When I think back to my first months as a member of the Church, and reflect on how strongly I disagreed with the Church’s position on certain social issues such as gay marriage, I am amazed that I made it to where I am today.
As I listened to Elder Ballard’s talk this past conference, I heard him express what to me has become one of most significant pieces of advice I could offer to someone struggling with doubts about the Gospel: have humility and have patience. Be willing to accept that God understands a lot better than you do. It’s possible that the Church is wrong about a particular issue, but ultimately far more likely that the world is wrong. Be willing to consider the possibility that you are mistaken. Have the patience to wrestle with doubts without walking away. Have the patience to wait on answers to come.
Here’s how Elder Ballard explained it
For these and other reasons, some Church members vacillate in their faith, wondering if perhaps they should follow those who “went back, and walked no more” with Jesus.
If any one of you is faltering in your faith, I ask you the same question that Peter asked: “To whom shall [you] go?” If you choose to become inactive or to leave the restored Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where will you go? What will you do? The decision to “walk no more” with Church members and the Lord’s chosen leaders will have a long-term impact that cannot always be seen right now. There may be some doctrine, some policy, some bit of history that puts you at odds with your faith, and you may feel that the only way to resolve that inner turmoil right now is to “walk no more” with the Saints. If you live as long as I have, you will come to know that things have a way of resolving themselves. An inspired insight or revelation may shed new light on an issue. Remember, the Restoration is not an event, but it continues to unfold.
Do not throw away what you have felt and experienced. Do not give up on sacred Covenants you have made. Wait on the Lord and he will wait on you.
I know that is why I was able to stay faithful until answers did come. I admit that my answers came relatively quickly, but I believe that was possible because of my attitude of humility and patience and my desire to hear not what I wanted but what the Lord wanted for me to hear.