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Testimony & Spiritual Witnesses

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To a Latter-day Saint, a testimony is a personal witness of a gospel truth. This witness is received through the third member of the Godhead called the Holy Ghost, Holy Spirit or Spirit. The Church teaches that all humans have a physical body and a spirit body and the Holy Ghost witnesses directly with a person's spirit through thoughts and feelings. The Holy Ghost is said to witness of all truth, secular and religious. Such a spiritual witness, they say, is more certain or accurate than any of the five physical senses or human reasoning.

Overview of LDS position

The influence of the Holy Ghost is available to all people.

The gift of the Holy Ghost is the privilege—given to people who have placed their faith in Jesus Christ, been baptized, and been confirmed as members of the Church—to receive continual guidance and inspiration from the Holy Ghost. [1]

However, the constant

companionship of the Holy Ghost is only available to those who have been baptized into the LDS church and abide the precepts set forth by the church. The Holy Ghost can provide a witness that the Book of Mormon is true, Joseph Smith was a prophet and that LDS Church is God's one, true church.

Overview of Critics' position

We don't doubt that many LDS have strong feelings that the church is true. However, we question whether these feelings are really a reliable guide to establishing truth. There is considerable evidence that the 'spirit' is totally unreliable as a means of determining truth.

Most of the "burning bosoms" are emotion based and they stem from meaningful situations based upon our experiences in life. Many people from all religions report having the same feelings that witness to them that their religion, beliefs or church is true, but obviously they all can't be right.

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