Please let us know if you have any questions.
I love questions. I love asking questions and answering questions and meeting people who have sincere questions about our church and our doctrine. Maybe I don’t have all the answers, but I know Someone who does. Maybe we don’t have all the answers right now, but He does. And I trust in Him enough to know that one day the answers will come.
The reason behind this statement from the First Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (our prophet, President Thomas S. Monson, and his two apostle-counselors President Henry B. Eyring and President Dieter F. Uchtdorf) is a controversial one that I’m not going to mention here. I love this statement, though, and what it says about us as a church and our doctrine.
Several months ago, in the first area I served in and with my first companion, there was a little bit of a running joke between us. When we were in a lesson, teaching someone about the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ, she always asked a lot of questions to see if the person we were teaching understood what we had talked about or to get to understand the other person’s beliefs. I, on the other hand, loved answering questions. Even the really bizarre ones. (Those are kind of my favorite…) So, in other words, my companion loved asking questions and I loved answering them.
Questions promote learning. Learning promotes understanding. Questions are just the spark that encourages us to seek out answers and try to understand a concept, idea, or principle of doctrine.
Less than a year ago, I had a question about a certain point in church doctrine. In fact, it’s still a point of some dissonance between certain people and the gospel. Simply put, it didn’t matter how many times or how many different ways I’d heard leaders explain it, I just couldn’t understand it. It didn’t fit together with the way I saw the world or the way I understood Heavenly Father’s love for each one of us. And, yes, I even left on my mission without understanding the “why” behind it. I trusted Heavenly Father, though, and I knew that one day I would understand it. Maybe not in this life, but one day I would be able to understand how it all fit together.
Then something incredible happened.
I say incredible, but really it wasn’t anything earth-shattering or world-changing. A little over a week into my time in the Missionary Training Center in Mexico City was the General Conference for our church. General Conference is an amazing time when we have the opportunity to hear from not only our living prophet, but also all of the 12 living Apostles over two days. I wasn’t actively pondering on the question that I had, but it’s sort of always been in the back of my mind, and that weekend I got an answer. Again, it didn’t completely shake the ground under me or completely shift anything. No. Instead what came was a quiet confirmation. Why did it have to be a certain way? Because that was the way God intended it to be. Not to make anyone miserable or make them feel like they were of less value in His eyes. Not at all. But He created the law in a way to help all of His children fulfill the most important part of the plan He has for us. It will be ok because Heavenly Father will always have our best interests at heart. We just have to trust Him enough to obey the higher law.
I’m grateful for the question that I had. I’m grateful that I trusted enough that one day I would receive the answer that would help me to understand the “why”. It definitely took some time, but I’m better off for it.
Questions are key to learning anything: in the gospel, in the world, in our own lives. So if you sincerely have a question, sincerely seek the answer. It might not come right away, but it will come.
I can promise you that your answer will come. Mine did. Yours will.