“We send our love across the oceans, the mountains and the electronics to all the world,” said Elder Oaks.
How can I stand up for my standards without offending those who don’t have the same views? How can I differentiate between the Holy Ghost and my own thoughts and feelings? How can I deal with doubts when faced with tough questions from Church history?
These are a few of the 16 questions submitted from young people from around the Church and answered by Elder Dallin H. Oaks and Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles Sunday evening, Nov. 19, during a “Face to Face” Worldwide Young Single Adult Event.
Hosted by students at the Logan, Utah, Institute of Religion and emanating live from the Morgan Theater at Utah State University, the 90-minute question-and-answer session was carried to hundreds of thousands of locations in Church institutes and other venues across the world via internet feed on the Church’s website, Facebook page and YouTube channel.
What advice/guidance would you give for answering tough questions about Church history when we are asked about them by someone who is struggling with their faith?
“I think the first thing is to distinguish between questions and doubts,” Elder Oaks said. “Some people merge those as if they were the same.”
Questions are a way to increase knowledge and understanding and are to be encouraged, while doubt, according to a dictionary definition, is accompanied by distrust, a rejection of something, he explained. “That’s the kind of thing that the scriptures have condemned” as pertaining to gospel truths, he added.
Elder Ballard spoke of criticisms to the effect that the Church has hidden the fact that there is more than one rendition of Joseph Smith’s First Vision.
“The facts are we don’t study; we don’t go back and search what has been said on the subject. For example, Dr. James B. Allen of BYU in 1970 produced an article in the Church magazines explaining all about the different versions of the First Vision.”