As a BYU history professor and director of the Maxwell Institute, Spencer Fluhman is the go-to guy of sorts for students with questions about the Church, according to an article by KUER.
These questions range from Joseph Smith's polygamy to the temple ban for black Latter-day Saints and everything in between. But no matter the question, Fluhman's response is mostly the same.
"I tell them, 'Buckle up. Here we go. Now it gets good,'" Fluhamn told KUER. "Now it gets fun. Now it gets transformative because now we're pushing into places that demand something of us. If there's a moral implication for this idea or this problem or this intellectual conundrum—and there typically is—and we avoid it out of fear or laziness or superficiality, then we're doing an injustice to what the tradition demands of us," Fluhman told KUER. "And that's a recurring, constant, unavoidable question about the pursuit of truth, pursuit of light, pursuit of the good."
And Fluhman is not alone. In the September 2019 Liahona, President M. Russell Ballard counseled Latter-day Saints to "not simply brush off" questions about the Church when they arise.
"Let me make sure that you understand this important point. There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking questions or investigating our history, doctrine, and practices," President Ballard wrote. He continues:
"The Restoration began when Joseph Smith sought an answer to a sincere question. Parents, auxiliary leaders, Church teachers (including seminary and institute teachers), bishops, and stake presidents: When someone comes to you with a question or a concern, please do not simply brush off the question. Do not tell him or her not to worry about the question. Please do not doubt the person’s dedication to the Lord or His work. Instead, help the person find answers to questions."
Though Fluhman admits that some members may feel alienated for having questions or doubts, it doesn't have to be that way. He says he sees a richer version of the Latter-day Saint community that he aspires to, which is:
"If you have a question, that question is communal. It's we. It's us. And so if that individual is experiencing [a] question as pain, I want it experienced in that deep community where I have to hear your pain," Fluhman told KUER. "That's what I'm bound to do. And if you're in mourning for loss of faith, I have to be there with you and I have to sit in it, or I'm not where I said I would be covenantly. So I think we've got work to do as a community — neighbors, friends, family members. There's always work to do. So let's get busy."
Click here to read the full article by KUER