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Four Questions to Ask When Doubt Persists

When we experience crippling doubt, focusing on primary questions can help us find peace.

Have you ever discovered a policy or an event in the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints that was difficult to reconcile with your understanding of Church doctrine? Sometimes, in our quest for truth, we get sucked deeply into questions that seem unending or unanswerable.

"Not all questions are equal and not all truths are equal." —Lawrence E. Corbridge

Photo by Messala Ciulla

Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge, in a BYU devotional titled “Stand Forever,” differentiates between two types of questions. He calls questions “secondary questions” that have to do with things like Church history or Church policy. He suggests that shifting our focus to “primary questions”—those that highlight the most important things—can help us answer the secondary questions we may have. Four of the primary questions are as follows:

  1. Is there a God who is our Father? Knowing that God exists and that he is our Father helps us believe that he is guiding both us and Church leaders.
  2. Is Jesus Christ the Son of God, the Savior of the world? Answering this question helps us have faith that wrongs will be righted. 
  3. Was Joseph Smith a prophet? Although Joseph Smith was human, knowing that he was a prophet helps us believe that the way he set up the Church was inspired by God.
  4. Is The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints the kingdom of God on the earth? A “yes” to this question suggests that the Church is meant to help prepare God’s children for reconciliation with him.

As Elder Corbridge says, “Not all questions are equal and not all truths are equal.” Although we can’t always find satiating answers to secondary questions, we can find peace by identifying answers to primary questions.

Watch or read Elder Lawrence E. Corbridge’s entire devotional “Stand Forever” for more suggestions on reconciling doubts and questions.

Source: BYU Speeches

—Mikaela Wilkins, Latter-day Saint Insights


Find more insights 

Watch or read Elder Jeffrey R. Holland discuss overcoming doubt in his talk “Lord, I Believe.”

Get more insights from Elder Corbridge’s devotional by reading Kimber Severance’s article “You Are Allowed to Believe in the Magnificent.”

Read Samantha Worrall’s article “Do Policy Changes Negate Standing Doctrine?” for another way to view gospel questions.

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