How Can I Believe?

Based on “Do I Believe?” given during the April 2016 general conference
by Bonnie L. Oscarson, Young Women General President

Bonnie L. Oscarson

How do we strengthen our belief in gospel truths? Sister Oscarson shares four ways to bridge the gap between knowing and believing.

During general conference, Sister Bonnie L. Oscarson said, “We have a knowledge of [gospel truths], but do we believe them? If these things are true, then we have the greatest message of hope and help that the world has ever known.”

Sister Oscarson then shares several key points for increasing our conversion and belief in the gospel. Here are four of them:

1.     Internalize the Gospel

“To believe, we need to get the gospel from our heads into our hearts! It is possible for us to merely go through the motions of living the gospel because it is expected or because it is the culture in which we have grown up or because it is a habit … We all need to seek to have our hearts and very natures changed so that we no longer have a desire to follow the ways of the world but to please God.”

2.     Make a Consistent Effort to Gain True Conversion

“True conversion is a process that takes place over a period of time and involves a willingness to exercise faith. It comes when we search the scriptures instead of the Internet. … It comes from earnest prayer, regular temple attendance, and faithful fulfillment of our God-given responsibilities. It takes consistency and daily effort.

3.     Don’t Heed the Riduculers

In reference to the tree of life in 1 Nephi 8, Sister Oscarson said: “We have tasted of this fruit, which [is] … ‘the greatest of all the gifts of God.’ We need only to keep feasting and not heed those who would make fun of our beliefs or those who delight to create doubts or those who find fault with Church leaders and doctrine. It is a choice we make daily—to choose faith over doubt.”

4.     Stay in the Boat

“Elder M. Russell Ballard has urged us to ‘stay in the boat, use your life jackets, and hold on with both hands.’ As members of the Lord’s true Church, we are already in the boat. We don’t have to go searching through the philosophies of the world for truth that will give us comfort, help, and direction to get us safely through the trials of life—we already have it!”

No matter our place in the conversion process, it’s always good to pause and reflect on the strength of our belief in the gospel. Gain more inspiration by reading Sister Oscarson’s talk, “Do I Believe?


Learn More

  • How do I “stay in the boat”? Read Elder Ballard’s memorable address here.
  • Discover the meaning of true conversion from Elder Bednar’s address.
  • Study more conference addresses in this month’s Ensign.
  • See what else is in this month’s Ensign.