(Testimony for God is forever)
我是一名歸信者，而引領我加入教會是我的妻子。我是在1987年12月20日，於美國印地安納州(Indiana)，West Lafayette市的Purdue Ward 受洗的。受洗當時，我的身份是普渡大學(Purdue University)土木工程學院博士班一年級的研究生。我洗禮時，我的妻子已是一名教齡三年的教友了。我們是1986年12月20日結婚的，沒有錯，就在我結婚一週年的時候，我受洗了，因此我永遠不會忘記我與主正式立約的日子。
回想當年與我妻子結婚時，得知她是「摩爾門(Mormon)」，我竟然沒有感覺一點不舒服，反而鼓勵她時常去參加教會的活動，加入福音研究所學習經文。事實上我對我們教會的認識，早在我讀初中時，因為當時在台灣有一個很有名的電視節目，叫做「唐尼與瑪莉奧斯蒙兄妹秀(Donny and Marie Osmond Show)」，知道他們兄妹倆來自一個非常大的家族，他們都是虔誠信奉耶穌基督的「摩爾門教」教徒。由於節目精彩，強調家人之間的情誼，使我對我們教會留下深刻美好的印象。因此，當我的妻子說她是耶穌基督後期聖徒教會的教友時，我感覺非常良好，慶幸能夠娶到一位重視家庭的好妻子。但是結婚的第一年，我實在還沒有準備好要進入教會，成為教友。直到有一天，我在美國原來所就讀的田納西大學念博士班研究所時，遇到一件極為困擾的事，我實在手足無措，不知如何是好。當時我的妻子鼓勵我，試著向神祈禱，祈求祂幫助我渡過這個難關。很快的，我獲得了神的回答，他不但幫我解決了這個困難，甚至給了我更美好的祝福，讓我順利拿到全額獎學金，轉學到學術聲望更好的普渡大學，繼續博士班的學業。我感謝神，並承諾要開始接觸傳教士，並學習福音。經過四個月的傳教士慕道友課程，如同摩羅乃書：10：4-5中所言，當我蒙得這些美好的信息之後，我奉基督的名向神求問，藉著聖靈的力量，我得到了回答，我相信我們的教會是世上唯一真實教會，耶穌是基督，約瑟斯密是近代偉大的先知，摩爾門經是神的話語，是耶穌基督的另一部約書。所以我決定受洗，與神立約，加入祂的羊圈。
此外，由於我的學術專長是環境工程，因此對於我們教會神所教導有關智慧語的律法中所述，不但可以促進人體健康，更可保護地球環境，留下深刻的印象。事實證明，早在一百多年前，神就給先知約瑟斯密的這個啟示，與目前全世界所倡導的「永續使用地球資源(sustainable use of resources on earth)」觀念完全一致，亦即要明智得體的使用這些資源，不要浪費，不要貪婪。而多吃五穀雜糧及青菜類食物，少吃肉類的主張，也已獲得世界環境科學專家對於可以減緩地球暖化的速度，防止氣候的變遷的認同。但是對於目前人的哲學中有關「環境科學」中所教導有關人口問題，卻主張節育，以減緩地球人口膨脹壓力，我以一位環境科學及工程的專家，以及一位後期聖徒的教友來看待這個主張，卻深深不以為然。因為經文上不是教導我們(D&C：104：14-18)，只要我們採行神所制定的「合一體制」，把財物分給窮人，地球上的資源是豐富的，絕對是充足的，不會因為人口太多而用盡。之所以會有資源不夠，或者分配不均的問題，那是因為人類受到來自魔鬼自私及貪婪等俗世肉慾的誘惑所致。所以世界上有關人口的問題，絕對不是「量(quantity)」的問題，而是「質(quality)」的問題。只要神的每個人類兒女，都能認識世上唯一的真神及祂的獨生子耶穌基督，認知祂們所教導的真理及教義，並能遵行祂的誡命，持守到底，就能解決我們人類目前有關地球環境所面臨的所有問題。
楊磊弟兄，於1959年9月5日出生於台灣的台北市。1981年8月於台灣的國立成功大學(National Cheng Kung University)，獲得環境工程學士學位(B.S. on Environmental Engineering)，1986年6月於美國奧本大學(Auburn University, Auburn, Alabama)土木工程學系(Dept. of Civil Engineering)，獲得環境工程碩士學位(M.S. on Environmental Engineering)。1990年8月，於美國普渡大學(Purdue University, W. Lafayette, Indiana)土木工程學院(School of Civil Engineering)，獲得環境工程博士學位(Ph.D. on Environmental Engineering)。1990年8月，楊磊弟兄學成返回台灣，於國立中山大學(National Sun Yat-sen University, NSYSU)海洋環境及工程學系(Dept. of Marine Environment and Engineering)，擔任副教授(Associate Professor)，並於2000年2月獲得升等為教授(Professor)一職，並兼任水資源研究中心主任(Director, Center of Water Resources Studies, NSYSU)，直到目前。
楊磊弟兄曾經在教會擔任的事工包含有：西高雄支會主教(Bishop of West Kaohsiung Ward, Kaohsiung Taiwan Stake)、高雄第一支會主教(Bishop of Kaohsiung First Ward, Kaohsiung Taiwan Stake)、高雄支聯會二副會長(Second Counselor of Kaohsiung Taiwan Stake)及高雄傳道部一副會長(First Counselor of Kaohsiung Missionary)等。目前楊磊弟兄的召喚為由原高雄支聯會所新畫分出的東高雄支聯會會長(President of Kaohsiung Taiwan East Stake)。
An Everlasting Testimony of God
I am a convert, and it was my wife that brought me into the Church. I was baptized on 20 December 1987 in the West Lafayette Indiana Purdue Ward. At the time of my baptism I was a first year doctoral student in civil engineering at Purdue University. At the time of my baptism my wife had already been a member of the Church for three years. We were married on December 20, 1986––––exactly one year before my baptism. So I will never forget the day I made a covenant with the Lord.
