Doubt Your Doubts

 

A while ago in testimony meeting, a missionary stood up and spoke about a conversation he had with an individual on the street. He spoke about the concerns and doubts that this man had addressed, and expressed that they came to an impasse and were no longer able to communicate with each other as it had devolved into a contentious argument. Although I disagree with the way this missionary responded, since he claimed that the man had doubts due to selfishness and sin, I do agree with him that our attitude and approach can be vital in helping us come to healthier understandings of the difficult issues of our history, as well as our ways of understanding the gospel in general.

Elder Uchtdorf once said “Doubt your doubts,” but I believe that this can be overly simplified. I think instead of interpreting this to say that we should simply dismiss any questions we may have, I see it as a need for a different approach. The great thinker William James once said something that demonstrates the approach that I have found to be the most valuable in my life. He said “I am no lover of disorder and doubt as such. Rather I fear to lose truth by the pretension to possess it already wholly.”

I believe that extreme value can come from gaining this perspective where we are not merely seeking doubt, but instead are attempting to avoid the problems that can come from ignoring it. I believe that instead oversimplifying, and attacking those we may disagree it may be better to attempt to see where people are coming from.

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