different religions

When it comes down to it, what proves that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the one true church is the witness of the Holy Ghost. Every faithful Latter-day Saint will point to this scripture:

 3 Behold, I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, that ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receive these things, and ponder it in your chearts.

4 And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.

5 And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.

This is intended to be the ultimate trump card proving Mormonism is God’s one true Church. To have a powerful witness from God when praying about the Book of Mormon is key to a testimony. Of course, it doesn’t always work, in which case you can just remember that you have always had a testimony, or bear the testimony you wish you had until you actually get it. But for many, it does work. After intense prayer, they receive a spiritual experience. I know this, because it happened to me.

“Then why would you leave?” some have asked. “How can you deny your witness of the truth?”

Because my experience, as powerful and touching as it was, was not reliable evidence of the truth.

The scriptures always taught me that the Holy Ghost testified of truth. But if that were the case, why would people in other religions have the same experiences I did? Aren’t we the only true church?

When I asked this question as a member, I was told that it was because God gives his children portion of his light and knowledge according to what they need and are ready for. That made sense to me, and my mind worked with that for a time.

But the more I learned about other religions, the more I realized that this couldn’t be true. While this idea of stepping stones of truth might work for Christianity, it doesn’t make any sense why a Hindu or a Muslim would have intense, equally powerful spiritual experiences like mine. If my spiritual experience was the Holy Ghost testifying of truth, why was it also testifying of something that conflicts with what he testified to me?

Some people will have spiritual experiences so strong in their religions that they then “know” that their church is true. If you received that witness from God that His church is the Pentecostalism, why would you ever bother looking into the one true church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints? If someone should look to their past spiritual experiences for answers and faith, why would God give someone a spiritual experience so powerful that they would never look into another religion that might have more of the truth than they have?

I have scoured the Internet for testimonies of different people of various faiths. The spiritual experiences they have are no different than those experienced in Mormonism. The ultimate measure of the truthfulness of Mormonism is said to be found in the witness of the Holy Ghost, but why is that witness any more valid than the spiritual witness of a Muslim? A Hindu? A Buddhist? A Fundamentalist Latter-day Saint?

Below are a collection of those testimonies. Notice how similar their “proofs” of their truth claims are to the “proofs” employed during General Conference and Fast and Testimony Meetings.

“Slowly I was getting deeper and deeper into the Qu’ran. I asked, “Could a human being be capable of such a subtle, far-reaching book?” Furthermore, there are parts that are meant to guide the Prophet himself, as well as reprimand him. I wondered if the Prophet would have reprimanded himself… There were days when I would reject every word–find a way to condemn it, not allow it to be true. But then I would suddenly happen upon a phrase that spoke directly to me… I had spent my life longing for a truth in which heart would be compatible with mind, action with thought, intellect with emotion. I found that reality in Islam. With that reality came true self-confidence and intellectual freedom.” Source

“I would sit and listen to scholars talk, I would listen to the Quran in my car on my way to work, and then something happened. I felt this overwhelming emotion, goosebumps, and tears. I knew that these feelings were so right. I took my shahada, then alhumdulilah I became a Muslim and put on hijab.” Source

“Alexander embraced Islam and adopted his Muslim name, Hamza, after six years of search for the truth. It was the ‘adan,’ or the call to prayer, which he heard for the first time while he was in an African country that changed his life. ‘It inspired me to search for the truth. It gave me an inexplicable feeling that spread throughout my body and I stood astounded for a long time. I am very happy to have embraced the world’s great religion,’ he said.” Source

“It is difficult to describe to someone who has never felt it how Islam can change and improve one’s life. But Islam changed me totally. I now have no doubt about our purpose in this world and that I am following the right path, I have a certainty I never knew before, and a peace that goes with it. God’s plan makes much more sense to me and I feel I have an idea where I belong.” Source

“My soul yearns to live the way Allah (swt) wants me to live, and my entire being yearns to please Him and worship Him. Islam has taught me the meaning of true love and light and beauty and happiness and perfection. Alhamdulillah, I feel like He has taught me how to fly! Now how could that possibly be ‘wrong’? Islam is perfect and Islam is true, and no one can ever convince me otherwise. Subhan’Allah.” Source

“When I was around 9 I saw the pope on TV. All of a sudden I had an epiphany that he was our (protestants) pope too! It was so powerful I went outside and just gazed up at the sky… Three months later after leaving the cell church I was in RCIA… That night, while I was lying in bed, I heard a Voice and It said “Welcome Home”. I know with every fiber of my being that It was the Holy Spirit. I know this sounds like fiction or pretentious fluff, but it isn’t. (I’m the most practical no nonsense person you would ever meet). I actually experienced this just as it is written. And I can tell you, to be a Catholic is the greatest blessing in the world. God bless.” Source

“I think if there’s one aspect of the Catholic Faith that should make Atheists, Protestants, and the whole wide world take serious notice, it would be the countless first class, blatant, overt, authentic miracles that have taken place only in the Catholic Church. It’s the ultimate witness to the existence of God, the validity of the Gospel, and the Catholic Faith. Is there any other faith in the world that can back up and validate their doctrines and teachings with first class miracles?” Source

“Before I really learned any of the doctrines of the church, I knew that I had an attraction to something about the Eucharist. I knew that it was transubstantiated, but I never ‘knew’ until that moment during the consecration at the wedding.” Source

“As I read these books in a Roman bookstore, and I felt a burning in my heart that I should come and investigate.” Source

“The Holy Spirit turned my head slowly towards Rome with whispers first, and then shouts.” Source

