That’s the only way I can really sum up my feelings of when I first heard about the revision of the Church’s Handbook 1 and the guidelines of baptism. I was sad and confused. My mind was reeling with whys? buts... and what abouts? For two solid days I had a lump in my throat and questions in my mind. I cried at inconvenient times, hiding my tears from those around me. I felt hopeless. Not because I had lost my faith, but because I couldn’t wrap my head around it.
It’s too easy to get wrapped and riled up in the comments that saturate social media. So much negativity from all sides and so many opinions, all deciding for themselves that they are the right one to listen to. So much attacking, so many hearts torn open. So many questions.
Amid all the flurry and flood, it was easy for me to forget about the one thing that I knew could help me: prayer. I have always turned to prayer when I have had questions or needed comfort. Often they are prayers pleading for guidance or for health or for finding those misplaced keys. Sometimes they are pleas for answers that seem beyond my mortal hand’s reach. But seldom have I felt the need to pray for strength to believe. Seldom have I asked not to understand, but to simply feel peace.
That was my prayer. I knelt at the side of my bed and heard my own voice pleading to my Father. Because I know He loves me, I knew He would hear me. I told Him that I didn’t expect to understand, that I didn’t need to understand. But that I did need to feel peace. And I asked again to know that the Church is true.
Two years ago in General Conference, President Uchtdorf said:
It’s natural to have questions—the acorn of honest inquiry has often sprouted and matured into a great oak of understanding. There are few members of the Church who, at one time or another, have not wrestled with serious or sensitive questions. One of the purposes of the Church is to nurture and cultivate the seed of faith—even in the sometimes sandy soil of doubt and uncertainty. Faith is to hope for things which are not seen but which are true.
Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters—my dear friends—please, first doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith. We must never allow doubt to hold us prisoner and keep us from the divine love, peace, and gifts that come through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
Whenever I have had a friend or family member say anything about “but why do you stay in the church if...”, I always think back to the first time I prayed to know whether the gospel is true, and I remember the scripture that says, “Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?”
Do I have questions? Sometimes. And I don’t claim to understand all things. But I know that God lives and He loves His children and I trust in Him. He has answered my prayers and has given me peace. That’s good enough for me right now.