Subject: I KNOW
Date: Aug 14 05:43
Author: Nightingale
Mail Address:

I think somebody asked this not too long ago. But WHY do Mormons say I KNOW so much? I think somebody posted a link to a quote or scripture about it. At first I found it intriquing. I too wanted to KNOW answers. I thought they really did KNOW. Until I heard a few too many say "fake it til you make it" about testimonies. HOW could you stand up there and say I know when you only hope or believe or even completely disbelieve?

And how does it translate into "I know the church is true" as a response to EVERY question? Do people really think that is satisfactory? Or is it something else they're faking?

In terms of doctrine, WHY does it make a difference if you say I know instead of I believe?

Subject: Good question
Date: Aug 14 05:57
Author: medicret
Mail Address:

This is a very good question. Maybe it is that no one wants to admit there wrong. So when you say (I know) you are really saying I am programed to know. Or I do not have a mind of my own. And never say I think or I want to beleve. Or even worse I want to learn.

Subject: Re: I KNOW
Date: Aug 14 06:20
Author: scott jt
Mail Address:

When you say I KNOW something, it implies that you know
with absolute certainty, no way your wrong about it,
that that's how it is end of discusion.
When you say I BELIEVE something, it implies your pretty
sure about it but you don't actually know for certain
but have high hopes that that's the way it is, but there's
the acknowledgement that you could be wrong.

I think Mormons say I KNOW so much because they're
subconsciously tring to self-brainwash themselves.
When they chant to themselves I KNOW I KNOW I KNOW
it pushes away all the lingering doubts. At least
temporarily. If they chanted I BELIEVE I BELIEVE
I BELIEVE the lingering doubts would still be there.
Then they come home from their testimony meeting in
an artificial state of euphoria because all the
congnitave disonnance is squelched for a while.
The euphoria lasts for a while inhibiting the
nagging doubts. The doubts eventually resurface.
So they repeat the process next month. The chant
sticks even better at the subconscious level if
they starve themselves for a bit first because
then they're kind of out of it from lack of engergy.
Each time they do the I KNOW thing their happy happy
joy joy fix works a little better and suppresses more
of those doubts. Until your left with a happy smiling
zombie singing La La La LOL Sorry... That's my take
on it.

I need to go to bed. Goodnight :)

Subject: Speaking for myself
Date: Aug 14 09:59
Author: I am someone
Mail Address:

I can say that this "I know" crap was drilled into us as missionaries for 2 years. It started at the MTC, was in the guidebook we were supposed to study for 30 minutes every morning, and was enforced at every zone conference during demonstrations, practice, and testimony time.
I think it started in the missionary program and spread to the rest of the church from RM's. The missionary program emphasizes it because it makes for much more powerful salesmen who show no lack of confidence in what they are selling.

Subject: I told my mom it sounds like Mormons are trying to convince themselves...
Date: Aug 14 10:10
Author: nonmemberfriend
Mail Address:

And said that usually in other religions, people don't feel the need to say I KNOW IT IS TRUE. They just practice the religion.

Subject: The programming starts very early...
Date: Aug 14 10:31
Author: Wulfen
Mail Address:

...when little TBMs-in-training are stood up before the congregation, and their parents whisper in their ears what to say: "I know the church is true…"

Of course, they know no such thing. And here is where the boundary between belief and knowledge is blurred, (or not allowed to form in the first place).

I recently hooked up with an old college roommate. He's still active, but is completely tolerant of me being inactive. We had a very good discussion, late into the night. We got onto this very subject: TBMs insisting that they know something that they really only believe passionately. His response was very enlightening. He said, "I don't' know that there is a difference."

I then gave him an analogy to explain my take on it. "Suppose I stood on the corner a block away, and saw a $50 bill stuck in some gum under the bench. Then suppose I came and told you about it. Would you know it was there, or only believe it?"

"Oh, if you told me Wulfen, I would KNOW it."