“On a personal level, I have experienced being ‘slain in the Spirit.’ I have seen miracles when we prayed for healing of peoples bodies, or situations. The most powerful are times of praise where you enter into ecstacy with God! It’s like being in a warm ocean of love! Nothing can touch that! Some times when I’m reading Scripture, the Catechism, or if I hear a great truth of God I feel a sense of electricity go through my body. The Holy Spirit is getting my attention! He’s saying pay attention! I have this deep sense of KNOWING that what I just read or heard is TRUE!” Source

“I also started praying a lot and praying consistently (probably for the first time ever). I realized I couldn’t do this on my own, but I recognized the true gravity of this decision, and so I tried to clear my mind of all preconceptions and I honestly prayed (on many occasions over those months) something like this: ‘God, if any Christian sect holds truest to your truth, or if somehow they all do, or certain ones do, please show me so I know how to best worship you. I want your Truth—no matter the cost.’ And I tried to make sure that I meant it. Each time that I can remember praying that, I got an answer which was along the lines of a “statistical miracle,” though not quite as grand as the first, and it always pointed towards Catholicism. I would always feel at peace after this was revealed to me, not because Catholicism is the most comforting choice at a glance (is St Leonard of Port Maurice’s (private) revelation, or anything for that matter, more comforting than sola fide?) but because the Truth became clear to me, finally.” Source

“As I stood there that night after my first confession, I realized that all that was gone. The darkness within me was simply not there anymore. In its place was peace, and an unmistakable feeling of love. For the first time, I felt the presence of God.” Source

“It took me about 13 years from start to finish–3 years of concerted study–before I was able to disentangle myself from all my misinformation about Catholicism and take the plunge. That was in 1999. What’s it been like since then? grace upon grace upon grace upon grace upon grace………… no regrets” Source

“In the end, there was not a large neon sign saying, “Be Catholic!” on it. Instead, there was a gentle whisper in my soul. It’s those soft whispers that can have the most dramatic impact on our lives.” Source

“As I sat at my computer playing games or what have you, I was overcome by a need to be at church the next morning. This feeling came from nowhere and was completely at odds with everything going on in my life at the time. Even now, all I can tell you about it was that the Holy Spirit gave me an absolute, no-doubt knowledge that I HAD to be at Church the next morning. In the back of my mind, it seemed like it should be a Catholic Church that I attend, but the overwhelming message was that I attend church. At this parish, they offered both the host and the cup. As I received each one, it was almost like being struck by lightning. When I say this, I mean that it was an actual physical sensation of electricity as I received each species. It was something that I had never experienced before and I was totally unprepared for it.” Source

“This process took two years. We did not easily convert. But we were definitely wooed by God. Both of us, at one point, were spoken to by the Holy Spirit, Who told us, ‘This is the truth. If you reject it, you are in danger of hellfire. Do you accept My teaching and will you say ‘Yes’ to the Catholic Church? Or will you reject My teaching?’ We accepted the teaching of the Holy Spirit, and in 2004, we were received into the Catholic Church. We love being Catholic! Based on history and theology, we believe that the Catholic Church is the Church that Jesus Christ founded and intended for human beings to be part of. We believe that Protestant churches have a portion of the Gospel and that Protestants have a hope of heaven through their triune baptism and their invincible ignorance. We pray that the Church might one day be ONE, as Jesus prayed in John 17.” Source

“All of a sudden a rush of joy came into my heart that I had never experienced. I felt the sadness burn away and be replaced with a feeling of love and warmth. I was practically reduced to tears. I did not know what to say to anyone, so I sat quietly to myself until it was over. When I returned home, I sat down in my living room, saying nothing, just experiencing the feeling that was in me. It was the best thing I had ever felt, and I felt nothing but pure joy. No pain or sadness could touch me. I had finally gotten what I asked for.” Source Note: This experience occurred in the Church of Christ. He didn’t interpret that feeling as his church “being true” and later converted to Catholicism.

“The temple is built as a palace in which the Gods live. It is the home of the Gods, a sacred place unlike every other place on the earth. The Hindu must associate himself with these Gods in a very sensitive way when he approaches the temple. Though the devotee rarely has the psychic vision of the Deity, he is aware of the God’s divine presence. As he approaches the sanctum sanctorum, the Hindu is fully aware that an intelligent being, greater and more evolved than himself, is there. This God is intently aware of him, safeguarding him, fully knowing his inmost thought, fully capable of coping with any situation the devotee may mentally lay at his Holy Feet. It is important that we approach the Deity in this way – conscious and confident that our needs are known in the inner spiritual worlds. …You can feel the presence of these divine beings, and this radiation from them is known as shakti. … Perhaps not immediately, but the message that the shakti carries from the Mahadeva manifests in your life. This is the way the Gods converse. It is a communication more real than the communication of language that you experience each day.” Source

“But, somewhere in the midst of all this, I started feeling there must be more to life than what I was experiencing… I learned to meditate as soon as possible, and this initiation opened my doorway to spirituality. Subsequently, I devoted most of my adult life to the pursuit of spiritual growth and ultimate awakening. Some months later, I met Maharishi at a retreat in northern California. As he entered the meeting hall, I gave him a flower, as was the custom in that gathering. He looked into my eyes deeply for a moment, and I experienced a feeling of peace and love unlike anything I had ever experienced before.” Source

“My relationship with the Bhagavad Gita goes back to the 1960s and throughout my life I read the Bhagavad Gita and attempted to grasp its subtle meaning. Each reading of these powerful words always left me feeling somehow lifted, my consciousness purified. However, I did not truly understand. Still I knew an invaluable treasure lay within this book and I was not to be discouraged. I would stubbornly say, ‘Someday, I will understand this.’ I am now 60. …I remember so well those hot summer days in 2004 reading on the screen-porch in the dappled shade of cedars, maples, and pine trees. Day after day I would listen with my heart to Krishna’s words of wisdom to his friend Arjuna, and I would cry and cry and cry the sweetest tears. Tears come easily when you feel the presence of God. I felt as if I were being given the eyes-to-see and the ears-to-hear. Even now when I think of that time, tears can pool in my eyes and my heart is filled with joy and gratitude. Krishna is my guru! It is in the spirit of a deeply sincere humility and out of a love that can never be described or expressed that I set out here to share with you my understanding of this remarkable and magnificent text. …We all have God dwelling within our Heart. We can realize that God not only dwells within us, but within everything. God is ALL!” Source

