Saturday, 13 April 2013

Don't allow questions to block belief: faith is primary, doubts should be within faith

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Wise and important words excerpted from a talk given by Elder Jeffrey R Holland at the LDS Conference in April 2013:


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In moments of fear or doubt or troubling times, hold the ground you have already won, even if that ground is limited... 


When those moments come and issues surface, the resolution of which is not immediately forthcoming, hold fast to what you already know and stand strong until additional knowledge comes...

The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue—it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know.

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When problems come and questions arise, do not start your quest for faith by saying how much you do not have, leading as it were with your “unbelief.” That is like trying to stuff a turkey through the beak!

Let me be clear on this point: I am not asking you to pretend to faith you do not have. I am asking you to be true to the faith you do have.

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Sometimes we act as if an honest declaration of doubt is a higher manifestation of moral courage than is an honest declaration of faith. It is not!

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...Be as candid about your questions as you need to be; life is full of them on one subject or another. But if you and your family want to be healed, don’t let those questions stand in the way of faith working its miracle.

Brothers and sisters, this is a divine work in process, with the manifestations and blessings of it abounding in every direction, so please don’t hyperventilate if from time to time issues arise that need to be examined, understood, and resolved. They do and they will.

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In this Church, what we know will always trump what we do not know. And remember, in this world, everyone is to walk by faith.

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So be kind regarding human frailty—your own as well as that of those who serve with you in a Church led by volunteer, mortal men and women.

Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we. 

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These are vital words to internalize: especially for intellectuals living in a media/ political/ academic/ educational world which purposefully, systematically generates questions and doubts about Christianity.

Think about it: they can generate (real or apparent) doubts and questions much, much faster than you could possibly deal with them...

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Almost all of these questions and doubts are utterly bogus; and the position which these questions and doubts are used to defend is ludicrously incoherent and contra-evidential...

- but, even if this were not the case, there will always be questions and doubts

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If we are foolish enough to defer until after we have 'settled' our questions and doubts concerning the deliberate and responsible choice of the believing basis of our lives in faith; then we will implicitly have chosen to accept the prevalent incoherent worldview of alienating nihilism; and we will have have implicitly chosen to reject even the possibility of purpose, meaning, and that joyous personal relationship with God which is being offered us conditional merely upon our free acceptance of this gift.

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Faith never has, and never could be, and neither should it, wait upon the resolution of all questions and doubts: to believe is to 'live by', and that is something we are doing at every moment. 

Thus faith is here, it is now: faith is always happening - and we must and do always choose in the absence of resolution of doubts and questions. 

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