Answers to My Questions

    “Answers to My Questions,” New Era, Nov. 2014, 14–17

    Answers to My Questions

    young man

    How do I get along with people who have such different beliefs and values from mine?

    Dallin H. Oaks

    “In so many relationships and circumstances in life, we must live with differences. Where vital, our side of these differences should not be denied or abandoned, but as followers of Christ we should live peacefully with others who do not share our values or accept the teachings upon which they are based. The Father’s plan of salvation, which we know by prophetic revelation, places us in a mortal circumstance where we are to keep His commandments. That includes loving our neighbors of different cultures and beliefs as He has loved us. As a Book of Mormon prophet taught, we must press forward, having ‘a love of God and of all men’ (2 Nephi 31:20).”

    Elder Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

    What should I tell people who say there’s no one right or wrong way to live and believe?

    D. Todd Christofferson

    “To those who believe anything or everything could be true, the declaration of objective, fixed, and universal truth feels like coercion—‘I shouldn’t be forced to believe something is true that I don’t like.’ But that does not change reality. Resenting the law of gravity won’t keep a person from falling if he steps off a cliff. The same is true for eternal law and justice. Freedom comes not from resisting it but from applying it. That is fundamental to God’s own power. If it were not for the reality of fixed and immutable truths, the gift of agency would be meaningless since we would never be able to foresee and intend the consequences of our actions.”

    Elder D. Todd Christofferson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

    People sometimes attack the Prophet Joseph Smith. How can I gain a strong testimony of him?

    Neil L. Andersen

    “A testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith can come differently to each of us. It may come as you kneel in prayer, asking God to confirm that he was a true prophet. It may come as you read the Prophet’s account of the First Vision. A testimony may distill upon your soul as you read the Book of Mormon again and again. It may come as you bear your own testimony of the Prophet or as you stand in the temple and realize that through Joseph Smith the holy sealing power was restored to the earth. With faith and real intent, your testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith will strengthen. The constant water balloon volleys from the sidelines may occasionally get you wet, but they need never, never extinguish your burning fire of faith.”

    Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

    What should I do to help the poor?

    Jeffrey R. Holland

    “I don’t know exactly how each of you should fulfill your obligation to those who do not or cannot always help themselves. But I know that God knows, and He will help you and guide you in compassionate acts of discipleship if you are conscientiously wanting and praying and looking for ways to keep a commandment He has given us again and again.”

    Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

    What does it mean to take the name of Jesus Christ upon us?

    James J. Hamula

    “That is a solemn commitment to submit ourselves to His authority and to do His work, which includes receiving for ourselves every saving ordinance and covenant.”

    Elder James J. Hamula of the Seventy

    What do I need to do to be worthy to receive revelation?

    Henry B. Eyring

    “That personal revelation of acceptance, for which we all long, does not come easily, nor does it come simply for the asking. The Lord gave this standard for the capacity to receive such witnesses from God. It is a guide for anyone seeking personal revelation, as we all must.

    “‘Let thy bowels also be full of charity towards all men, and to the household of faith, and let virtue garnish thy thoughts unceasingly; then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God; and the doctrine of the priesthood shall distil upon thy soul as the dews from heaven.

    “‘The Holy Ghost shall be thy constant companion’ [D&C 121:45–46].”

    President Henry B. Eyring, First Counselor in the First Presidency

    What if I have questions and doubts about the Church?

    M. Russell Ballard

    “Having questions and experiencing doubts are not incongruent with dedicated discipleship. Recently, the Council of the First Presidency and the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles stated: ‘We understand that from time to time Church members will have questions about Church doctrine, history, or practice. Members are always free to ask such questions and earnestly seek greater understanding.’1

    “Remember, Joseph Smith himself had questions that began the Restoration. He was a seeker and, like Abraham, found the answers to life’s most important questions.”

    Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

    What can I tell people who ask why they can’t go into the temple?

    Linda K. Burton

    “Because we come to the temple to receive eternal blessings, it should not surprise us that a higher standard is required to qualify for those blessings. … Elder Nelson taught: ‘Because the temple is the house of the Lord, standards for admission are set by Him. One enters as His guest. To hold a temple recommend is a priceless privilege and a tangible sign of obedience to God and His prophets.’2

    “World-class athletes and university doctoral students spend hours and days and weeks and months and even years of preparation. Daily drops of preparation are required of them to come out on top. Likewise, those who wish to qualify for exaltation in the celestial kingdom are expected to live a higher standard of obedience that comes by practicing the virtue of obedience day by day and drop by drop.”

    Linda K. Burton, Relief Society general president

    Why does life have to be so full of trials?

    Richard G. Scott

    “We came to mortal life precisely to grow from trials and testing. Challenges help us become more like our Father in Heaven, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ makes it possible to endure those challenges. I testify that as we actively come unto Him, we can endure every temptation, every heartache, every challenge we face.”

    Elder Richard G. Scott of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

    What do I tell people who ask me why we are always talking about our religion with others?

    David A. Bednar

    “When we invite you to attend church with us or to learn with the full-time missionaries, we are not trying to sell you a product. As members of the Church, we do not receive prizes or bonus points in a heavenly contest. We are not seeking simply to increase the numerical size of the Church. And most importantly, we are not attempting to coerce you to believe as we do. We are inviting you to hear the restored truths of the gospel of Jesus Christ so you can study, ponder, pray, and come to know for yourself if the things we are sharing with you are true.

    “… Our invitations to you are not an attempt to diminish your religious tradition or life experience. … Just as Jesus beckoned two of His disciples to ‘come and see’ (John 1:39), so we urge you to come and see if the restored gospel of Jesus Christ enlarges and enriches that which you already believe to be true.”

    Elder David A. Bednar of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles

    Do I really need to obey all of God’s commandments?

    Dieter F. Uchtdorf

    “I think God knows something we don’t—things that are beyond our capacity to comprehend! Our Father in Heaven is an eternal being whose experience, wisdom, and intelligence are infinitely greater than ours. …

    “… He not only knows what is best for you; He also anxiously wants you to choose what is best for you.

    “… If you truly believe the great mission of our Heavenly Father is to exalt and glorify His children and that He knows best how to do it—doesn’t it make sense to embrace and follow His commandments, even the ones that appear difficult? Should we not cherish the light posts He has given that guide us through the darkness and the trials of mortality? They mark the way back to our heavenly home!”

    President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the First Presidency