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Mormon Scholars Testify: L. Douglas Smoot

TitleMormon Scholars Testify: L. Douglas Smoot
Publication TypeWeb Article
Year of Publication2011
AuthorsL. Smoot, Douglas
Access Date3 April 2018
Last Update DateAugust 2011
PublisherMormon Scholars Testify
KeywordsBook of Mormon; Revelation; Testimony

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L. Douglas Smoot

I grew up in a small town (Springville) just south of Provo, Utah. My father was a laborer and my mother also worked full-time in a department store. Both were members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon Church), though neither was active in my youth. My parents sent me to our nearby ward with my two sisters and I always went willingly. There were no religious discussions, prayers, or blessings in our home. My belief and conviction of the truthfulness of the teachings of the Mormon Church grew steadily, though slowly, through these high school and college years. In these formative years, I had questions regarding some of the church doctrines but I continued to attend church regularly, to serve in the church, and to read the canonized scriptures of the church including the Holy Bible and the Book of Mormon. I have not encountered any church principles that are contrary to my personal beliefs as a scientist. I believe that truth will prevail, whether from scientific discovery or from heavenly revelation. As an advanced college student, and then professional, and a husband and father, my testimony increased, through reading of the scriptures, answers to prayers, seeing the impact of the church on the lives of new members, and hearing testimonies of others. Now, I have an unwavering conviction that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is true and that it possesses the priesthood authority of God to provide the essential saving ordinances, including baptism, to all who will believe and repent. I bear witness that this church was restored in the latter days by revelation to the Prophet Joseph Smith and that each succeeding president of the church holds the sacred keys of the priesthood. I believe that the Book of Mormon, like the Holy Bible, contains the fullness of the gospel. It has been my studying and pondering of the Book of Mormon and the promised inspiration of the Holy Ghost that the book is true that has had the greatest impact on my testimony. I bear witness that Jesus Christ is the literal Son of God, the Father, and that He suffered in the Garden of Gethsemane and on the cross to overcome death brought about by the fall of Adam and the sins and weaknesses of all humankind, including me. I know He is my Savior, and without His atoning sacrifice I would be hopelessly lost for the eternities. My membership in the church and my family are most important to me in my life.

Post script: In later years, both of my parents became active in the church and married in the sacred temple before passing away.


I was born in Provo, Utah, in 1934. I was a high school and intercollegiate athlete, graduated from high school and BYU with honors, and earned two college degrees from BYU and two more from the University of Washington in engineering and science. My career has been in university education (professor, director, dean) and in technical consulting in the field of energy. I have traveled and lectured around the world and have received university, industrial, state, national, and international recognition for my work. I served the church as bishop of a congregation (a ward) and as a president of a group of wards (a stake). I am married, have four daughters, and now enjoy grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

Posted August 2011