“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
At a hoedown, Tom and Anna dance and talk about home. Anna shares her feelings about her parents’ divorce and expresses her disappointment when she says, “It’s hard finding out that something you really believed in isn’t what you thought it was.”
Questions to Discuss:
- Who is immune to hard challenges in life?
- How do these challenges in life challenge our faith?
- Does doubt always lead to disbelief?
- How can doubts lead us to greater faith?
- Who can best understand our disappointments and sorrows?
- How can a relationship with the Savior help us through times of doubt and disappointment?
Experiencing doubt and confusion is something we all face at one time or another. Having doubt in and of itself isn’t a bad thing; what really matters is how we respond to those feelings of doubt. As we turn to the Savior, who knows perfectly our circumstances and struggles, we can feel comfort and peace knowing that He really understands us. And as we focus on putting our faith in Him, He can give us the strength to move forward, trusting that even when we don’t understand all things, He does.
"Life’s most challenging questions seem to be those that begin with the word why. “Why is life so hard?” “Why is there so much sorrow, hate, and unhappiness in the world?” “Why does death take the young?” And “why must the innocent suffer?” We all have wrestled with such questions from time to time as we struggle with the vicissitudes of mortality. I particularly want to talk to the younger members of God’s family about why I believe the only satisfying answers to such questions come from the comforting perspective of faith in our Heavenly Father and his eternal plan for our happiness.
"The prophet Alma called the plan “the great plan of happiness” (Alma 42:8). It is known more commonly as the plan of salvation. It is beautiful in its simplicity to all who seek prayerfully to know and understand the true meaning and purpose of life.
"Through prophets past and present, God has revealed the doctrines of his “great plan of happiness.” It consists of infinite, eternal, absolute, unchanging principles. From Alma we learn that “God gave unto them commandments, after having made known … the plan of redemption” (Alma 12:32; emphasis added). The plan teaches that all who have or will live on earth are the spirit children of heavenly parents. We lived with them before coming to this earth to receive our bodies of flesh and bone."
"Some of my richest memories are associated with weekend assignments to stake conferences as I have accompanied a stake president in visits to members of his stake wrestling with life’s challenges in courage and faith, especially those who have lost a child or who are struggling valiantly in nursing a sick or crippled or handicapped child. I know from poignant personal experience that there is no night quite so dark as the loss of a child. Neither is there any day quite so long and exhausting as the relentlessness of caring for a child crippled in form or faculty. All such parents can empathize exquisitely with the father of the child afflicted with a “dumb spirit,” who, when admonished by the Savior to believe, responded in anguish of soul, “Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief” (see Mark 9:17, 23–24).
"And so today I wish to speak to all who are struggling in this laboratory of applied faith that is called mortality—and in particular to those bereaved, burdened, and grieving parents who beseechingly ask, “Why?”
"First, please know that grief is the natural by-product of love. One cannot selflessly love another person and not grieve at his suffering or eventual death. The only way to avoid the grief would be to not experience the love; and it is love that gives life its richness and meaning. Hence, what a grieving parent can expect to receive from the Lord in response to earnest supplication may not necessarily be an elimination of grief so much as a sweet reassurance that, whatever his or her circumstances, one’s child is in the tender care of a loving Heavenly Father."
"When I was a young man, my parents joined The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We knew that the missionaries had been teaching them, but my parents had taken the missionary lessons alone.
"After this surprising announcement, my brothers and I began to listen to the missionaries as well, and they each received the message of the Restoration with gladness. Although I was curious, my heart was not into changing my life. I did, however, accept the challenge to pray about whether the Book of Mormon was the word of God, but I did not receive an answer.
"You might ask why Heavenly Father did not answer that prayer; I certainly wondered. I have learned since that the promise made by Moroni is accurate. God does answer our prayers about the truthfulness of the gospel, but He answers them when we have “a sincere heart” and “real intent" (Moroni 10:4). He does not answer just to respond to our curiosity.
"Perhaps there is something in your life that you have a question about. Perhaps there is a problem you do not know quite how to answer. Today I would like to share some thoughts that may help you obtain the answers or help you are seeking. The process begins with being converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ."