To Tell The Truth...I Don't Know

For any principle or change to take hold we must accept the possibility of being wrong. We must admit that a possibility remains that we don’t know everything. This does not mean abandoning our foundational principles but accepting the possibility of flaws within them. Platforms have been created for anyone to express their opinion on everything. Many choose to die a hill of little importance or of limited knowledge. People obtain creditability based on the number of followers, tweets and likes they have received. Many with little life experience fall victim to delusions of grandeur all because some anon retweeted their post.

With such ease of validation and zero accountable to action or actual knowledge, men, women, and children have gravitated to opinions based on little understanding and have accepted them as fact. They then express these “facts” as their own refusing to listen to any conflicting understanding. The possibility of being wrong acts as a trigger that causes complete defiance or worse indifference and detachment.

The information age has become the unwillingness to listen to information age. We have found our tribes not by those that have similar values but instead have aligned with those that have biased hostility for our similar loathing. Rather than looking for things we have in common, we isolate our differences. We close ourselves off to learning, understanding, and relationships. As we sequester ourselves from the ideas of others, we condemn ourselves to our own understanding. Our comprehension is deficient when we refuse the influence of good people, good books, and God.

While truth is firm, the understanding of it has become blurred and altered. The ideas of man mingled with scripture are more prevalent than ever. As truth is never wavering and unbiased in every way, deciphering it has become more and more difficult. Some have taken basic understanding of math concepts and deemed them racist and declared biology as bigoted. While truth may come from any source, it is the source that must be measured, weighed, and valued. It is when we step out of our comforts that we can find truth hidden in the most obscure places.

Subtle truths are built line upon line as we cultivate relationships of mutual understandings. When we listen, we will find that many times we have considerably more in common than we ever imagined. It is this foundation that provides more insight when Gordon B. Hinckley said, “‘You bring with you all the good that you have and let us add to it.” If more operated under this same philosophy, those that look to deceive would lose all credibility and power. As more truth is heard the easier it becomes to distinguish the lie.

Very few speak unfiltered truth but those that do should be a constant source of understanding and learning. There are many reasons to lie or obscure fact. Whether it be personal or political agenda, fear of how others might react or simply our own inadequacies. Many unwittingly deceive as they speak what they believe to be true but have yet to gain a full understanding. I have seen people fall away from relationships, loyalties, religion and God because someone unknowingly taught something as truth that they themselves had only partial understandings. This caused the questioning of correct principles because they failed to align with the supposed “truth”. There is only one reason for truth, and it is in truth itself.

Too often we confuse exaggeration, partial truths and white lies as tact. Those willing to deliver truth no matter the consequence are willing to do so bluntly as well as subtly. The more they do, the more they recognize how the recipient most needs that delivery. If a home were ablaze, we would not quietly approach the inhabitants coaxing them to leave as if there were a small grease fire in the kitchen. We would do anything necessary including physically removing them ourselves. Likewise, we do not scream and yell at our spouse, threatening divorce or therapy, for missing the exit on the freeway that is most direct to our destination.

Sometimes our path to truth comes in the form of a life that seems to be on the verge of ash from the inferno of our circumstances. Other times it may come by taking the longer detour that requires a few more turns. And there will be times that it simply comes from the most direct and obvious route. It is the direct and obvious that we should seek. The ability to recognize our current state and own ignorance will allow us to move from the flames and wandering onto the evident and apparent. Unfortunately, too many people genuinely believe they are on the unmistakably path to truth when in fact they are lost and wandering toward the incineration.

This is not to mean that those with the strongest of convictions are most likely to also be lost. I have strong beliefs. I, and others, may even define some views as knowledge rather than belief. I can passionately and courageously express what I know, but if God or one of His representatives were to tell me that everything I know is wrong I would gladly abandon those beliefs to stand on the right side with God than on the wrong side with my pride seemingly intact. The very idea of being wrong is a sign of the ultimate defeat for some. With the admission is even worse. For others, finding out that they are wrong comes as a great blessing as it allows a correction to the path they’re on bringing them ever closer to truth and light.

It is the truths that we know that will create our personal paradigms. By these paradigms come our actions and our rewards. When we act upon the deceit of the world, we are subject to the world’s compensation. With that payment comes expectation and a debt difficult to repay. While truth has its own obligations, its debt has been paid and its bonds satisfied.

The unknowing is not a sin but the refusal to find out may be. To willfully remain naïve in our own ignorance is lazy at best at damning at worst. To be blissfully negligent from truth does not remove the obligations nor does it bring freedom. Instead, it blinds us from our foreordination of greatness. It is truth, no matter how difficult to accept, that will lead us to our purpose.

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