Knowing ~~ Growing up in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints I heard a lot of people stand and profess to know. As a youth, I professed the same thing. At the time it was probably more of a belief and an act of faith to profess such knowledge. There are many that try to counter members of the Church for their knowing. I think that there is much that we can learn about knowing.
Alma taught the Zoramites that they could act on something as simple as a desire to believe, they didn’t even need faith, to begin with. Then, as we let this desire work on us we make an effort to gain knowledge. Another way of referring to knowledge could be “intelligence, or, in other words, light and truth.” (D&C 93:36) By pursuing things that are good we grow in light and truth but we may not have a perfect knowledge.
There is a difference between what we refer to as knowledge and having a perfect knowledge of things. I can know something based on what I experience. These experiences may be through the physical senses, but very often are through the spiritual senses. Jesus often referred to this as having eyes to see and ears to hear. He was referring to our spiritual eyes and ears.
Nephi, the son of Helaman, stated regarding his knowing as, “I know that these things are true because the Lord God has made them known unto me, therefore I testify that they shall be.” (Helaman 7:29). Our knowing tends to be something personal. To doubt another’s knowing is to doubt them. Each of us too can gain knowledge.
Gaining knowledge requires effort. It requires studying it out, deep and sincere pondering, acting on impressions or promptings, and intimate pray to our loving Father in Heaven.
If we are to grow in light and truth then we must experience a knowing for ourselves. It is not going to be a perfect knowledge at first. It will require us to desire to believe, then feel the swelling, enlightening, enlarging, and delicious experiences, then having and exercising faith, then eventually coming to a perfect knowledge. We, however, can know through faith by our own spiritual experiences.
We are not asked to just rely on others but can know for ourselves by our own experiences.