May 15, 2017
I was recently asked his question: how do I help somebody struggling with their faith? Struggling with faith is a really broad term that can apply to on so many different levels, which is why there is no “one size fits all” kind of answer for this question. Nevertheless, I am going take the best shot at this that I can.
First, I would like to express the importance of the fact that faith does not equal knowledge. God doesn’t require us to perfectly know everything; so first off don’t expect to suddenly understand perfectly. And also, know that questions are not bad, questions are good. Second, I need to point out that faith and trust are synonymous, with the only difference being that faith is a trust in God. In my life I have learned I need to trust my parents and others. Without people around us that we trust, we feel insecure and unsafe. I’ll share a little bit from my experience. On my mission I have had experiences where I didn’t trust my companion and it was really stressful. I felt like I had to close myself off, and it was a pretty miserable part of my mission.
But luckily for us, trust can be built—and so can faith!
Ironically, trust cannot be built without us trusting first. We have to give the person we don’t trust a little bit of trust (as much as we muster), enough for us to see if they are worthy of further trust; then we watch and hope that they will keep their promise. Most people understand this as it applies to trusting people, but they struggle to grasp the same concept with faith. We don’t have to struggle. The solution to having a faith crisis is to exercise as much faith as we can. If you have a question, ask God your question and expect an answer. If you have trouble feeling the spirit, repent to the best of your ability, and then partake of the sacrament, and expect God to keep his promise. If you feel like you don’t have a testimony, study the scriptures, and pray for the spirit to bear witness to you that the words that you read are true, and expect God to send the Holy Ghost to teach you.
As for those concerned with helping others struggling with their faith, my advice is to love them, and pray for them, and listen to them if they open up with you. Offer the best advice you can and direct them to put their faith, as much as they can muster, in Jesus Christ, and Heavenly Father.
In the name of the author and finisher of our faith, Jesus Christ. Amen.
In closing I’ll suggest some scriptures for your consideration: Alma 32 1 Nephi 8 Either 12 Hope I’ve helped somebody today. Regards from Elder Brown.