“Of all the books I have read, none changed my consciousness as powerfully as the Bhagavad Gita. I was reading J.A.B van Buitenen’s translation when my heart and mind first truly opened to this timeless book of verse, for the Bhagavad Gita is a Sanskrit poem. That fine warm summer’s day when at last Krishna’s words began to have real meaning for me, I cried and cried and cried. Even now sometimes when I read a verse, the sweetest tears pool up in my eyes and I am overwhelmed with awe, love, and gratitude.” Source

“People can reach enlightenment on other paths. What I mean by true religion is that Hinduism gives the clearest path, with methods and instructions for finding God, and that all that is valid in other religions can be found in Hinduism.” Source

“I have seen Jesus, he called me back to him in a vision that changed every thing I knew and believed, That’s my truth. And my first experience I have had more, but no one needs a vision to know God, he is ready for every repentant soul and needs our yes.” Source

“I was sleeping and all of a sudden I woke up. I felt like the Holy Spirit was saying, ‘Now is the time. Now is the time to come into My kingdom.’ At that point I said, ‘Lord, I accept You as my Lord and my Savior. I am Yours. Please forgive me of all my sins.’ I felt like the weight had been lifted. There was something in my spirit that… It was almost like—think of a really, really dark room. And then all of a sudden like a small crack opens up and light shines through. You just know it. The Lord is real. God is in me. The Holy Spirit is living in me.” Source

“My parents came back from some type of retreat and they were ‘glowing’ when they walked in… It had been a weekend retreat that was part of a renewal movement in the Episcopal Church. I would go to a service with them occassionally when they would have a retreat. I liked the atmosphere of the meetings, but they were only held once every few months. Still, there was something about these meetings that seemed ‘real,’ and I liked it. When I was 15, I went to one of these retreats for teenagers. This was an AMAZING experience in my life! I went, not really knowing much about what the weekend would entail. It was incredible! I remember feeling loved unconditionally, tears streaming down my face as a result of the joy I felt inside. I never wanted this feeling to end. I knew it was the Holy Spirit touching me and cleansing me. No one told me what was happening, but I felt better than I ever felt.” Source
“…the guitarist from my band invited me to the Hare Krsna feast… I instantly felt a strong sense of spiritual energy as the chanting hit my ears and we sat and chanted the mantra along with the devotees and other guests. For some reason the name Rama struck me as something odd but I appreciated the strong vibration of the Holy names. After we feasted I felt an incredible spiritual surge running straight to my soul, I was very convinced that what I had been looking for all my life has finally manifested in the most unexpected way. …During my first kirtan I felt an incredible surge again… …One day… I got an overwhelming spiritual surge again and right at the point I decided in my mind ‘I don’t need to do anything else in life except become a devotee of Krsna’. It was a very powerful realization and it affected me very strongly.” Source

“My best experience during this Bhagavatam Saptha is that is the first time I participated in Harinaam Sankirtan. I was chanting loudly attentively and I was getting tears from my eyes and I did not understand why are they coming and thought for myself that probably Lord Krishna is washing away my previous sins I have commited and continued chanting. The same experience was repeated when I started chanting during Narasimha Chaturdashi when the ISKCON president His Grace Vedantha Caitanya Prabhu was leading Harinaam Sankirtan.” Source

“I first read the Bhagavad-gita six months ago, and it completely enlightened me and answered all of the questions that I have ever had throughout my life and my struggle with the Christian religion. I feel that everyone needs to experience Krishna consciousness and without it there is no possibility of true happiness… Krishna Consciousness is the most valuable thing in the world, and I would never trade it for anything. I am trying my best to enlighten anyone around me and it is spreading like fire… I just feel so fortunate to have been given this chance to hear about Krishna.” Source

“On a Wednesday night my dad was preaching at our church. He preached about the rich man going to hell. I felt the power of the Holy Spirit dealing with me once again. I felt so guilty and ashamed for rejecting Christ for so long. After the message Bro. Byron Shive came to me and encouraged me to pray. I went to the front of the church and began to pray. I repented of my sins and asked God to please forgive me. I remember getting to a point where I wanted to be saved more than anything else in the world. It was at that point that I felt peace flood over my body. I asked God if that was it. The peaceful feeling seemed to intensify. I knew I was saved and began to rejoice. This personal experience with God is what will take me to Heaven.” Source

“For the invitational he asked the pianist to play the hymnal, ‘I surrender all’. As I stood there with my head bowed, I could hear the words to each verse in my mind, being that I had heard this song so many times since I was young. The words convicted my soul and tears could not be held back. I had no where to go except to the alter. I knew what I was and I knew who He was. I got down to the alter and my pastor came over to me and was saying some stuff but I wasn’t paying any attention to him. It was between me and God. I repented of what I was and said in my heart, ‘I surrender all.’ Immediately the weight of sin was gone! Instead of guilt I had peace in my heart like I had never known before! I was innocent as a child! I could communicate directly with God and ask him anything! And he would answer! No one needed to explain to me how God exists because he now existed inside of me! …It was great! All these hymns that I had heard so many times before took on new meaning! For the first time I had sat down and read the Bible and understood what it was talking about. Tears came again as I saw what he did for me!” Source

