When I was a child, I detested the evening news. Inevitably, I would hear reports of earthquakes, war, and violence. I have a vivid memory of laying in my bed late at night, while my parents had the television on in the next room. I'm pretty sure it was during the Vietnam War. Hearing those nightly reports seriously frightened me -- and I would put my pillow over my head to drown out the things I was hearing. The thinking was, that if I couldn't hear about bad things, they didn't exist.
As an adult, that doesn't work. Heck, it didn't really work then either. Life with all of its joy, in opposition, is filled with adversity and suffering. And for most people, it is during these adverse times of our lives, that we tend to think more deeply about the existence of God. The death of a loved one, is for most people, a time to consider if there really is life after death. If there is, and life continues, then there must be a purpose to this life. And if there is a purpose to this life, who's plan is it? These questions are intended to bring us, ultimately, to the reality that there is indeed a God.
Mormonism teaches that God has a plan for His children. We believe that the adversity we encounter here upon this earth, is specifically designed to give us experiences, that will ultimately teach us to become like God. Life here on earth, is like a refiners fire. If we turn to God in our trials, He will strengthen us, and ultimately through the atonement, purify us.
The best way I can relate to this, is through my experience as a parent. Raising five children was/is really hard work. There were times that I didn't think I would make it through to this side of it -- meaning they are not living in my home any longer. There was a lot of joy, but there was also a lot of deep emotional pain. Boyd K. Packer, an Apostle of the Lord said, that parents will learn much more from their children, than their children will ever learn from them. (paraphrasing) I can testify of this truth. As difficult as it is to be a parent, I am a much better person now, than I would have been without this experience. For me, being a parent is an important part of the process that I need, to become more like my Heavenly Father.
In Genesis 1:1 we learn that "In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth". This is the foundation and basis for us to believe that there is a God, that He is omnipotent, loving and the reason for man's existence in this mortal state. We learn further how the earth was organized and then ultimately that "God created man in his own image... male and female created he them" (Gen. 1-27).
For me, prayer is how I've truly come to know that there is a loving God -- and that God, is literally my Father in Heaven. Prayer is the vehicle by which a loving God enables communication from His Children. I know that He hears my prayers and that He also answers those prayers in very personal ways. I know He is there, and that He understands everything I am going through in my life -- and is in every detail that I will allow. I am profoundly grateful for His son, Jesus Christ. I have a firm testimony of this promise found in John 14:27:
Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
This peace comes through continual personal prayer. It is His peace that comforts me, when things in this world don't seem to make sense. And it is His peace that I have come to trust.
How has prayer helped you, to know that there is a God?
Things that tell me that tell me there is a God...
A Basis For Faith in the Living God - N. Eldon Tanner
A Good Husband: Is There A God?
LDS Friends: Is There a God? Does God Exist? Where Can One Find Evidence?