When You Don’t Have Answers: Jared Halverson Shares 3 Suggestions in New Video

by | Apr. 03, 2020

Last week you may have caught the first video of a new video series by Gospel Day by Day and LDS Living. In case you missed it, the series launched with the first of three videos featuring Jared Halverson, an Institute of Religion teacher who is currently completing a doctorate in American religious history from Vanderbilt University, focusing on anti-religious rhetoric.

Halverson took the One-on-One seat again to share how we can engage our hearts and our minds when answering questions. "If we can stay centered on both legs—reason and revelation, the intellect and the emotion, the mind and the heart—we’ll be ready for anything that comes our way," Halverson says in the video.

Halverson also shares three suggestions for how to address questions using both the head and the heart. Watch the video below and find quotes related to each suggestion below.

  1. Begin by Really Listening: “We listen. We really listen. Not just to their question but to the experiences and perceptions of those experiences that lie behind those questions. I don’t say that to ignore the history or the doctrine that’s behind those questions, but at the root of those is a person who may be struggling and that’s the person that we need to be listening to.”
  2. Get to the Heart of the Matter: “Jesus was always this way. He settled fears before He addressed questions, and we can do the same. When we talk about things that really matter, we usually refer to it as 'getting to the heart of the matter,' and it's the heart that we need to be aiming at, whether we're addressing somebody else's questions or really pondering our own. Sometimes we need to ask ourselves, ‘Why am I asking this question? What experiences or feelings are driving it?'"
  3. Don’t Use Testimony to Silence Sincere Questions: "But here's a word of caution. Our efforts to listen, to empathize, to validate should never be intended to sidestep the questions that a person really has. Our testimony can never be a trump card that we lay down to avoid some kind of difficult conversation, or if we don't want to admit that we don't have an answer or haven't done our homework. We need to be able to address the questions of the head at the same time that we're involving the feelings and experiences of the heart." 
Lead image: YouTube screenshot

Lindsey Williams

Lindsey Williams joined the LDS Living team with a passion to find the stories that matter most. Previous stops in her career include BYU-Pathway Worldwide, the Special Projects Department of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and Utah Valley Magazine. When she's not searching for stories to write, the Colorado Springs native is most likely on a hiking trail. 

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