I have spent most of my last fifteen years learning to think like a scientist: questioning everything I am told to see if it matches with the evidence that I have and those things I have learned. Developing these traits has served me well as a scientist and engineer, and has likewise served me well in my religious understanding. I must admit that I question everything. Could this be right? Could this be true? Using these questions and my experience with the gospel taught by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints leads to only one conclusion for me: The gospel and teachings of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints are true and will lead a man back to God and to happiness in this life if they are followed.
The teachings of the church can sometimes be hard to swallow. A fourteen-year-old boy saw and spoke with God the Father and Jesus Christ? Yes. That same boy was directed to gold plates in a hill in upstate New York by an angel and those plates were translated to become the Book of Mormon? Yes. God speaks with prophets on the earth today? Yes. God will communicate with each of us and help guide our lives? Yes. And there are many more similar statements. How can I know these things? I will tell you.
In the Book of Mormon, a prophet named Alma tells us how we can learn that the things of God are true. He compares the teachings of the prophets to a seed, and encourages everyone to plant the seed and see if it grows. Specifically, he encourages everyone to “experiment upon the word,” just as you might do if you were a scientist. Form a hypothesis and test it, based on the teachings of Jesus Christ. I have done this. I have tried the teachings of the prophets and of Jesus Christ and found that they do exactly what they promise. I have proven to myself, at least, that these teachings are true. Let me share a few examples.
One of the most fundamental teachings of the gospel is that God is there and responsive to our needs. I have so much evidence of God responding to my questions and pleadings, that I could fill many pages. I know that when I pray to God, he will answer my prayers. Will the answers always be immediate? No. Will the answers always be the ones I want? No. But I know God answers my prayers. When I am lost, God shows me the way, often quickly and in dramatic fashion. When I don’t know what to do, the Lord whispers to me the directions I should go and supports me in that choice. When I feel distressed and am in difficult circumstances, I can pray and the comfort and care I feel is almost immediate. When I need knowledge, whether at home or at work, I can pray and receive that knowledge that the Lord can provide. Can I just ask for anything I want and God will provide it? No. I have learned that if I keep my life in harmony with the teachings of Jesus Christ I will know what to ask for and when and how to ask for it. If my requests are in line with those promised in scripture, and I am asking with a humble heart, I receive the requested blessing. Truly God answers my prayers. How many times does he need to do it before I believe?
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a number of teachings that ask members of the church to act in ways that are different from how most people in the world act. For example, members of the church are taught not to drink alcohol, coffee, or tea, or use tobacco and other harmful drugs. I must admit I have been in many social situations where this injunction was quite awkward, yet I feel I have been truly blessed by not getting involved with these substances. My mind is clear and my health is good; most importantly, I feel closer to God. Thus, there is ample physical and spiritual evidence to follow this counsel. This teaching is clearly a truth. A second teaching that has blessed my life is what we refer to as the “Law of Chastity,” which means that we avoid any sexual activity before marriage and are completely faithful after marriage. I have feel blessed every day for keeping this commandment as I watch friends and others throughout the world deal with the aftermath of breaking it. So much pain, suffering, and misery is tied to breaking this commandment that it is a wonder that most in the world teach it is of no consequence. I am extraordinarily grateful that I have been taught and understand this truth. It is truly the word of God.
I could recite numerous other commandments of God. Some of these commandments are ancient. Some have been revealed only relatively recently by prophets in our day. Nevertheless, all those that I have tried (which is all that I know of), I have found to be true and correct. Even more than the physical evidence I have received, I know that God is real because of the spiritual evidence I have received. When I call upon God, he answers. When I need direction, it is provided. When I ponder on the scriptures and the words of the prophets, my heart is filled with joy and with a knowledge that these words are true. Clearly there is a pattern here, and that pattern points me to know that God is real; God speaks to prophets today; God’s son, Jesus Christ, is the one who makes it possible for us to return to God if we choose to follow him; and I will live again after this life. In short, I know that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the church that has all the true teachings of Jesus Christ and that the church will lead all of us back to God and bring happiness to us in this life, if we will but follow the plan of God taught in his church.
Bruce K. Gale received his undergraduate degree in Mechanical Engineering from Brigham Young University in 1995 and his PhD in Bioengineering from the University of Utah in 2000. He was an assistant professor of Biomedical Engineering at Louisiana Tech University before returning to the University of Utah in 2001, where he is now an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering.
Dr. Gale is currently Director of the Utah State Center of Excellence for Biomedical Microfluidics. He is also Chief Science Officer at Wasatch Microfluidics, a company that was spun out of his lab in 2005.
Professor Gale has been working in the area of microfluidics, nanotechnology, and micro-total-analysis systems (μ-TAS) for the past decade. His interests include lab-on-a chip devices that require a variety of microfluidic components for the completion of complex and challenging medical and biological assays. Specifically, he is working to develop a microfluidic toolbox for the rapid design, simulation, and fabrication of devices with medical and biological applications. The ultimate goal is to develop platforms for personalized medicine, which should allow medical treatments to be customized to the needs of individual patients. He also has expertise in nanoscale patterning of proteins and sensors, nanoparticles characterization, and nanofabrication techniques.
Posted August 2011