The Unauthorized Investigator's Guide to
The Church of JESUS CHRIST of Latter-day Saints

Lesson 1

Pray to Know the Truth through the Holy Ghost

The Missionaries Will Teach...

This message of the restoration is either true or it is not.  We can know that it is true by the power of the Holy Ghost as God promised in Moroni 10:3-5. If you desire to know whether or not the The Book of Mormon is true, you must first read and ponder it, and then must ask Heavenly Father in prayer if it is true.  To do this, we address Heavenly Father in the name of Jesus Christ.  We thank him for our blessings and ask whether or not The Book of Mormon is true.  Nobody can know spiritual truths without prayer.

In response to our prayers, the Holy Ghost we tell us the truth through our thoughts and feelings.  The feelings of the Holy Ghost are gentle, quiet, and powerful.  When we start feeling that the gospel is true, we want to know all that we can about the restoration.

Knowing that The Book of Mormon is true leads to knowing that Joseph Smith was a true prophet and that the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored through him.

Some Additional Thoughts...

In general, the religious beliefs of people can be traced back to their thoughts and feelings.  When you look at the teachings in this key principle that way, Mormonism isn't unique.  What is unique is the way that Mormonism formalizes the process of seeking for thoughts and feelings and claims that certain thoughts and feelings are signals from God that can be relied on to assuredly know that a their Church is literally God's one and only kingdom upon the earth.

There are two questions that this raises in my mind.  First, assuming that the principle really is true, how can you tell when thoughts and feelings are signals from God as opposed to merely thoughts and feelings?  Second, why should a dispassionate investigator accept that praying about the The Book of Mormon really is a valid way to evaluate whether or not The Book of Mormon is true?

My Analysis of Moroni 10:3-5 and how it is used.

Religion and the Brain by Sharon Begley.  A fascinating Newsweek cover story about the physiology of religious thoughts and feelings.

The Famous Bayesian-Moroni Prayer Analysis Calculator. A tool to help evaluate the truthfulness of The Book of Mormon without abandoning either reasoning or the possibility of receiving revelation.

Experiment upon my wordsThe Book of Mormon suggests that with a mere desire to believe, one can perform an experiment which will turn desire into faith, and faith into knowledge.

Why I Bear My Testimony by a site visitor.


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If you have a question or would like to discuss these topics, I suggest that you go to a Mormon-related bulletin board (here are some recommendations). If you'd like to contact me with comments or feedback, you may send an email to