“As I prayed, a still, small voice impressed me to stand up and say that I was saved. …This time when the Lord impressed me to stand up and say I was saved, something just came over me and the next moment I was on my feet and proclaimed, ‘I’m saved!’ and instantaneously I was changed. It felt as if my heart was transformed. I had never felt so wonderful and at peace. The burden was gone and again it was true, ‘I knew.’ Love overflowed in my heart and the tears were now tears of joy, not of repentance or sorrow. The act of standing up and speaking audible words was not what saved me, it was the faith it took to do it. Truly this was the greatest moment of my life and I have never been the same since that night. I have no doubt that this experience will allow me to live forever with my Lord in Heaven.” Source

“I finally did what so many people had been praying for. I cried out to God and said, ‘God, I don’t know if you are real, but if you are, I give my life to you. Please take my life, I give it to you.’ In that moment, peace swept over my soul like I had never experienced. I experienced true joy and love and fell asleep in the spiritual arms of my Heavenly Father. The next day was a Friday. I had not realized that I had ‘gotten saved’, I just knew that I had prayed to God and that something was now different.” Source

“I asked the Lord Jesus Christ for a sign to show that the True Jesus Church has the whole truth… One day, I was sitting under a tree, thinking deeply. I was trying to recall some Bible verses on baptism and praying about a doubt that I had. Suddenly, a miracle happened to me. It was like a light that I could not exactly figure out. It shone on me and took away the doubt in my mind. It seemed that the darkness in my mind was lifted. The doctrine on infant baptism, which I could not at first accept, suddenly became very clear me. I could then accept it with my mind and heart. Since that incident, each time I read the Bible, that former opinion to oppose and the refusal to believe and accept were gone. Today I believe that infants must be baptized in order to be saved. …Now I know and am confident that this is the end of my search for the whole truth. I thank the Lord Jesus Christ for answering my prayer and giving me a sign. I have found the whole truth of my salvation. Glory be given to the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Hallelujah!!” Source
“On the day I was baptized I felt like a whole new person. Since that day, I have been spending more time with the Lord in my everyday life. I am convinced that the decision I made to get baptized was exactly what I needed in my life and I could not be happier. I thank God everyday for all of the wonderful people in my life who have helped me through everything and have supported me through this amazing transition into my new life in Christ.” Source

“I am an Adventist because the Bible teaches us that ‘If any man lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.’ (James1:5 KJV) -I was lacking this wisdom and I asked God and He led me to the Adventist Church.” Source

“When you’ve experienced Jehovah’s guidance and blessing in the ways that I have, you learn the true meaning of relying on him. …Though there are things that make me sad, I no longer experience depression (I used to use medication to control chronic depression). All the sisters remark that I always have a smile on my face; and I never give a negative answer to ‘how you doing?’. Being a servant of Jehovah makes every day of life beautiful and I never want to let it go again. I hope and pray that others out there can experience some similar feeling.” Source

“When you are part of a true religion it makes you feel so fulfilled. You know you are satisfying God and he can read our hearts. So if our hearts condition are true you can be sure Gods Holy spirit is part of your life.” Source

“It’s great! Words cannot adequately describe the awesome feelings you experience as you learn more about the truth from the Bible, are given real answers to life’s questions and the close relationship you eventually develop with Jehovah God, our creator. I was stupid enough to break away from them and spent nearly 2 years away from the organization…I can honestly say that those 2 years were the worst of my life, I was angry, confused, bitter, full of hate, I started corresponding with apostates and anti-JW people and tried to convince myself I believed their lying trash, but in my heart I knew that I was wrong and they were wrong. I delved deep into other religions and compared their beliefs/doctrines with what the Bible ACTUALLY teaches, before realizing my search for the TRUTH kept leading me right back (again and again) …to whom? …Jehovah’s Witnesses.” Source

“When I became a witness it was like a huge weight being lifted off my shoulders. I no longer felt obliged to be involved in all the holidays and such, But more importantly, I knew that I was doing Jehovah’s will and giving Satan a slap in the face.” Source

“My experience? After many years in other denominations, I started bible study. Then after lots of prayer, I knew it to be true” Source

From Watchtower Magazine: “Sarah from Kenya relates this experience: “I prayed about a student who I felt did not appreciate her Bible study. I asked Jehovah if I should stop the study. Immediately after I said ‘Amen,’ my phone rang. The Bible student called to ask if she could attend the meeting with me! I was awestruck!” By being alert, you too may see ways that God is active in your life. Rhonna, a sister who lives in Asia, says: “It takes some experience to discern Jehovah’s guidance. But once you do, it’s amazing to discover how much interest he has in us!” Source

“I had an intense spiritual experience when I touched the western wall in Jerusalem. I was overcome by the desire to pray and I blurted out everything I could remember. (This was before I became observant.) I also closed my eyes and felt like I was one with the wall, and simultaneously like I was flying. It is something I often remind myself of when I have doubts or I am struggling.” Source

