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Elder and Sister Renlund Share Why Questions Are Essential to Faith + Insights for Those Who Feel Like They're Drowning in Doubt

Elder Renlund and his wife, Sister Ruth L. Renlund, spoke in tandem during the devotional Sunday night which originated from the Brigham Young University–Hawaii campus in Laie, Hawaii, and was broadcast via satellite for young adult members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints around the world.

Addressing issues of faith and doubt, which Sister Renlund said had been on their minds for many months, the Renlunds shared a parable about a stranded swimmer lost at sea and a kind fisherman in an old boat who comes to the rescue of the lone swimmer.
Screencapture of image shared during the youth worldwide devotional to illustrate the parable shared by Elder and Sister Renlund on Jan. 13, 2019.
Screen capture of image shared during the youth worldwide devotional to illustrate the parable shared by Elder and Sister Renlund on Jan. 13, 2019. Photo: Screen capture of lds.org broadcast

If each of us represents the swimmer, Elder and Sister Renlund said, then the boat — the rescue vehicle — would represent the Church, and the kind fisherman would represent those who serve in the Church. While dented and well-used, the boat is a reliable vessel, sent to help us return to our destination.

"The sole purpose of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is to help Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ in Their work to bring to pass the eternal life of God’s children," Sister Renlund said. "It provides the covenant path, the way to return to our Heavenly Father. Those who serve in the Church, though not perfect, are essential to help and encourage us along the covenant path."

Once comfortably within the protection of the rescuing vessel, it may be easy to begin to doubt its reliability and strength, she explained, noting how in the parable, after noticing dents and paint chips in the boat, the swimmer begins to doubt the ability of the boat and its captain to carry them safely to shore.

Story by Aubrey Eyre, lead image by Monique Saenz
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