Ask Angela: My mom thinks I'm losing my faith, but I'm just asking questions

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  • Whos Life RU Living? Ogden, UT
    April 16, 2013 1:21 p.m.

    I will admit that it does become frustrating when you are taught a doctrine in a seminary class or sunday school and then the prophet gives answers like, "I don't know that we teach it" or gives other answers that confirm doubt of the doctrine. It makes life difficult, but it is perfectly fine to question.

    Even our prophets are unsure of God's doctrine. Example, why do our prophets and apostles debate doctrine?

  • kvnsmnsn Springville, UT
    April 15, 2013 12:42 p.m.

    JoeBlow posted:

    =However, to believe that the answers given on Church approved "sources" are
    =unbiased and complete, would be naive.

    Every investigator of the LDS Church should definitely give serious thought to
    the possibility that "the answers given on Church approved 'sources'" might just
    possibly be biased and incomplete. But if that investigator asks God if God
    endorses those Church approved sources, God's answer most definitely will not be
    biased or incomplete.

    =I am always intrigued how little the missionaries that knock on my door about
    =some of the less "faith-promoting" history of the LDS church.

    Were B's questions even about the "history of the LDS church"?

    Kevin S

  • Weber State Graduate Clearfield, UT
    April 15, 2013 12:28 p.m.

    To avoid a question leads to suspicion that there must be something to hide. Seeking answers to legitimate questions is the essence of reason -- man's primary tool of knowledge -- the faculty that assists one in understanding reality.

    Emotions are not tools of cognition, but rather the result of one's value judgments. What one feels reveals nothing about the facts -- it merely makes one feel good or bad about his/her estimate of the facts.

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    April 14, 2013 9:32 p.m.

    Mom's hysteria is telling. Don't kill the messenger.

  • the truth Holladay, UT
    April 14, 2013 5:24 p.m.

    A distinction needs to be made between:

    Questioning just for sake of questioning everything,

    and asking a question to gain further enlightenment and knowledge (these type of questions need an answer).

    April 14, 2013 3:39 p.m.

    Joe Blow's testimony, or lack of it, seems to depend more on a biased interpretation of the LDS Church than on the spiritual blessings that come from actively seeking the truth. We have enough current problems with human behavior to use those of the past to discredit why ancestors did certain things. When we run into a historical issue that bothers us, why not ask: have we changed all that much? And how can I improve (not excuse) my own behavior?

  • moniker lewinsky Taylorsville, UT
    April 14, 2013 3:30 p.m.

    Dennis, in her heart she probably does know the answers and wishes she didn't.

  • djk blue springs, MO
    April 14, 2013 10:50 a.m.

    wehn we ask questions it is because we are looking for the hope of the right answer. prayer brings that comfort we seek about the gospel. kneeling in private personal prayer, studying the scriptures, ask earnest questions but be ready for the answers. do not tell our heavenly father what you expect ask him what he expects and needs you to do. the answers will come.
    i can understand the mother's fear. i have been there with a child. she needs to pray for guidance in answering correctly.

  • Dennis Harwich, MA
    April 14, 2013 10:27 a.m.

    You Mom probably doesn't know the answers.

  • Joe_Libertarian San DIego, CA
    April 14, 2013 9:38 a.m.

    The fact is a healthy, intelligent human questions everything they are told. Otherwise we are just robots, and can easily be controlled, and abused, by others. The scary fact is that questioning your faith can strengthen it, or weaken it. But going through life afraid of what we do not know, do not understand, makes us weak as people, unable to justify our beliefs when confronted. Questioning things is, essentially, growing up.

  • donquixote84721 Cedar City, UT
    April 14, 2013 8:57 a.m.

    15 Feb 1965 I left the home I spent the fist 18 years of my life, in Dallas, Texas, and reported to Ft. Polk, LA, to begin Basic Training, for the Army of The United States of America. Having been born in Dallas, I was shocked when I wen into a classroom one day and found the topic of the class was, "What it means to be an American." The instructor said the reason for the class was that during the second Korean Conflict there were more "Turncoats," (American soldiers that were captured by the North Koreans, and were later brainwashed into siding with the North Koreans.) This was believed that too many Americans took America for granted and knew nothing about what America stands for. This is still very true today.
    Just as every American needs a personal testimony of what it means to be an American, every member of any group needs the same strong personal testimony of the beliefs that their group was founded on. This includes The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

  • BYU Papa Cedar Hills, ut
    April 14, 2013 8:43 a.m.

    Some questions are not easy to get satisfactory answer. It is good not to keep going over the same ground until it becomes more of a problem. One can just wait until the answer comes from Father in Heaven. We can exercise faith in the things we know and wait for answers that are less important. Can you imagine worrying a lot about where the 10 Lost tribes are. We can reflect on the prayers we have had answered and on our blessings we receive on a daily basis. It is good to dwell on good things not on less important things.