“When a Hasid directs the emotion in the prayer, what happens then?” I asked [the Rabbi]. “Then a person reaches a certain level of spiritual ecstasy and opens himself up spiritually. He has thought about godliness; he has thought about spirituality; he has thought about the things that God accomplished in the world; then he focuses his prayer on the greatness of God, the spirituality of God. Then he comes out of the prayer with a tremendous feeling of upliftedness,” the Rabbi explained. “Could you give me some examples of states or characteristics which occur in this ecstasy and upliftedness?” “Characteristics….” He thought a moment. “I think, mainly, there is an awe-ness of God. I think it is a realization by a person of what is important and what is secondary… You develop a proper sense of priorities. You realize what is primary, what is important and what is not important. You have the realization that the essence of this world is really spiritual and that the physical only hides the true qualities of the world.” … “My dictionary says Shekinah is: ‘the manifestation of the presence of God; or Divine Presence.’ Would you agree with this definition?” “Yes,” he agreed, “basically, Shekinah is the manifestation in the physical world of the Divine Presence.” “If I were to come into your place of worship, would I see a physical object? Is Shekinah a physical object?” “There were times when Shekinah was physically present in the world,” the Rabbi spoke thoughtfully. “When the temple was in existence. And, today, when people get together and study the Torah, Shekinah is present. Shekinah can be brought about when the temple is here or when ten or more Jews get together and study the Torah. Or, when people are together in a holy act. When people fulfill a mitzvah, Shekinah can be present.” “What I’m trying to understand,” I explained, “is does Shekinah have any form whatever?” “No form. It’s a holy, spiritual force.” …”What is that like,” I asked, “when you study the Torah and Shekinah comes?” “There are times when people feel in themselves a spiritual sensitivity and holiness — Shekinah is the Presence of God,” he answered. “This Presence, when people are sitting together reading the Torah or doing a holy act, does the Presence occur within them, or does everyone in the room feel it?” “That depends,” he said. “It depends on their sensitivity. For instance, you can be willing to give somebody something but they may not be able to accept it. God is present but not all may be sensitive enough to feel the Divine Presence.” “How, then, can one become sensitive to Shekinah?” “You become sensitive through learning, praying, and going through a period of spiritual development. Spiritual development in our religion primarily relates to prayer,” he said. Source

“When I started my journey, I read books on all kinds of religions. At one time I was scared to death about things, mostly after I read the bible… While on my journey, I was asking God what the truth was. I mean I was angry and I truly wanted to know. After a few weeks, I stumbled onto a web site that talked about the very things I was curious about. It answered my questions in a way that I had not heard of before. I read everything on the web site and I even tried the experiment of asking God for His love, His Divine Love. After about 6 weeks, I felt a burning in my chest and a sensation that was unlike anything I had ever felt. It was pure happiness and peace. I knew then that God had sent His love to me… As I absorbed the information on that site, pondered over it, I knew that Love was the key to heaven. I knew that nothing else mattered but Love. I soon discovered other web sites that also talked of Divine Love and how important it was that we acquire it in our souls. These other sites also describe heaven and how we progress to attain perfection.” Source

“I was just doing some exploring to help me understand what happened to me the other day. I am not a very religious person. I was driving my car the other day just listing to the radio and out of nowhere I got this feeling of total peace in my mind and body then I felt a hand on my shoulder, without even thinking for a split second I said out loud to myself ‘I just found God’. I truly believe God was present with me. I felt that hand on my right shoulder for a good few hours. I was so happy relaxed and at peace. At that moment I also had a thought that everything is ok and that I am protected and I didn’t have a fear in the world because I now know that God will protect me from all things. I am just amazed at how this feeling came out of nowhere.” Source

“Vauxhall station on a murky November Friday evening is not the setting one would choose for a revelation of God! … The third-class compartment was full. I cannot remember any particular thought processes which may have led up to the great moment. For a few seconds only (I suppose) the whole compartment was filled with light. I felt caught up into some tremendous sense of being within a loving, triumphant and shining purpose … In a few moments the glory had departed — all but one curious, lingering feeling. I loved everybody in that compartment. It sounds silly now, and indeed I blush to write it, but at that moment I think I would have died for any one of the people in that compartment. I seemed to sense the golden worth in them all.” Source

“I had my first spiritual experience when I was 16 years old. I was sitting up late one night having a conversation with my mother about something I can’t remember, when for no apparent reason, the doors of perception opened WIDE. In no time I was swept up in an ocean of ecstasy that seemed infinite. I also experienced many insights that unfolded one after the other. One of them was very interesting. It became apparent to me that all points in space are exactly the same place. In other words, from the temporarily enlightened perspective I was experiencing that evening, it became obvious that no matter where I went on earth or in the universe, at the deepest level, I would always be in exactly the same place. At the time, intellectually, I had no idea what this meant. All I knew was that from this state of heightened awareness, what I was perceiving was absolutely true.” Source

“I heard a small voice say, ‘Call Ann.’ I ignored it. It happened again, ‘Call Ann.’ I thought, ‘What does she know?’ It happened one more time, so I called Ann, and asked if I could come visit her… This time was different. We had a heart-to-heart talk. She told me her testimony, witnessed to me, invited me to the next church service, and I accepted. My first visit was a Wednesday night. All I remember was the singing, and a missionary report. There was no altar call. But the Lord knows our heart. The songs of worship and praise brought tears to my eyes, and a hunger for more of what I felt. At the next service there was an altar call. I went forward and poured my heart out to the Lord. I was baptized in the name of Jesus on March 5, 1980, and God filled me with His wonderful Spirit on March 16, 1980. Jesus saves, keeps and satisfies!” Source

“My Great Grandmother Mandy Dedmon was filled with the Holy Ghost in Spanish Fort, Mississippi in the early 1900’s under the ministry of Bishop A.J. Tomlinson… She had seven daughters that played musical instruments and prophesied and ‘Mama’ was given to dreams and visions. My Grandmother was filled as was my mother and I was born and raised in the Church of God of Prophecy and was saved and filled with the Holy Ghost at the age of 5 in a camp meeting in Eupora, MS. I have lived for God all my life because of the keeping power of the Holy Ghost! …After a 21 day total fast in 1982 God gave me a mighty revelation of who He is and I have never wavered from that Revelation since that day. I am thankful for Pentecost and for preachers that preach the power of Pentecost. …I love the Pentecostal church and would rather be in a black church with the Hammond Organ going 100 MPH and people dancing up a storm than anything in this world! There ain’t NOTHIN’ like Good Black Pentecostal CHURCH!!!!!!!!!!!” Source

