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Testimonies

Recollections of my religious search and skepticism

by Theodore Wright.
 

During my college days I became an agnostic, subsequent to being an atheist, personally considering there was a possibility of there being some kind of a god, I had conversations with people of various religious faiths in search for proof. I was willing to believe in God if there was such proof but I was not willing to just believe any story about Him. I had to at least find out what was going on because I need to know what would happened to me when I die. There came to be a list of religions I chose not to believe due to their lack of proof. I do appreciate how a number of people gave me honest responses to my questions. I will mention a few of the many conversations I had…
 

Islam: I met a Muslim student in college who told me about Muhammed and how he saw golden tablets descend from Heaven from which he wrote the Koran, after which the golden tablets were taken up to Heaven. I was excited and fascinated by this, so I asked him, “Tell me, who else saw these golden tablets?” Then he started to nod no. I thought to myself, “He’s nodding no. Why is he nodding no?” Then he said, “Muhammed is the only one who saw the golden tablets.” to which I replied, “That is called the testimony of one witness. You couldn’t prove that in court.”
 

Hinduism: I recall also a conversation I had with a couple of Hindu students in college. We discussed reincarnation. My first off question was, “Do you know anyone who you talked with who knew you in his previous life and you talked over old times?” Their answer was no. So I asked, “Do you know anyone else who experienced this?” They told me that when children are born they look over their behavior and see how they act like a person they knew who once lived. I dismissed Hinduism’s beliefs, seeing that their claims were based upon mere circumstantial evidence.
 

Buddhism: My conversation with a Buddhist woman led to my asking her about the creation of the world. She replied, “The world wasn’t created. It always was.” I replied to this asking, “You mean since eternity past?” I could not find sufficient evidence demonstrating this and found the beliefs still empty.
 

Mormonism: I recall a conversation I had in college with a student named Ruth to which we continued the conversation by phone on a later day. I mentioned to her that I was reading the Book of Mormon. She asked me if I had any questions. I mentioned to her that I read a verse that confused me.
 

“And behold, he shall be born of Mary, at Jerusalem which is the land of our forefathers, she being a virgin, a precious and chosen vessel, who shall be overshadowed and conceive by the power of the Holy Ghost, and bring forth a son, yea, even the Son of God.”
– Alma 7:10, Book of Mormon

 

I said to her, “Ruth, let me just say this plainly, Christ was Born in Bethlehem.” She politely asked me to wait while I heard her faintly as she was discussing this with her parents, then she returned to the phone saying, “Jerusalem and Bethlehem are only five miles apart.” I answered, saying, “You’re right, Ruth. They are five miles apart but Jerusalem is Jerusalem and Bethlehem is Bethlehem. Bethlehem is not in some land of Jerusalem.” She got off the phone again for another few minutes then returned to the phone crying. She then said, “All you Christians do is attack the Mormon church!” She continued on crying, then hung up the phone hard. Actually, I was not a Christian at the time. I used to argue with the Christians also.
 

Christianity: Bible-believing Christians in college just seemed to me to represent a religion like the many others. I used to say about the Born-again Christians, “These people come up to you in packs!” Therefore, I would argue with the pack. I recall how Born-again Christians presented the Ascension of Jesus Christ to Heaven as a proof of Christianity. This proved nothing to me. I replied, “Elijah is said to have ascended to Heaven. Roman Catholics say Mary was assumpted to Heaven. Even Muslims say that Muhammed ascended to Heaven (after he died, that is).” So I continued saying, “Jesus? Take a number.” Like waiting in the meat market in a supermarket you don’t get to place your order for meat right away, you have to “take a number”. Christians always ended by talking with each other saying to pray for me.
 

It took years, but later I heard from Born-again Christians in college about the bodily resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead presented as evidence. I started investigated this, saying later that afternoon, “I am now out to disprove the resurrection of Jesus Christ.” I was expecting to disprove this like other religious faiths that lacked foundational proof. What I found out was that it was a provable fact of documented history. Jesus Christ truly bodily rose again from the dead. This was what led me later to call on Jesus in my need. He spoke to me and actually started to change my life. This was quite startling for me.
 

 

If you want to know more about how I re-examined the facts,
read about my consideration of What really happened when I called upon Jesus
as well as my testimony asking How do you know what you believe is true?

 

 

 

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