Saturday, May 14, 2016

Dieter F. Uchtdorf on overcoming doubts with faith

President Dieter F. Uchtdorf (1940- ) served as a Seventy from 1994-2004, when he was called as a member of the Quorum of Twelve.  He has served as second counselor in the First Presidency since 2008.
"It's natural to have questions—the acorn of honest inquiry has often sprouted and matured into a great oak of understanding. There are few members of the Church who, at one time or another, have not wrestled with serious or sensitive questions. One of the purposes of the Church is to nurture and cultivate the seed of faith—even in the sometimes sandy soil of doubt and uncertainty. Faith is to hope for things which are not seen but which are true.
"Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters—my dear friends—please, first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ....
"If you expect to find perfect people here, you will be disappointed. But if you seek the pure doctrine of Christ, the word of God 'which healeth the wounded soul' (Jacob 2:8), and the sanctifying influence of the Holy Ghost, then here you will find them. In this age of waning faith—in this age when so many feel distanced from heaven's embrace—here you will find a people who yearn to know and draw closer to their Savior by serving God and fellowmen, just like you. Come, join with us!"
- Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "Come, Join with Us," Ensign, Nov 2013, pp. 21-24
Click here to read the full talk

I really loved this whole talk by President Uchtdorf. How true it is that "acorn[s] of honest inquiry" truly can sprout into "great oak[s] of understanding"—but if the inquiry is not honest, a very different result can occur. So much depends on our attitude and approach. If we are trying to plant "in the sometimes sandy soil of doubt and uncertainty" we face the risk of faith shriveling and dying.

And this led President Uchtdorf to share the classic couplet: "First doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith." When we begin with a foundation of faith and hope, we must be very careful to not let doubt undermine what we know is true and right.

In the Church, we find perfect and pure doctrine; but we don't find perfect people. Sometimes we have to focus on the doctrine in order to cope with the people! It's sadly true that we sometimes need "the sanctifying influence of the Holy Ghost" to help us cling to faith in the midst of doubt. But it's worth it!

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