“On Friday night, when Pastor Danny Thornton visiting, I was prophesied to. I was told that I was a woman of wisdom. I really felt blessed that night. God really spoke to my heart. He was so strong I felt weak in the knees and fell to the floor, literally! God’s powerful, and it was nice to know that He knows who I am! – who everybody is!” Source

“I had a great time at Acquire the Fire. The part that stuck out to me was when a few of us were singing in the car on the way home; you could really feel the Holy Spirit.” Source

“As your self-reflection grows deeper and deeper, the moment will surely come upon you when the spiritual flower will suddenly burst into bloom, illuminating the entire universe. The experience is incommunicable, though you yourselves know perfectly well what it is.” Source

“For me when I reach Jhana I feel an energy of euphoric energy permeating from the top of my head throughout my body going me a buzzing like sensation of intense pleasure. It also causes me to go into extreme concentration and smiling makes the sensation even stronger.” Source

“I also want to point out that I find it very interesting that as far as I know, science can not explain the Jhana’s and deep experiences that happen during meditation. Meditation and it’s experiences serve no purpose evolutionary speaking and no other animal does it so that gives a true sentiment and concreteness to the Buddha’s teachings and how real it really is.” Source

“Your perceptive system asks a sort of nonverbal question about the perceptive data coming in, and the perceptions you experience are the answers to those questions as drawn from the (otherwise incomprehensibly vast) flood of sensory data. New questions are formed on the basis of the answers to the previous questions, allowing your perceptions to target important information.” Source

“We’re all human, despite having different religions. If one human has a feeling, it’s likely that others experience that same feeling. Yes, I have that feeling [of intense warmth and overwhelming peace], and more often now than when I was a Christian.” Source

“Warmth, from deep inside swelling up into the face. This is probably the most common sensation I have.” Source

FLDS: “The Scriptures are wonderful things. Even when you don’t really feel like reading or studying them, a great thing happens when you do. Your spirit calms, your heart expands, and you can really begin to understand the things that God is teaching you through them. When you’re done, it’s like you’ve quenched a thirst you never knew you had. It tastes like something you’ve been needing. And for me, all truth has done this. When I prayed about and discovered where the Priesthood was, I felt this. When I’ve searched for the answer to my prayers, and tried the path that I knew was right, it tasted like something I had been needing. And I find in this the solution to my worry over what is right and wrong to do in my current situation. I am sure, that when it comes time for me to get married I will feel this, too, and I already do to a point. And speaking of points this is it for today. The truth, the Truth, tastes like something you’ve been needing, and you can trust that.” Source

Restorationist: “I had personal revelation that Joseph smith had one wife, and that polygamy was not a requirement of God, that d&c 132 was a fabrication. I was dumbfounded… but I had reason to pray about Joseph after reading his many anti-polygamy speeches. Having a testimony of Joseph and the bom [Book of Mormon], I believed Joseph was no liar and therefore I needed to pray. When I received the answer I was astounded, but was also impressed that all evidence would reveal itself and Joseph and Emma would be found innocent, and I was also impressed that any anyone saying Joseph was a polygamist no matter how sincere they came across, were liars and be revealed as such. …He is very precious to me, and I want his named cleared and revered, its been trashed for too long and innocent saints suffer too because they leave church believing the lies, when reality is Joseph was not involved with polygamy, racism or slavery, he was a good man, and his family have been trashed by lies …it all needs putting right.” Source

The True and Living Church of Jesus Christ of Saints of the Last Days: I have been searching for a witness of this work and of this Church and just tonight, I got my witness. It is burning within my soul how important this work is and how true it is. I know it is. And it’s hard to believe that just a year ago I was in high school and now I’m in a plural marriage, and struggling. But I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that this is the Lord’s work. I have finally found it. I say this in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.” Source

Restorationist (Denver Snuffer Reader): “Today I was baptized again. …I studied the writings of a man who claimed to have seen the Savior. I confirmed his claim in solemn prayer. This man claimed to have been given a message from the Lord to be delivered in a series of ten lectures. I read, listened to, attended some and studied all of the lectures. I was and am convinced the message he delivered is authorized of the Lord. I confirmed this using the principles I learned growing up in Primary, Sunday school and seminary – I studied them out, then asked the Lord. I have been told by some, including Carol, that the message of this man is offensive. I did not find it so. It felt right as I studied it. It felt good. I guess you can say it ‘tasted’ good. It fed my soul. The message led me to the scriptures. It caused me to ponder them again and again. I acted upon the message. I exercised faith in prayer culminating in the action I have taken this day.” Source

Regarding The Sealed Portion Of The Book Of Mormon: “I’ve had three encounters with the spirit of truth. The first one I had was like 2yrs ago when I prayed and asked God to show me why the conditions of us blacks were so bad and what I found out was a miracle, Now you don’t have to believe me just read Deut 28:68 after I read this the spirit burned like fire within me. Now the second encounter was more stronger than the first after I read the Bible I was working at a hotel in Mankato MN and I ran across a copy of The Book of Mormon and what I found out is the reason why I call myself the unlearned man. …This third encounter is unbelievable. I was searching the net for more things about the Mormon church and as I was typing in something to search for the spirit told me to type in (sealed books of Moroni) and when I did it happened again. As I read these word it felt like fire this portion is holy and it deals with our current situation in the Mormon church I copied all the pages for myself only me and one other has read them and I know their true because it told me how strong my faith was and it also deals with the elect of god hidden among you gentiles.” Source

