It’s time we stopped idolizing truth. It’s time we stopped treating truth like a banner at the end of a mid-distance race.

See, over there in the distance? That’s truth, we say. It’s just over there, and if you just put forth a little effort, you’ll find it. And then, well, you’re done. You can just swim in truth the rest of your life. No wonder so many people feel inadequate in their testimonies.

No, truth is not something so easily attainable as we Latter-day Saints like to make it out to be. Thanks to the oversimplification of scriptures like Moroni’s promise in the Book of Mormon, we’ve created a church with an overdeveloped fetish for “truth,” as if it is some destination easily attained by reading a few chapters and saying a few prayers.

Truth is more like a wet bar of soap. Squeeze it too tight, and it will slip right out from under you. It’s like humility. The second you profess you have it, you’ve automatically lost it. Truth is like the fog. It’s always one small step ahead of you. You’re never really in it, but you’re always surrounded by it.

Truth isn’t designed to be known through the same type of studying you do to take a test. Truth is to be lived. It is to be felt. It is to be experienced.

Truth is not a destination. It’s not some ultimate goal we are striving toward. It is a force we are swimming in, but never fully able to grasp in this mortal realm. We’re blinded by so many things around us. Our own humanity. Our pettiness. Our understanding of time and space. Our preposterous hubris in thinking we can fully grasp the mysteries of the universe.

There’s a difference between truth and facts. Facts can tell us how many pages the Book of Mormon has in it, but it can’t communicate what you can feel from those pages. Only truth can.

Facts tell me that I have two children and a wife, but they can’t communicate to me the truth of the love I have for my family. Facts tell us that we can reliably count on the sun coming up in the morning and setting at night, but they can’t communicate the vastness of the night sky nor the jaw-dropping beauty of a fiery sunset. Facts can tell us about the creation of the earth. Truth helps us feel closer to its creator.

Of course, if truth is anything like I describe it to be, I could be completely wrong about all of this.

James Patterson lives with his wife and two children in North Carolina. He makes no apologies for being an avid fan of both Duke basketball and Taylor Swift.

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