No organization on this planet is perfect, including the restored Church of Jesus Christ on the earth. His gospel and doctrines are perfect but when mortal men oversee any organization, we will run into imperfections.
There may be a point in our church history or a something of doctrine that doesn’t seem right to you. It may take great faith to keep seeking for your answer but keep seeking.
Here are several suggestions for dealing with points that you might struggle with.
Give it time
When you have a question that you don’t seem to have an answer for, don’t give up, give it time.
There may be a topic you won’t have an answer to for a long while. Be patient while you prepare your heart to receive an answer. Do not try to anticipate what that answer might be, just listen.
Lack of evidence is not proof
If there is something that doesn’t make sense right away, know that it does not make the church’s teachings untrue. We know that we have the fullness of the gospel and the priesthood authority. We know that the Savior Himself is the head of this church. We have the beautiful scriptures which have been written especially for our day to guide us with the personal gift of the Holy Ghost. We can count on these things.
Elder Uchtdorf said, “Some struggle with unanswered questions about things that have been done or said in the past. We openly acknowledge that in nearly 200 years of Church history—along with an uninterrupted line of inspired, honorable, and divine events—there have been some things said and done that could cause people to question.
Sometimes questions arise because we simply don’t have all the information and we just need a bit more patience. When the entire truth is eventually known, things that didn’t make sense to us before will be resolved to our satisfaction.”1
Examine the source
Examine what sources you are looking to for clarification. Are they reliable or antagonistic of the church?
In the recent face to face event with Elder Cook, he met with two church historians about the new book Saints, dealing with a portion of church history. This book was put out to clarify and give true accounts of things the members of the church have questioned. One thing they mentioned that touched me was that these stories and comments are in context.
I heard of a former missionary that had attended a different worship meeting where the leader opened the Book of Mormon and quoted from the wicked Zoramites in Alma 31:16 saying, “and also thou hast made it known unto us that there shall be no Christ.” He then proceeded to badmouth the church. That could persuade many people against us if they didn’t know that a wicked group of people was trying to pervert the ways of God. Context is everything. Misunderstandings can do damage.
When you have doubts, don’t be afraid to ask questions and to express your concerns to Heavenly Father for help to find your answers. We encourage our members to ask for understanding and to search. The prophet Joseph Smith asked questions and he was prepared to receive answers that changed the world.
Doubt your doubts
Lastly, in the words of Elder Uchtdorf, “Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith.” 1 You have a testimony of the gospel of Jesus Christ and the restored organization that He leads on the earth. We are all imperfect people on the earth and many of our trials come from having to deal with the weaknesses of mortality. Sadly, people will sometimes be wronged, hurt or offended but those are the times when you need to remember when the Holy Ghost witnessed to your soul that this is all true.
We are blessed to have a knowledge of the complete gospel of Jesus Christ and with the gift of the Holy Ghost, there is nothing we can’t overcome.
- “Come, Join with Us,” President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, April 2013 General Conference