- Our precious relationships with families, friends, the Lord, and His restored Church are among the things that matter most in life. Because these relationships are so important, they should be cherished, protected, and nurtured.
We have these great relationships but sometimes we struggle with some aspect of the gospel or some imperfect person within the church.
- For some, Christ’s invitation to believe and remain continues to be hard—or difficult to accept. Some disciples struggle to understand a specific Church policy or teaching. Others find concerns in our history or in the imperfections of some members and leaders, past and present. Still others find it difficult to live a religion that requires so much. Finally, some have become “weary in well-doing.” For these and other reasons, some Church members vacillate in their faith, wondering if perhaps they should follow those who “went back, and walked no more” with Jesus
If you are having doubts and questions about your faith, Elder Ballard encourages us to live the gospel and don't give us. The answers will come that will strengthen our faith.
- If any one of you is faltering in your faith, I ask you the same question that Peter asked: “To whom shall [you] go?” If you choose to become inactive or to leave the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where will you go? What will you do? The decision to “walk no more” with Church members and the Lord’s chosen leaders will have a long-term impact that cannot always be seen right now. There may be some doctrine, some policy, some bit of history that puts you at odds with your faith, and you may feel that the only way to resolve that inner turmoil right now is to “walk no more” with the Saints. If you live as long as I have, you will come to know that things have a way of resolving themselves. An inspired insight or revelation may shed new light on an issue. Remember, the Restoration is not an event, but it continues to unfold.
He encourages us to never walk away from the things we do know. We all have experiences of spiritual strength in our lives. Rely on those, prayer, and reading the scriptures to find internal peace.
- Never abandon the great truths revealed through the Prophet Joseph Smith. Never stop reading, pondering, and applying the doctrine of Christ contained in the Book of Mormon.
Remember those moments that brought you into the church in the first place. Rely on these moments to bring that fire of burning testimony back into your life. The fire may die down but there is always something to reignite if we try.
- So before you make that spiritually perilous choice to leave, I encourage you to stop and think carefully before giving up whatever it was that brought you to your testimony of the restored Church of Jesus Christ in the first place. Stop and think about what you have felt here and why you felt it. Think about the times when the Holy Ghost has borne witness to you of eternal truth.
Elder Ballard ends with words of encouragement to continue to seek, pray, understand, and don't ever give up. Those that are in a good place need to reach out to those that are not and seek to lift those around them that need assistance strengthening their testimony.
- In the end, each one of us must respond to the Savior’s question: “Will ye also go away?” We all have to search for our own answer to that question. For some, the answer is easy; for others, it is difficult. I don’t pretend to know why faith to believe comes easier for some than for others. I’m just so grateful to know that the answers are always there, and if we seek them—really seek with real intent and with full purpose of a prayerful heart—we will eventually find the answers to our questions as we continue on the gospel path. In my ministry, I have known those who have drifted and returned after their trial of faith.
- My heartfelt plea is that we will encourage, accept, understand, and love those who are struggling with their faith. We must never neglect any of our brothers and sisters. We are all at different places on the path, and we need to minister to one another accordingly.
This talk has some meaning to me personally in my life. I have friends that I am working with in the gospel who are having trials of their faith. They are questioning the things they believe in but they know enough that they will not find answers outside the church. They are struggling to know what their faith is but they have had moments in their lives that testified to them that the gospel is true. To me, the thing to remember is that we are all at different points on the path. But never forget that we are all on the path. It is OK to question, it is OK to think about what we believe in. There is nothing wrong with wanting more faith to believe. But in our doubts, in our questions, we need to be open to the idea that God will answer or questions in His own way and His own time. It is our job to find those answers however He sends them to us. And above all else, never give up. There are answers ahead, there is light ahead, there is love and peace in the future. Let's not give up because the path seems difficult in the moment.