Coming to know God is an important part of our conversion and path to eternal life, but how can we know someone we haven’t even met?
The Bible famously declares that eternal life is knowing God (John 17:3). However, most of us won’t have life-altering experiences like Peter, Mary, Moses, or Joseph Smith. So how can we come to know God?
Dr. Mary Williams addresses this topic in her BYU devotional, “To Know and to Be Known of God.” She explains that simply knowing about God is not enough. She says, “Knowing Him in the way that He has counseled and pled with us to know Him requires everything we are and, in the end, changes our beings forever.” Even many of those that did walk and talk with Jesus didn’t ever know him in this way, including those from his hometown.
Our relationship with God isn’t based on small talk or seeing his face; it is built as we learn firsthand about him—his love, his desires, and his sacrifices—by following his example.
One way we follow God’s example is serving those around us. As we serve, we develop charity and see others the way God sees them. We learn more about the character of God and how much he cares about all of us, not in an abstract sense but in the sense that we are becoming the same type of person he is. God, in turn, comes to know us as people he can rely on and trust. A relationship is two-sided, and as we reach out to him, he is able to know us as true friends.
God wants to be our friend. He knows us and will help us in our journey to know him. Dr. Williams testifies, “The Savior will be our tutor and trainer in learning to know Him and be as He is.… His direction and counsel are deeply personal and demonstrate not only the Savior’s love for us but His knowledge of us.” Although the process to know God seems daunting, we have an advantage: God knows our circumstances, strengths, and weaknesses, and consequently how best to help us. If we choose to come to him, he will guide us to his open arms.
Read Dr. Mary Williams’s entire devotional, “To Know and to Be Known of God,” to learn more about coming to know God.
Source: BYU Speeches
—Sariah Roulstone, Latter-day Saint Insights
FEATURE IMAGE BY JULIA M CAMERON
Find more insights
Read Elder Dallin H. Oaks’s general conference talk “Focus and Priorities” to learn more about the importance of knowing God.
Read Dr. William H. Baker’s BYU devotional, “Knowing, Doing, and Being,” for more on the process of becoming like Christ.