I grew up knowing that several of my family members had struggled with their faith in the gospel, but I was always taught that having questions and not having all the answers was OK. This was a comfort to me when I faced my own questions and struggles in the gospel as I got older.
I knew the Lord was constant, and though I didn’t know everything, I was satisfied knowing that God loves all His children (see 1 Nephi 11:17) and that He would reveal truth to me as I was ready for it.
I was in high school when I realized that some people did not come from that same background. When they faced questions in the gospel, the entire foundation of their faith was shaken. I had friends who would then stray from their faith because they did not know how to move forward with the questions that they had, and other friends began calling their questions a “faith crisis.”
I have never liked the phrase “faith crisis.” This phrase continued to appear as I went to college, served a mission, and began interacting more with my adult family members. Many people that I loved felt like not knowing the answers to their questions merited the “faith crisis” label, and I hated seeing my loved ones struggle.
Questions and Faith Invite Revelation
For me, a “crisis of faith” implies that having questions about the gospel and not knowing or understanding the answers immediately is bad. I knew several people who were raised in homes where asking questions about the teachings of the gospel was discouraged, especially about hard topics.
I know others who were told to simply follow the gospel rather than ask complicated questions. This suggestion did not sit well with many of them, and as a result, they often separated themselves from the gospel to find the answers elsewhere. It was in these moments when the “faith crisis” label was often applied. But these situations are the opposite of what Heavenly Father has taught.
In fact, the gospel of Jesus Christ was restored and continues to be restored because our loving, living prophets ask Heavenly Father questions for continued revelation.
As Elder Cecil O. Samuelson, when he was a member of the Seventy, said: “Some seem to believe that faith and questions are antithetical. Such could not be further from the truth. The Restoration itself was unfolded by the proper and necessary melding of both. The Prophet Joseph Smith had both faith and questions. Indeed, the passage of scripture that led Joseph to the Sacred Grove experience includes both a question and the promise of an answer based on the asker’s faith.”1
We Are Invited to Ask Questions
Like the prophets, the Lord knows that we are going to have questions—it’s not a matter of if we have questions, but when.
For example, Moroni 10:4 inspires and invites us to ask questions and seek truth, saying, “And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost.”
And we are given a promise in verse 5: “And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things.” Heavenly Father promises that when we have questions, we can ask in faith and He will answer us.
But sometimes, we must continue forward with faith and patience. He knows that for us to gain a firm understanding, we often need to learn new things and receive answers to our questions little by little. Line upon line, precept upon precept, the Lord reveals truth to us (see Isaiah 28:10).
Seek Truth to Deepen Your Faith
Having questions about the gospel is not a crisis—it is a catalyst to deepening our faith.
As President Russell M. Nelson has reminded us: “Take your questions to the Lord and to other faithful sources. Study with the desire to believe rather than with the hope that you can find a flaw in the fabric of a prophet’s life or a discrepancy in the scriptures. Stop increasing your doubts by rehearsing them with other doubters. Allow the Lord to lead you on your journey of spiritual discovery.”2
I am thankful to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Though I don’t have all the answers, I know that it is OK. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ have promised that all will be revealed one day (see Doctrine and Covenants 101:32–33 and until then, we can continue moving forward with faith.
Molly Ogden Welch recently graduated from BYU with a degree in journalism. She hopes to pursue a career in editing in the future. She and her husband recently welcomed their first child. Molly served a mission in Belgium and the Netherlands, and she is originally from Arizona, USA. She loves the Savior and is so grateful for the plan of salvation.
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1. Cecil O. Samuelson, “The Importance of Asking Questions” (Brigham Young University devotional, November 13, 2001), 1, speeches.byu.edu.
2. Russell M. Nelson, “Christ Is Risen; Faith in Him Will Move Mountains,” Liahona, May 2021, 103.