Mormon epistemology, part 9
The rest of George's email...
I do believe that God answers sincere, honest, and faithful prayers. If you read the Koran and ask God "is this your word and is this true" I think he'll reveal to you that it is not, assuming you're sincere in your efforts and not just testing him.
I know the experiences that I've had. I don't know the experiences that you've had. I think the question to ask yourself is "Did God answer your prayer"? Is it possible that you moved on before any answer was given by God? I believe God loves all of us. I also believe that God may have a plan for each and everyone of us. Perhaps you weren't ready at the time and so no answer was given then. I can't interpret your revelation for you.....but I do believe that God does reveal things to us.
As for your question to me, I believe that if you prayed to God and sincerely asked "Is the Pope a Prophet of God" that God would reveal to you that he was not. In the event that Joseph Smith wasn't a prophet, I believe God would steer honest seekers of truth away from a false prophet and false scripture.
D&C 9:8-9 reads: But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.
9 But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.
Now, keep in mind, this is advice given regarding the process of translation. I think the "burning in the bosom" happens very rarely. I've only had one experience that I could describe like that and it was regarding a serious life decision. I have experienced the "stupor of thought" however as I've been steered away from other things.
More often, I believe revelation comes in this way as described in D&C 85 "Yea, thus saith the still small voice, which whispereth through and pierceth all things". For me it's most often a thought that is accompanied by feelings of joy or peace. If I'm unsure, I'll often pray and say "Father, this is what I THINK you're telling me, is that right".
That's the end of George's email.