"No," I said, "you could only believe it. Until you actually walked over there and saw for yourself, it could only be belief. What we have in the Mormon church, is millions of people running around insisting that they KNOW there's $50 at the street corner, when they've never actually seen it." I ended by saying that there's nothing wrong with believing something, as long as you're honest and admit that this is the case.

And after all, if one cannot distinguish between what they know and what they believe, how can they ever know anything?

Subject: **********Great post Wulfen!!!!!!
Date: Aug 14 13:42
Author: Susan I/S

But you made me spit my juice!
"I don't' know that there is a difference."
I'm still sitting here with my mouth open. Love the $50 thing too.
You see, if you KNOW you never have to look at the subject again. Don't confuse me with facts, my mind is made up, I KNOW.

Subject: I DON"T KNOW the answer to your questions but I DO KNOW
Date: Aug 14 10:40
Author: then again
Mail Address:

the truth of Joseph Smith and his false prophesies, marriage to other men's wives, marriage to 14 yo girls, illusions of grandure, ...

Yes, I KNOW about these lies. And my knowledge is based on fact, not some heartburn feeling.

Subject: They use it to imply they've had the ultimate...
Date: Aug 14 12:21
Author: Fly
Mail Address:

...witness of the Spirit. God has given them so many signs and miracles, and their bosoms have burned so brightly, that they no longer can have any doubt as to the truthfulness of the Gospel...they KNOW.

That's what many TBM's (including myself at one point) think they've had: irrefutable spiritual confirmation from God. They KNOW.

They also use it as a sort of loyalty pledge. By asserting publicly they KNOW the church is true (what part of it? which doctrine? which prophecy...was he speaking as a man or an ass?) they tell everyone in the congregation how Mormon they are, and how they will never leave the church. Loyalty counts.

Subject: I don't know why
Date: Aug 14 13:46
Author: Lilith
Mail Address:

But that 'speaking as a man or an an ass" made me burst out laughing....thanks...Loud laughter is good for my non mormon soul/

Subject: I faked it for 40 years. I lied numerous times about "knowing" it to be true.
Date: Aug 14 13:51
Author: Socrates
Mail Address:

Finally, after 40 years I admitted to myself that I didn't believe it and I never would. So I guess I never "made" it.

Subject: The fallacy of ALMA
Date: Aug 14 13:53
Author: blabbermeister
Mail Address:

-closest scriptural match is Alma, ch 32. just like Moroni, Alma's speech in chapter 32 commits the same logical error, namely, that "swelling in the soul" (or burning bosom, whatever) is evidence of knowledge (verse 34, below).


* If (the church is true), then (I'll get the "swelling")
* (I got the "swelling")
* Therefore, the church is true.

Logic just doesn't work backwards that way.

26 Now, as I said concerning faith—that it was not a perfect knowledge—even so it is with my words. Ye cannot know of their surety at first, unto perfection, any more than faith is a perfect knowledge.

27 But behold, if ye will awake and arouse your faculties, even to an experiment upon my words, and exercise a particle of faith, yea, even if ye can no more than adesire to believe, let this desire work in you, even until ye believe in a manner that ye can give place for a portion of my words.

28 Now, we will compare the word unto a aseed•. Now, if ye give place, that a bseed• may be planted in your cheart, behold, if it be a true seed, or a good seed, if ye do not cast it out by your dunbelief, that ye will resist the Spirit of the Lord, behold, it will begin to swell within your breasts; and when you feel these swelling motions, ye will begin to say within yourselves—It must needs be that this is a good seed, or that the word is good, for it beginneth to enlarge my soul; yea, it beginneth to eenlighten my funderstanding, yea, it beginneth to be delicious to me.

29 Now behold, would not this increase your faith? I say unto you, Yea; nevertheless it hath not grown up to a perfect knowledge.

