PROVEN SCIENTIFIC METHOD to TEST your FAITH ! Incl. Resources, Links, & References.
The modern, prevailing, and accepted SCIENTIFIC PROTOCOL for testing methodology is described in Five (5) basic steps:
1. OBSERVE what you have in mind to study; Research, RECORD, and chart all characteristics and traits of what you find.
2. PROPOSE a provisional HYPOTHESIS or model, based upon your findings.
3. DEDUCE from your hypothesis probable results which are likely, based upon your hypothesis; PREDICT what would therefore occur in consistency with the model or schedule which you have proposed.
4. TEST the predictions your schedule suggests through exacting experiments, various trials, and further recorded observations; Modify the hypothesis in the light of and congruent to your noted results.
5. REPEAT steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies or inconsistencies between hypothesis, recorded observations, and experimental results. Repeated results that are harmonious with your appropriately modified hypothesis indicate the ESTABLISHMENT OF FACTS. You now have discovered the TRUTH of the matter. Your hypothesis can then be graduated to the level of witnessed and observable knowledge, of proven fact, and of UNDENIABLE REALITY. This whole process can then be repeated by impartial observers for additional verification.
Music Video, Alma 32: 32-34
USE THE ABOVE METHODOLOGY TO EXPERIMENT ON THE SUBJECT OF “YOUR” FAITH. You will through his process be able to come to a “Spiritual Discernment” relating to the veracity of any scripture you test and pray about, with meekness and a contrite spirit of humility. A faith in Christ is prerequisite to ascertaining the truth of the text of the Book of Mormon, “Another Testament of Jesus Christ”. The complete text can be accessed free of charge, and is available online at http://lds.org/scriptures/bofm?lang=eng.
In the Book of Mormon record of Alma chapter 32 you will find this SCIENTIFIC TECHNIQUE laid out again in verse format, precisely yet eloquently; it indeed does have an early English style to its prose, and it is part of the canonized scriptures of the Mormon faith. Notwithstanding that fact and that writing style, the reader is encouraged to “test” the veracity and truth of what they read in the Book of Mormon by personalizing the message and likening it unto a seed, or after personalizing the message, to “compare the word unto a seed” (Alma 32:28).
A corresponding scripture which [again] advocates the use of prayer is found in the same book, in the record of Moroni 10:3-5 it states: “Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your hearts.And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.”
Note how the above corresponding theme offers a summarization of the scientific method: receive, then ponder, then pray, then repeat, then wait for an answer, to be made manifest by the Holy Ghost.
So, to follow the scientific methodology in determining if what we read is true, we must personalize, experiment upon, and then “test” the premise of the scriptures we read. This is how one can gain a certainty of knowledge and SPIRITUAL DISCERNMENT - by scrutinizing one’s “FAITH” through using the SCIENTIFIC approach and methodology.
The scientific methodology as applied to scripture (with a faith in Jesus Christ) is as follows:
1. OBSERVE; (also, read, study, and search the scriptures, with an eye to reconcile each with the other for a better comprehension).
- One may observe, or take note of, the fact that many individuals CLAIM a “faith in God”. This testimony of faith provides them with a stability, a purpose and a discernable joy in their lives.
2. INVENT a provisional description or HYPOTHESIS.
- The hypothesis put forward is that the faith they have adopted is due to the willingness for them to accept the scriptures they have read; indeed the Word they have received is GOOD, and it holds a powerful truth and promise for them. “The seed is good", or in other words, faith is a hope in something real and true which has the inherent bona fide power to bring about purpose and joy in one’s life. (v. 28, “compare the word [of God] unto a seed”).
3. USE the hypothesis to make PREDICTIONS.
- Based on our hypothesis, as the scripture suggests, we could predict that a “particle of faith”, given and allowed place in the prepared heart of the individual, will effectively enlarge the soul (man’s spirit), just as a seed sprouts and begins to grow in a prepared soil.(v. 27-28).
4. TEST those predictions by EXPERIMENTS, and modify the hypothesis accordingly.
- The hypothetical must be “tried” in the laboratory, just as the “faith” MUST be “exercised”, i.e.: the seed must be planted in a prepared soil (sincere heart, desirous of and searching for the truth) and then tended to and nourished, and God will give the increase (1 Corinthians 3:6).
- If the seed does grow as predicted, it is APPROPRIATE to CONCLUDE that it is a “good seed” (v. 32).
- Similarly, if the exercised faith (like a tended garden) does begin to enlarge the soul and ENLIGHTEN THE UNDERSTANDING, it must be a REAL and bona fide spiritual manifestation and confirmation of truth.
5. REPEAT steps 3 and 4 until there are no discrepancies between theory and observation (do not let your garden dry out or get infested with pests, etc.). You now have established that your hypothesis is correct, TRUE, and a “fact”, by way of YOUR personal knowledge and testimony from personal observation and experience.
- Remember however that, after the first “particle of faith” has been exercised, THE PROCESS MUST CONTINUE in order to continue the spiritual development and excellent growth of the tree which sprang up from the seed and its conscientious nourishment. You must patiently “tend” your field with all due diligence. An hypothesis will always be just a part of a thesis, and no man can fully understand God - but God will provide us with an understanding that will be clear, for He is not the author of confusion; after all we can do to tend the garden, God gives the appropriate increase.
“now behold, after ye have tasted this light is your knowledge perfect? Behold I say unto you, Nay; neither must ye lay aside your faith, for ye have only exercised your faith to plant the seed that ye might try the experiment to know if the seed was good…And now behold, if ye nourish it with much care it will get root, and grow up, and bring forth fruit (vs. 36-7).”
- LDS Church Music Interactive Music Player
"As I Search the Holy Scriptures", L.D.S. Hymnbook # 277. A psalm asking for enlightenment while pondering on the Good Word texts of the Lord. This link brings up the music player, for home use only.
As part of the venerable record of Alma in the Book of Mormon, we can see quite remarkably that as a prophet who lived over 2000 years ago, Alma was inspired and enlightened with knowledge to apply “scientific techniques” to the PROCESS of “developing” faith. Extraordinary as this may be, the more important point is that Alma’s instruction has been an invaluable source of WISDOM which has changed the lives of thousands around the globe for many years. Dean L. Larsen said, “…millions of people have tried the experiment proposed by Alma as it pertains to the gospel that Joseph Smith restored. They and others in increasing numbers throughout the world today bear TESTIMONY to the good fruit that the experiment has borne. THEY HAVE APPLIED THE SAVIOUR’S SURE TEST.” (Church News, 06/29/96, http://www.gospeldoctrine.com/Alma32.htm)
Remember, oh remember, “Faith is exercised by “giving place” to the seed of God’s Word, by refusing to cast out that seed, and by allowing that word to grow within us, transforming us from the inside out.” (http://mormontheologyseminar.org/Summary%20Report%20-%20Alma%2032.pdf)
I CHALLENGE everyone who reads this to HUMBLY, with a contrite spirit, “arouse your faculties” (v. 27) and experiment with YOUR faith, even BY using the prevailing modern acceptable “scientific methodology” described herein.
Your described accomplishments and individual testimonies are appreciated in the comments section below.
Peace and good tidings to all.
Where references are not provided, the basics of this text were gleaned from
Free Internet Holy SCRIPTURES with Amazing Cross-references!
- The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Official website. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons). Scriptures, general conference addresses, Church magazines, temple information, stake, ward websites. ... For SCRIPTURES, follow Scriptures link - Search Engine included.