“As I was skeptical of anything other than the Bible, time passed before I actually began reading The Urantia Book… I began with ‘The Life and Teachings of Jesus,’ and quickly read to where Jesus had reached the age of 23. I was blown away. I had never heard of the things I was reading; I didn’t even know that Jesus had brothers and sisters. I already knew and loved the divine Jesus, the Son of God, but through The Urantia Book I began to fall in love with the human Jesus, the Son of Man. Still, I was not convinced that The Urantia Book was really true; I fought with my old mental tapes regarding the infallibility of the Bible – ‘Thou shalt not add to…,’ etc. My old beliefs were being challenged. I put The Urantia Book down for several months, and then a devastating thing happened. My father died in a truck/train accident on May 1, 1980. After the initial shock and grief, I was angry that God would take my father at this time of his life; he hadn’t even been able to retire! Then I started reading the mansion world papers. The peace I felt after reading them convinced me that the teachings in the book were genuine. They were too beautiful to be anything else. Since then I have grown enough in understanding to realize that God does not take our loved ones, that the accidents of time just happen. I know that my earthly father’s soul had plenty of ‘mercy credits’. I need not worry about his salvation. Most comforting of all, I believe that as soon as I get to the mansion worlds I shall see my father in person.” Source

“She told me she had come across a book that I might like, though she herself could not understand it. [the friend tells of the Urantia Book’s divine origin] …Something inside me knew that was true and I wrote down the name of the book… I found myself thinking about God and what little time I had given to learning about him. Suddenly, the room was filled with a warm and glowing light. I felt so strange, as if I had received the gift of faith right at that moment, as if I had been ‘born again.’ …I came home and had such tremendous urges – to read The Bible, to join a church, to learn everything I could. I called different churches at random, went to the library, and got some books on Edgar Cayce, the Dead Sea Scrolls, world religions, The Koran, even The Talmud. That same day I called Mr. Dychko and told him how I felt. He suggested I read The Urantia Book but to start with the Jesus section this time. I read for about five hours without stopping and my Thought Adjuster must have responded because I knew that every word I was reading was the truth. It was exciting to finally believe in something, to have faith in God!” Source

“…I decided that I believed in God because I needed to, although I was certain that much of what I was hearing in church was not really related to the God I felt inside. So one afternoon, as a junior in high school, while considering all of this, I prayed, ‘Father, I don’t really know what is true. But I don’t care how far I have to go or what I have to do, I want to find what is true. Please help me.’ …I began reading the Urantia Book. …Questions would flood my mind; the answers would be in the next paragraph. I felt my mind opening, my soul exploding. I had never read anything like this. … Finally, I finished Part III, ‘The History of Urantia.’ Blam! Bells rang, lights went on—I knew! …I knew in my experience that this book was true and that it was what it claimed to be. I had found the truth. I had asked for it. I got it. The truth had set me free. …I can honestly say that the Urantia Book has changed and enlightened my entire adult life experience on this planet.” Source

“I have been reading the Urantia Book for about two years and it’s like I just recently began to see how amazing it really is. I have found no other book that synthesizes science, philosophy, and religion into such a coherent and convincing whole. If it’s not the revelation it claims to be and instead the product of human imagination, it would have to be the best science fiction book ever written. If that were the case, and I doubt it is, its spiritual truth would still remain, as it speaks to my heart and mind about the nature of God, the teachings of Jesus, and our hope for the afterlife like nothing I’ve ever seen. Though my life hasn’t dramatically improved since I first found this text, my outlook on life has definitely changed. I now see a cosmic purpose to human life that I otherwise may not have found. The more often I read the Urantia Book, the more at peace I generally feel, even if it’s only a page or two a day.” Source

“I am not an author of the book, and I have no way to convince you that what is contained in its covers is true. The only way that one can discern the truth of The Urantia Book is by opening it up and reading it. Many people who have done just that are completely convinced of its truth, and have allowed that truth to expand their worldview, inform their spiritual lives, and improve their understanding of, and communion with, God. …The Spirit of Truth indwells each person and assists us to discern truth, wherever it is found. You possess this Spirit as well as anyone else, and I invite you to keep that in mind, and keep an open mind, when you approach The Urantia Book. …You can come to trust the writings of The Urantia Book, but not because I say so, because Truthbook says so, or because IT says so. Your own Spirit within will bear witness to you if you are a sincere seeker for the truth.” Source

“All it took was one paragraph and I felt tears come into my eyes and my heart beat faster. I probably had a stunned and stupid look on my face, too. As he continued to read I became completely overwhelmed. It was all I could do to keep from dropping to the floor in front of these people and crying out loud to God. I sat with my hands in my lap, not uttering a word – but inside I was a blubbering mess. ‘This is the truth! You’ve answered me! You’re real!’ …God became a reality and life finally made sense. I could begin to understand what it was all about and where I fit in. I had answers and no longer needed pot and beer. The world became enchantingly new again just like it was when first discovering it as a child. Yes, I finally understood what those crazy Jesus freaks meant when they said ‘born again.’ I was one of them.” Source

“The truth contained in the book spoke deeply to me, enlarged my existing relationship with Jesus and our Father, and affirmed long-held philosophical concepts. I felt, ‘Yes, that’s the way I’ve always thought that this whole life experience, and God, and everything, should be.’ It spoke to my heart and mind, and filled in all the missing gaps left by Christianity. I was able to affirm that indeed, I had found the fifth epochal revelation to our world – The Urantia Book.” Source



Albert Carrington
Albert Carrington
Albert Carrington served as a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles until he was excommunicated for adultery. During his disciplinary court, Elder Carrington tried to argue that he had only committed "a little folly in Israel!", but the current brethren couldn't be bothered to give him a break. Learn more about Elder Carrington here.
  • Michael Anderson

    Why is Rock Watterman’s testimony listed under “Community of Christ”?
    Although there were (and still are) many in the Community of Christ who denied Joseph’s polygamy, that church absolutely does not deny that any longer. Rock was not a member of the Community of Christ church and his testimony you quote is not testifying of that Church’s truthfulness.

