Even the strongest testimonies can be shaken, but there are ways you can keep holding on to your faith and stay planted in Christ.
Some Latter-day Saints are experiencing what LDS scholar Patrick Q. Mason refers to as a “faith crisis”: they are questioning their beliefs and seeking answers to troubling dilemmas. Other members of the Church have strong testimonies but face aspects of their faith that are difficult to understand.
In the book Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt, the latest addition to the Neal A. Maxwell Institute for Religious Scholarship’s Living Faith series, Mason offers his perspective on important questions and seeks to help Church members find firm ground in which to plant their testimonies.
Some members can feel overwhelmed by expectations and responsibilities in the Church. To avoid this feeling, Mason recommends simplifying your approach to living the gospel and accepting that you can’t do everything at once. You can decide where your focus should be by asking yourself, “If I could do only one thing well today, what should it be?”
If there are problems about your faith that bother you, seek solutions creatively and proactively. If you have disagreements or misunderstandings with others, be “anxiously engaged” in finding compromises that work. Act with compassion and sensitivity while moving forward. Most importantly, find a “tether”—something, someone, anything that will keep you connected with the gospel of Jesus Christ, even when everything else seems uncertain.
If you know someone who is struggling with his or her faith, you can help. Mason encourages us to “create spaces of inclusion” by helping others feel welcome and genuinely valued in the Church. Don’t dismiss or avoid answering their questions when they ask. When you notice others going through a faith crisis, you can be a support to them. As Mason reminds us, “Be the type of friend, family member, or fellow Church member who provides the safe connection that we all so desperately need.”
Learn more about Patrick Q. Mason’s book, Planted: Belief and Belonging in an Age of Doubt.
—Melissa Gee, Mormon Insights
feature image by pixabay user unsplash
Find more insights
Read an adapted excerpt from Patrick Q. Mason’s book, “Surviving a Faith Crisis (and How Church Members Can Help).” This excerpt highlights additional ways that those struggling with doubts can cope and how friends and family can support them in the process.
Read or watch Elder M. Russell Ballard’s talk “Stay in the Boat and Hold On!” for counsel on staying firm in the gospel when your testimony is challenged.
Read the article “Hold On to the Light” by LaRene Porter Gaunt to learn how to hold on to your testimony with the help of the Holy Ghost.
Read the article “When Doubts and Questions Arise” by Adam Kotter to learn more about the difference between doubts and questions and how you can find answers.
Watch the Mormon Messages video “You Know Enough” to hear Elder Neil L. Andersen’s encouraging counsel for those with questions.