May 3, 2015

Returning To Faith

by Rosemary M. Wixom

This was a simple and short talk with a powerful message.  The talk was mostly a story about a sister who had to find out for herself just what it was she believed.  As she searched for answers, more and more questions arose, which led her to question the very foundation of her faith, and she became less active.

She said, "I did not separate myself from the Church because of bad behavior, spiritual apathy, looking for an excuse to live the commandments, or searching for an easy out.  I felt I needed the answer to the question 'What do I really believe?'

For me, this talk taught two important principles:
First, what we can do if we start questioning or doubting parts of the gospel?
Second, what we can do to help those who are experiencing these questions and doubts?

What Can We Do If We Start Questioning or Doubting?

"Focus on what you know"
We like the sister in this talk, can began by "tak[ing] one simple step forward in faith - and then another."
"[We] can focus on truths [we do] believe and let those truths fill [our] mind and heart."

Remember President Uchtdorf's in his October 2013 Conference talk telling us-
"It's natural to have questions. . .There are few members of the Church who, at one time or another, have not wrestled with serious or sensitive questions. . .my dear brothers and sisters -my dear friends- please, first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. "?
(by the way, this talk (Receiving a Testimony of Light and Truth) goes along awesomely with this talk)
Don't focus on what you don't know.  Focus on what you do - what you know without a doubt to be true.

Start with basic gospel truths, and go from there.  We can also ask ourselves, as did this sister, "Is this the right path for me and my family?" or "What do I want for my children?"

Elder Holland counsels us to "Hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes." and it will come.

Now for the second part,
What Can We Do to Help Those Who are Experiencing These Questions and Doubts?

-We can offer to let them lean on our faith.
-We can extend courtesy to them.
-We can give them some space and time to figure these things out for themselves.
-We can love them unconditionally
-We can include them
-We can urge them to keep trying, placing our confidence in them
-We can not judge

"We are all pilgrims seeking God's light as we journey on the path of discipleship.  We do not condemn others for the amount of light they may or may not have; rather we nourish and encourage all light until it grows clear, bright, and true." - Uchtdorf