  • Yrag00 Boise, ID
    April 13, 2013 3:19 p.m.

    One reason the mother is reacting like she is is that her own knowledge and ability to answer those question may be weak. In that case, her testimony is based more on faith and less on knowledge. She may be afraid that those questions that she doesn't want to face would threaten her own testimony. If that is the case, the daughter should find someone else who can answer those questions and then go back and "teach" her mom, "Hey Mom! Guess what I learned today!" Her Mom could then take those things and ponder them in her heart.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 13, 2013 1:37 p.m.

    Certainly, there are sites that have a strong bias against the LDS church.

    However, to believe that the answers given on Church approved "sources" are unbiased and complete, would be naive.

    I am always intrigued how little the missionaries that knock on my door about some of the less "faith-promoting" history of the LDS church.

  • hermounts Pleasanton, CA
    April 13, 2013 12:47 p.m.

    No question about the gospel should be off-limits, so long as we look to the right sources for answers. That being said, those who are losing their testimonies often don't recognize that they are.

  • FT1/SS Virginia Beach, VA
    April 13, 2013 11:39 a.m.

    She should be asking questions. The first time I taught Gospel Essentials I wrote on the chalkboard, "Gaining knowledge will build testimonies, which will lead to eternal life". Then I explained it to the class. Since then, I've thrown out a few reminders. If her mother dos'nt want to participate, I hope there's somebody in her ward that will. I became inactive because I did'nt have a testimony, only used others. I spent 4 years slowly building a testimony before accelarating about a year ago, and came back to church a few months later. My wife was baptized this past Tuesday, only after spending six months finding her testimony. I hope the young lady keeps asking questions!

  • utah cornhusker NORFOLK, NE
    April 13, 2013 10:01 a.m.

    I joined at 18 and my family were not members and so after graduation I moved to Utah where I had friends who brought me into the church. I asked lots and lots of questions and I probably dmves theme nuts. I agree with anglelas answer completely. Make it a matter of sincere prayer and the lord and the holy ghost will help you. Maybe your mother is just overeacting for some unknown reason. As others have said just tell her hoe you feel. Good luck and God bless.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    April 13, 2013 9:20 a.m.

    Final comment: I don't want to come off as judgmental for why someone is asking questions about the Gospel so apologies if I appeared to be judging. I hope the best for this young woman in her search for truth and that she and her mother will find positive ways to share what they are learning about life and the Gospel.

  • BlakeR St Joseph, MI
    April 13, 2013 9:03 a.m.

    Great advice! Elder Holland's recent teaching applies here: "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. 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! So let us all remember: 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." Like advised, perhaps if you led with your testimony more often with your mother, you would have a better, more helpful setting within which to discuss and explore your questions. And, under the influenced of the spirit, you both will be edified.

  • windsor City, Ut
    April 13, 2013 8:07 a.m.

    from article--"and that you’re seeking to deepen your understanding of the gospel rather than to poke holes in it."

    The very first thing is to be very honest with YOURSELF, of you real intent.
    Is it to deepen your understanding?
    Or to poke holes in it.

  • Hamath Omaha, NE
    April 13, 2013 6:59 a.m.

    So be patient with your mother, try to see her motivation rather than her execution, and pray that she’ll do the same for you.

    Great advice! If we (me) could all do that one sentence with everyone we experience conflict, frustration, etc with, the world would be a better place.

  • JoeBlow Far East USA, SC
    April 13, 2013 5:54 a.m.

    "She has expressed worry and frustration and even disappointment in my “behavior."

    This is the sad thing about those who are very religious. Just because YOU believe does not make it true (or false) Why cant your kid question without being made to feel bad?

    Heck, why cant your kid weigh all the info and come to their own conclusion, even if that means "leaving the church"?

    The social pressure, especially in Utah, can be overbearing on people, kids included.

    One must ask if this kind of pressure contributes to the high suicide rates in Utah.

  • eastcoastcoug Danbury, CT
    April 13, 2013 5:42 a.m.


    I think your questions were spot on to help this person understand where where questions are coming from and how she is asking. John Adams said that God "has given us reason to find out the truth, and the real design and true end of our existence." If the object of our questioning is to search for truth, then we will arrive at the truth.

    I've observed people on both extremes who either have their minds made up and have stopped searching for truth (this applies to many fields including both Science and Religion) and others who continually ask questions without hearing or wanting to understand the answers. Real searching implies that we learn - we form our own conclusions and observations while being open to discovery. Whether in a profession or as parents, as we grow older, others rely on our knowledge and wisdom for guidance. What is our purpose in questioning? At what point will this young woman be a well of wisdom for her children or others in her life?

    Finally, if her mother isn't comfortable in answering her questions, are there others she trusts that she can talk to?