What Truth Is and Why We Like It, Part 3 (Advanced Topics)
by Woody Brison

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14. God can observe things so clearly and completely that he knows the situation to an absolute certainty. His memory is perfect so he knows the past, and he knows the future; I think because of his reasoning power.

2 Nephi 9:20) O how great the holiness of our God! For he knoweth all things, and there is not anything save he knows it.

Psalms 147:4-5) He telleth the number of the stars; he calleth them all by their names. Great is our Lord, and of great power: his understanding is infinite.

Matthew 6:8) ...your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him.

15. He, by planning and commitment, controls the main structure of the future. He might not know what I'm going to decide to do - that's my choice, and maybe I haven't decided yet - but he knows how people as a whole are going to choose, by long acquaintance with each one, and by the law of averages; and he knows what he's going to do.

1 Nephi 9:6) But the Lord knoweth all things from the beginning; wherefore, he prepareth a way to accomplish all his works among the children of men...

Acts 15:18) Known unto God are all his works from the beginning of the world.

Acts 17:24-26) God that made the world and all things therein ... hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;

Hebrews 11:3) Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God...
16. Certain things are yet undetermined. For instance, I haven't decided yet what I'm going to have for breakfast tomorrow. So that part of the future is still "blank". On the other hand, after I drop an egg out the window of the 7th floor, it will fall to the ground and break. I can't get down the stairs or elevator fast enough to catch it. No one downstairs has a net they could reach out and catch it. That part of the future is determined.

Doctrine and Covenants 93:24) ...truth is knowledge of things as they are, and as they were, and as they are to come...

Some people believe that God knows what choices we will make. That would imply that our choices are determined, which would eliminate free will. Ergo, God does not know. Which shows that his omnipotence has limits. It's amazing how much he knows. We say he knows everything! But he doesn't know literally everything. We often say things in this way, and I believe that Nephi's statement above (2Ne. 9:20) is an example of this.
17. We have discovered that atomic particles are inherently unpredictable. Einstein was appalled.

"I cannot believe that God would choose to play dice with the universe." -Albert Einstein
But it's not a problem. I believe God does play dice with the universe. He just plays the odds, same way we all do. All the atoms in a glass of milk could suddenly be moving up, and the milk would leap out of the glass and make a mess. But the odds are that those atoms will always be moving every which way, with an average motion of zero, so the milk will very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very, very probably stay in the glass. And we go ahead and eat breakfast and behold, we do not get splattered. Almost everything is a matter of probability.

The German scientists in the late 1800's thought that the universe was deterministic. They had figured out the laws of momentum and energy and gravity, etc. All atoms, on the paths they are on, would bounce off each other in a certain way; everything in the future would thus be determined 100%, whether or not you would be able to measure and calculate it all. It had implications for the concept of free will - if people's minds are just the action of their brains, which are made up of atoms, their decisions are also predetermined. Heisenberg's Uncertainty Principle exploded this theory.

It might be that God has the ability to control quantum events.

God not only plays dice with the universe, but he cheats. -Stephen Hawking

18. God has a power, to be able to reveal to us things he knows, in such a way that we absolutely know them like he does. He has assigned the Holy Ghost to wield this power. This power is accompanied by special feelings which only the Holy Ghost can give. It is thus a much higher degree of certainty than we can obtain via our senses. Such certain knowledge was called gnosis anciently. Today Christ's disciples call it Testimony.

Moses 1:24-29) ...Moses lifted up his eyes unto heaven, being filled with the Holy Ghost ...Moses cast his eyes and beheld the earth, yea, even all of it; and there was not a particle of it which he did not behold, discerning it by the spirit of God. And he beheld also the inhabitants thereof, and there was not a soul which he beheld not; and he discerned them by the Spirit of God; and their numbers were great, even numberless as the sand upon the sea shore. And he beheld many lands; and each land was called earth, and there were inhabitants on the face thereof.

19. The more we learn, the more we realize there is to learn. As we seek truth, it becomes more and more delicious to us. A dedicated truth seeker will come to realize that personal agenda can interfere with perception of truth.

Ignorance also can interfere with it.

Humility is the ability to see things (including yourself) clearly, without inflation or deflation.
John 16:12-13) I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth ... and he will shew you things to come.

Moroni 10:29) And God shall show unto you, that that which I have written is true.

Jacob 4:13) ...the Spirit speaketh the truth and lieth not. Wherefore, it speaketh of things as they really are, and of things as they really will be...

Matthew 16:15-17) He saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Bar-jona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven. See my Commentary on Matthew 16:13-20.

Moroni 10:5) ...by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

John 5:38) And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye believe not. Jews were supposed to study the scriptures and learn the laws of God. When Jesus arrived, they hadn't done that and so they didn't identify him. Contrast that with the actions of the Bereans, who found themselves in that exact same situation. Instead of covering their ignorance with pretension and violence, they turned to remedy the deficiency, "searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so." Acts 17:10-11.
20. In high school, we admired athletic and musical ability, and physical beauty. But when the awards ceremonies were held, it was the brilliant genius kids that got the real honors. This is true in all the world.

21. I am convinced that I.Q., or the level of intelligence in a person, is not something you either have or don't have; it's a matter of learning how to think. And that's a matter of learning how to recognize and live by truth. Proverbs 4:18) ...the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth more and more unto the perfect day.

DC 50:24) That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day.

"Only if we are unafraid of the truth can we find it." -Man's Search for Happiness

Notes

1. Woody Brison is an active member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, but this website is not affiliated with the church. It may be thought of as an additional, somewhat independent witness.

2. I want this page to be as accurate as I can make it. If you have a correction, please email me.

3. All biblical quotations are from the King James unless otherwise noted.

Copyright 2013 Woody Brison. All rights reserved.