SPIRITUAL EXPERIENCES AS THE BASIS FOR BELIEF AND COMMITMENT The heart of Mormon commitment is the a “testimony” based upon spiritual experiences. I look at the status of spiritual experience as the ground of commitment for one’s life, its epistemic status and its spiritual significance. I argue that attacks claiming that such experiences are not trustworthy because they are merely ephemeral emotions are based on a caricature and unjustified reduction. In the hands of evangelicals, these critiques are self-refuting, incoherent, and contrary to scripture. The same attack from a secular perspective is also unjustifiably reductive and selfdefeating, but for different reasons. Religious experiences entail both cognitive and affective dimensions that, when synergistically joined, are a sound basis of commitment.There is a peculiar genius and beauty in religious commitment that is won by God one heart at a time.
BLAKE OSTLER and BILL HEERSINK