Marlin K. Jensen, emeritus General Authority, bore his testimony of faith in the Restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ through the prophet Joseph Smith during a BYU–Hawaii devotional on Nov. 14.
Kathleen Jensen, wife of Marlin K. Jensen, introduced her husband by citing his many different positions in the Church over the course of his life.
“He has been bishop, stake president, mission president, area president, and church historian- including working on the Joseph Smith Papers project as well as the new Saints book, which reviews the history of the Church.”
John Stokes, an undecided freshman from New Jersey, shared, “It was more intimate knowing some of his personal life and professional background… this devotional was different because he is definitely qualified to present on the Church- he has been in a myriad of different positions in the Church.”
He continued, “I had the blessing of hearing the general authorities and the women leaders of the Church discuss the genesis of their testimonies, of how they came to know the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints was true. Learning how they came to know led to self-examination of my own genesis of faith.”
Jensen explained, “Epistemology is the study of how people come to know. To know in spiritual and religious matters is considered problematic by the world.
“As society has become more secular and our thinking has been influenced by relativism, doubt has arisen as to whether one can know anything with confidence.”
The retired general authority concluded this line of thought when he stated, “There are things I know are true. I know them with sufficient certainty they have regulated the conduct of my life and largely determined the objects of my devotion.”
“I could do you, my young friends,” Jensen elaborated, “no greater service than to become more aware, more mindful, of the development of your own religious convictions, to help you formulate your own personal epistemology.
“The Savior says we can know a true prophet by his fruits, or the results or product of his life and teachings.”
As he reflected on a gospel ordinance he had witnessed, Jensen related, “The elements that made that precious moment possible all resulted from Joseph Smith’s prophetic calling.
“The concept of our daughter’s place in Israel, the priesthood authority to bless her, the principle God reveals his mind and will concerning his children even the knowledge to do so… All of these marvelous truths that bless and enrich our lives are the fruits of a true prophet.”
Jensen finished, “Commandments, in the abstract, without the context provided by the plan of redemption, are more difficult to appreciate and obey.”
Edwin Dyer, a sophomore biology major from California, said he thought “the main point was obedience can change your life. It seemed to be an overriding theme. The importance of a personal testimony and development of ideals from one’s own life was also a highlight.”