Newsweek's story last week
on the birth of Jesus has Hugh Hewitt
hopping mad. He devoted the last two hours of his show today to discussing the article with two protestant theologians. I've never believed that lining up scholars is the way to prove anything. How can anybody, no matter how learned, have that kind of authority?
Joseph Smith, whom I accept as one of the greatest prophets who ever lived, saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. He testified to that multiple times, and was murdered because he claimed that God called him to restore the church that Jesus established along with the authority held by the original Apostles. That church has grown since 1830 to nearly 12 million members. If an eyewitness and a prophet, seer and revelator is not enough proof for you, why bother with the conversation. No number of theologians can prove it, unless you're unduly impressed by university degrees.
This kind of stuff comes around all the time in the news media, none of whom can really give any authoritative answer to questions like Jesus' birth to a virgin. I think that anybody who has lived to the age of 15 and still believes in Christianity should have already confronted this kind of attack, and disposed of it. Lack of proof is not the same as proof of falsehood, especially when you rule out every form of proof that doesn't conform to your argument.
I don't believe in the Christmas story because of what Newsweek tells me, and it strikes me as hubris on a cosmic scale to presume for any publisher or writer in this day and age to want to convince me that it is untrue. If my faith was based on the number of scoffers vs. the number of affirmers I've ever considered, it wouldn't be worth the effort. I served two years as a missionary for Jesus Christ, and I personally witnessed the workings of the spirit. That's how I know that Jesus is the Christ, that there is no other path to eternal life, that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God and that the church Christ founded has been restored to the earth. I've tested it for myself and I received confirmation in ways that I didn't expect. The proof came upon me unawares, and I knew that it wasn't something I was wishing myself into.
I know for myself that there are things in the world that science and history can't explain or document, that this is all part of a greater reality with its own rules. I don't claim to be a visionary or a prophet. I have only seen the light on the horizon, and it is there. There are others with greater gifts and knowledge, and because of that brightness on the horizon, I trust them, and have trusted them with my life.
IT'S ABOUT FAITH, PEOPLE! That means it can't be proven except by a trial of your own. Even when it has been proven to you, all you can do is testify about your experience. If people don't want to believe you, they don't have to. Such people are usually not very interested in the kind of questions that are answered by the Gospel of Christ in the first place, and so it's a waste of breath to try to convince them. If anybody cares, I believe in Christ and in the Christmas story as it is told in the Bible. If you want to know why, you have to humble yourself before God and seek it yourself. I'm just a witness.