So I was in a gospel doctrine class a few weeks back and the instructor, who we know, gave a great lesson on eyewitness accounts. I wanted to write my thoughts on what he said.
What was interesting to me is you see all the time on the news and people you talk with relate their personal stories or eyewitness account(s) of events only to find out that sometimes, not always, the story is different depending upon who saw it. Or in other words, you can get a different eye witness account based on who you talk to for the same event. Doesn't surprise me, because people can see things differently, experience things differently.
When there was a shooting at one of the stars wars films, many different eye witness accounts merged from this event, which in my opinion, could definitely be the case based off the different emotions that I could only image were going through the people who had to witness this event.
The instructor this Sunday gave his own account on after exiting the airport in Texas, him and his wife wanted to go get some BBQ. His wife was driving and got into a car accident right in front of the restaurant, can't remember if it was the restaurant they were going to or another, but at any rate, they were involved in an accident. Now eye witness account(s) to the officers stated that the wife was driving but that her husband switched places after the accident, which is illegal to do. So him and his wife were put into the back of the police car while officers worked on other items related to the accident. They eventually were let go after showing his wife's injury and how she hit her head and where etc.
This experience showed him how different an eyewitness account can be.
We read eye witness accounts all the time in history, not really knowing if this account is a full description on how things really happen or just an account of how that personal “saw” it. What we can trust, as it relates to church history and our testimonies, if what is true, what we know to be right, the simple testimony. Too many times people read "historical" eye witness accounts of events in church history and second guess their testimonies, or wonder if Joseph Smith really did what he did. Or the early saints, how could they have done this or that. I believe we must never forget when we first read the Book of Mormon and gained as testimony, or felt the spirit witness to us that Joseph Smith was prophet and restore Christ’s church.
I love the Ensign article from President Uchtdorf called "Aming at the Center" https://www.lds.org/ensign/2017/01/aiming-at-the-center?lang=eng Talks mainly about what our target and bullseye are. Basically the two great commandments. If we focus on loving God and loving man, all else will fall into place. I thought about this teaching when it comes to "questioning" the past, or so called history. How do I feel now about the gospel in terms of God? How am I loving Him? How am I loving His children, including loving myself.
I think these are great lessons on staying on the mark. Focusing on the target, not propaganda...