ratified here. And there’s a lot of stuff I don’t know. And I say, I don’t know about that. I haven’t figured that out yet. But I want to repeat something I hope I said earlier, and that is the more experiences you have with the Spirit, the less churned up you get when you have questions. Because you’re able to… I may dialog about it. In fact, I probably will dialog because I like dialoging about things. But if it’s not resolved yet, I can let it ride for a while because I’m figuring it will get resolved. It might be tomorrow, but it might be ten years from now. It’s probably the marriage thing that’s allowed me to develop this attitude of, better take a longer view.”

 

 

 

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