    • Albert Carrington

      Lapse of thought, I apologize. I’ll correct that right now.

  • WackyWombat

    I spent several hours yesterday looking up information on testimonies, such as quotes from leaders of the church and the psychological manipulation techniques and cognitive biases that are in play. I was planning on writing an article on how unreliable testimonies are. Today I was going to scour the internet in search of testimonies from other religions as proof of how unreliable they are, and lo and behold I see your article with exactly that before I even started my search! What are the chances of that? It’s obviously a miracle and there is a god after all, and his name is Zelph ; )

  • Some Dude

    I remember I was in the middle of a crisis of faith in college and mindlessly looking through my e-mail. I noticed an announcement from a black sorority where they were holding an activity in the style of that “The Dating Game” tv show–just then, in that random, frustrating way that had contributed to my faith crisis, I felt the spirit. A burning in my bosom.

    A sane person would not have taken that as a message from God that I needed to attend the “The Dating Game” event, after all what reason could I have to go there? But God works in mysterious ways and I was looking for a sign, so I went. I was the only white person there–the fleck of left over whipped cream in the chocolate pudding. One student accused me of being an undercover journalist.

    But then, just as it was ending, I won the free raffle for a $50 gift card to Olive Garden.

    This was either proof that god loves me, and that the one true restaurant is Olive Garden… or that spiritual experiences are non-supernatural semi-hallucinatory mind-fraks. One or the other.

  • Malcolm McLean

    “… if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ”

    Designed only for Christians. Why would any non-Christian have faith in Christ?

  • Johns Johns

    Great article and great job compiling those testimonies. I would love for there to be a part 2 to the article that explores the options of what one must do when coming to these realizations. It seems to me that the “spiritual witness” is the personal intuition that one gets when compiling teachings into a thesis. When one learns facts that are contrary to their original compiled thesis or paradigm of thought, then their intuition would lead them else where. I had an amazing experience with my own intuition, or it could have been a spiritual witness (who knows), that I was doing the right thing by distancing myself from Mormonism. Since then, great things have happened in my life. These events have confirmed to me that I made the right decision for myself and my family. Maybe our intuitions are an algorithm that is built by the events in our lives. If that’s the case, then I may not have really had a choice; the algorithm already decided I would leave the Mormon church when I would stumble on new knowledge. This would promote the idea that we are all connected and intertwined in this life more than we could even imagine. Thoughts?

  • Drew Jensen

    This is a great article and I agree 100%. I loved reading the spiritual witnesses for Islam and Judiasm. I felt the spirit several times during young men and women retreats when we bore testimony of the church. I thought that was my answer, but then, I would feel the same feeling when listening to Nine Inch Nails ( which is supposedly evil right?) that confused me. When I went to London and visited Abbey Road I felt the “spirit” even stronger than ever before. Being there where some of the best music was created was overwhelming to me. After looking back, I realize that it was just my brain, nothing more , nothing less. My mission was also a very spiritual experience, but I also believe that if I was a missionary for the catholic church, it could have also been a spiritual experience. Thanks again for the post, this is a subject that is very important to me.
    Drew

  • Steven Lee

    For years I’ve wanted to compile clips of youtube videos with such testimonies. I think a brief video with a collection / clips of people speaking these types of testimonies would be a powerful and persuasive tool to support the premise of your post. Thanks.

  • fides quaerens intellectum

    I think Islam must be the one true one, because of your random collection of 6 testimonies, both the first and the last are identical! Word for word! A spiritual experience that can produce that level of homogeneity MUST be true… 😉 (Or, in other words, you put that one in twice.)

    • Albert Carrington

      Haha! Fixed, thanks for pointing out my error!

  • Arwen Undomiel

    Great article. But I have to say, that in my personal experience, I came to the conclusion that EVEN IF THE CHURCH IS TRUE, I still did not want to do anything with this church anymore. Some people will stay in the church just because this one reason. If they believe the church is true that’s enough reason for them to stay. But not for me.

    The so called true church is dishonest with its members regarding their history. The true church leaders excommunicates bloggers. The true church has been actively engaged in persecuting gays/lesbians. The true church does some charity here and there but it’s most important projects are real state projects, like malls and luxury apartment buildings. The true church doesn’t tell the truth when there cases of abuse, bullying , etc…perpetrated by its leaders. I could go and on but my point is that EVEN IF THIS CHURCH IS TRUE, it’s activities and leaders are not a reflection of the gospel of Jesus a Christ anymore.

    So, there is no real use to me to stay in the true church that resembles more a temple of Babylon and the money changers that Jesus kicked out of the temple, than the church founded by Jesus christ. I. The beginning I felt guilty to feel this way and felt it was my responsibility to stay because there is no factual way to prove what we feel is or is not the Holy Ghost. But I decided to take control of my life and I gave myself permission to do as my conscience dictated me. After I did this it was hard but in the end it was liberating and I finally was able to feel peace of mind and happiness.

    Yeah, if ypu feel this church doesn’t follow Jesus christ and doesn’t align with your beliefs any more, it is ok to get the heck away and start living, regardless of if the church is true or not. I hope this helps those that cannot come to the conclusion of if the church is true or not. It’s ok to leave. You are not going to burn in hell or anything like that. God bless us all.

  • Brian Kohrman

    Have you seen the Testimonies of Other Faiths blog? It has a lot of these testimonies.

    http://testimoniesofotherfaiths.blogspot.com/

  • Brian Kohrman

    edit- oops, duplicate comment.

  • David Sigmon

    I titled my Exit Story “The Spirit is Unreliable at Best” when I wrote it ten years ago. http://www.postmormon.org/exp_e/index.php/pomopedia/The_Spirit_is_unreliable_at_best/%22%20%20title=%22The_Spirit_is_unreliable_at_best

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