Is it OK to have doubts about the gospel?

young man with Book of Mormon

Photo illustration by Christina Smith

It is normal to have questions about the gospel and even to experience doubt. Pondering your unanswered questions can often be healthy if it motivates you to sincerely seek greater knowledge and truth. In addition, such questions are often part of “the trial of [our] faith” that is required before we receive a witness from God (Ether 12:6). However, doubt is a dreary destination, so it should never be a goal in itself.

Remember, God is merciful, and if you maintain hope and a desire to know the truth, He will reward you with the answers you seek or at least with the peace and reassurance you need in order to continue in faith (see Matthew 7:7; 2 Nephi 32:3; Alma 32:21–22; Moroni 10:5; D&C 6:36).

Answers from Conference

For an Apostle’s counsel on this topic, see Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s conference talk “‘Lord, I Believe’” at lds.org/go/83Believe.

My friends and I are 14 and 15 years old. Is it OK for us to have a party with both boys and girls?

You and your friends shouldn’t have any worries about holding a gathering of boys and girls as long as it meets a few conditions: (1) There should be adult supervision at the party, (2) the boys and girls should not be paired up with each other at the party so that it seems like a dating situation, and (3) the atmosphere (music, language, activities, and so on) at the party should be in harmony with Church standards, allowing you to feel the Spirit while you’re there.

Some ways to ensure that these conditions are met are to include parents in the planning of the party, plan activities that keep people interacting with the larger group, and hold the party in a common and contained space so that people are discouraged from pairing off by themselves. At any age, occasional parties with friends who have similar values can be really enjoyable. At your age, you just need to focus on having fun together in a wholesome and safe environment and avoid any sense of dating or pairing off.