Reflecting back on the year we were married, knowing she was Mormon, I did not feel any discomfort. On the contrary, I encouraged her to regularly participate in church activities and to study the scriptures at the Institute of Religion. In fact, my familiarity with the Church began early on while a junior high school student. At the time there was in Taiwan a very famous television program called the Donny and Marie Osmond Show. I knew that they were a brother and sister from a very large family, devout Christians, and members of the Mormon Church. Because this wonderful program emphasized good family relations, it left with me a deep and positive impression of the Church. Therefore, when my wife told me she was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I felt quite positive about it and pleased that I had found a wife who would be so attentive to family. However, during that first year of marriage I was still not really prepared to join the Church and to become a Church member. Then, one day, while at the University of Tennessee where I had been a doctoral student when first arriving in the U.S., I encountered an extremely perplexing problem. I was not sure what to do or what was right. My wife encouraged me to try to pray to God, and to ask Him for help getting through my problem. I quickly received an answer from God. Not only did He help me solve my problem, but He gave me an even greater blessing, allowing me to smoothly attain a full fellowship and transfer to the more prestigious Purdue University program to continue my doctoral studies. I thanked God and promised to seek out the missionaries and to study the Gospel. After four months of missionary lessons, I followed the words in the book of Moroni (10:4-5). When I received this great message, I asked God in the name of Jesus Christ, by the power of the Holy Spirit, and I received an answer–––believing that the Church was the only true church on the face of the earth, that Jesus was the Christ, that Joseph Smith was a great modern prophet, that the Book of Mormon was God’s word, another testament of Christ. So I decided to be baptized, to make a covenant with God, and to join His fold.
Chinese ordinarily believe in the traditional faiths of China such as Daoism or Buddhism, so from the beginning I always believed that Christianity was a church that foreigners join and that was incompatible with traditional Chinese culture. However, when I came in contact with the Gospel and the teaching of the Church, I discovered that the Church has always emphasized family values along with respect for ancestors, and wasn’t this a cultural tradition that we Chinese have passed down for thousands of years? Why would this only be found in Christianity, among the teachings of the Mormon Church? Moreover, when I learned that the Church encouraged each of its members to do genealogy work, I became even more steadfast in my belief that this God of Western Christianity was also the God of all humanity, including of the Chinese. It was because of this understanding that, in the days to come, I attained a testimony; this was a critical factor in gaining my own testimony and deciding to be baptized.
In addition, because my academic specialty was environmental engineering, the Church teachings concerning the Word of Wisdom, which not only promoted the health of the body but also the preservation of the world’s environment, left a deep impression on me. In point of fact, proving that more than a hundred years earlier, God inspired the Prophet Joseph Smith to propose what is referred to today as the principle of sustainable use of the earth’s resources–––namely that we wisely use natural resources, not waste, and not be greedy. Moreover, it advocated eating more grains and vegetables, and eating less meat, already attaining an understanding of what global environmental specialists say is needed to slow the rate of global warming and identifying a way to forestall climate change. The philosophy taught nowadays within environmental science concerning population problems, advocates birth control and reducing the population pressures on the earth. As a specialist in environmental science and engineering, and from the perspective of a Latter-day Saint, however, I find this view quite unacceptable. Because, as the scriptures teach us (D&C 104:14-18) we only need adopt God’s “United Order,” giving our substance to the poor, and there will be abundant resources, and there will be enough to spare. Resources will not be exhausted because of population growth. The reason there are inadequate resources and uneven distribution is that people are prone to be selfish and greedy because of worldly and carnal desire. Therefore, the world population problem is not a question of quantity but quality. The sons and daughters of God need only to be able to recognize the one true God and His only begotten Son, Jesus Christ, recognizing the truth and doctrine that They teach, to be able to follow God’s commandants, and to endure until the end. We could thus solve the problems facing humanity as they are before us.
Finally, I would like to leave my testimony. I know that God is the Heavenly Father of all of the children of earth, and that Jesus is our loving older brother and our redeemer. Because of the atonement, we will have the opportunity to return to our Heavenly Father’s side. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the only true church on the face of the earth, which was restored though the great modern day prophet, Joseph Smith. Moreover, he translated the most correct book of scripture on the earth, the Book of Mormon. Through the Book of Mormon we can more clearly understand God’s true doctrine and covenants. I offer this testimony in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Brother Lei Yang was born 5 September 1959 in Taipei, Taiwan. He received a B.S. in environmental engineering from National Cheng Kung University in June 1986, an M.S. in environmental engineering from Auburn University in Alabama in August 1990, and a Ph.D. in environmental engineering in August 1990 from Purdue University’s School of Civil Engineering. In August 1990, Brother Lei Yang completed his studies and returned to Taiwan to take up the position of Associate Professor in the Department of Marine Environment and Engineering at National Sun Yat-sen University and to take the post of Director of the Center of Water Resources Studies, where he currently is.
Translated by Dana Scott Bourgerie
Posted May 2010