30 But behold, as the seed swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, then you must needs say that the seed is good; for behold it swelleth, and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow. And now, behold, will not this strengthen your faith? Yea, it will strengthen your faith: for ye will say I know that this is a good seed; for behold it sprouteth and beginneth to grow.

31 And now, behold, are ye sure that this is a good seed? I say unto you, Yea; for every seed bringeth forth unto its own alikeness•.

32 Therefore, if a seed groweth it is good, but if it groweth not, behold it is not good, therefore it is cast away.

33 And now, behold, because ye have tried the experiment, and planted the seed, and it swelleth and sprouteth, and beginneth to grow, ye must needs know that the seed is good.

34 And now, behold, is your aknowledge bperfect•? Yea, your knowledge is perfect in that thing, and your cfaith• is dormant; and this because you know, for ye know that the word hath swelled your souls, and ye also know that it hath sprouted up, that your understanding doth begin to be enlightened, and your dmind doth begin to expand.

Subject: Simple. Because . . .
Date: Aug 14 13:54
Author: sonoflds
Mail Address:

while it is certainly a result of indoctrination, and while I doubt many of them really think about it, you can eliminate ANY possible evidence to the contrary of Mormonism. If you say "you know" then evidence is irrelevent. Indeed, saying "you know" is evidence in and of itself to them.

Subject: The claim of knowledge is necessary, because ...
Date: Aug 14 14:15
Author: Zoe
Mail Address:

they don't have faith. Knowledge is not belief, as Wulfen has pointed out, although Mormonism blurs the distinction, to the point that his poor Mormon friend doesn't know that there is a distinction, and, doesn't, therefore, even know his own mind. Surely knowing the difference between what one knows and what one merely believes is a foundation for self-knowledge? But I suppose that's another conversation.

Bottomline: they don't teach faith, and they don't understand faith, so they pretend to know, and everyone knows that knowledge is better than faith, so the Mormons Church must be better than the others.

Subject: The thoughts on speaking such things...
Date: Aug 14 14:26
Author: A Voice from the past
Mail Address:

There is a school of spiritual thought, that one can speak things into existence... That by speaking things enough, these things come to be... Or in Biblical terms, "Faith cometh by hearing..."

In some ways this is true, if we hear someting enough, we can come to believe it. If it is something that is within the realm of possible, it can come to pass.

If everytime a person on a diet is hungry and tempted, they stop and say "I will meet my goal wieght", and stick with the diet, instead of caving in and hitting the snack bar, that person will make their goal weight. Why, because 1) the goal was possible to begin with, 2) The words became a tool to retrain the mind, hunger = Diet working = making one's goals, and 3) The words reinforced the decission NOT to break the diet.

Unfortunately, "truths do not change", so as much as one wishes to belive something, that faith and those words will not change matters of truth.

Once there was a stage magician and hypnotist, who used slight of hand and suggestion to perfome fantastic illusions. One could almost believe that he had found the Alchemists stone, as his act was so good. Then one day, when out riding with his agent, their car had a flat tire and the spare was flat as well.

The agent turned to the magician and said, "why don't you use your powers, and fix the tire."

THe magician replied, "Only one problem, see I can hypnotixe you into believeing the tire isn't flat, I can hypnotise myself into believing that the tire isn't flat. But the problem is I can't hypnotise the tire into believing it is not flat."

Reality wins.

On a psycnological note: I have noted several times, that the phrase "I KNOW THE CHURCH IS TRUE", seems to be used in the church as some kind of post-hynotic reset switch. Being a never-mo, my LDS friends were able to be more honest eith their feelings around myself and my wife (less chance of it getting back to the ward I guess). Anyway, there have been times when I saw people so frustrated by the church's games that they fired off on a complete railing rant... But just as they were about to come to the point that it all must be crap, they stop, and say "I KNOW THE CHURCH IS TRUE", then they calm down (quite suddenly), and the entire emotional tirade is forgotten. The first few times I saw it, it was very disconcerting.

Well a few thoughts on the subject.