Sunday, February 24, 2013

What to Do With Doubts

Picture from

This is a story about a time that I doubted all that I knew, and still know, to be true.  This was the kind of doubt that can come to anyone who hears something out of the realm of their experience, or who is surprised to find that prophets are human, and not perfect.

In my memory I always believed in Jesus and loved Him.  I feel like faith in Jesus Christ is a gift I was given when I was very young.  I also have always believed that Joseph Smith was a prophet.  I had already had prayers answered many times.  I knew that Priesthood power had been restored to Earth, and I loved the Book of Mormon.  So it surprised me one day, while reading a book about Joseph Smith, when I came across something that made me feel like I had the feet knocked out from under me.

This was a biography that talked about Joseph, seer stones, and treasure hunting.  It was something out of my experience and I did not understand.  I felt like I had lost my anchor.  I was very afraid.  The question came to me, "What will I do if the gospel really is not true?"  I looked around at the life I loved, and thought of the promises I had made, and wondered what the right thing to do was.  Somehow, I failed to stop and realize that I still knew that Jesus lived, loved me, and atoned for me.  I didn't remember all of the times that my prayers had been answered.  The fear had taken over.

I talked to Derek about these things.   He explained what I had read in a helpful way, but I still felt unsure.  This is where years of teaching and habit came to the rescue.  I prayed.  I asked Heavenly Father if Joseph was a prophet.  I got no answer that I could hear, or feel. I read scriptures with Derek, and on my own, and then, when it was Sunday, I went to church.  There in Relief Society we sang Joseph Smith's First Prayer.  As I sang, I could feel the Holy Ghost testifying to me from my head all the way down to my toes that what I sang was true.  As has often been the case with me, my prayer was answered through music.

Prophets have taught that one of the best ways to strengthen our testimony, and to remember it, is to share it.  When we say what we believe out loud, the Holy Ghost testifies to us that what we say is true.  This can happen when we sing too.  It is normal to have questions and doubts, and when we do, the same scripture that helped Joseph, will help us.

James 1:5-6  "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.  But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering.  For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed."

1 comment:

Kayli said...

I really love this mom! I love that prayers can be answered in many different ways, even songs :)