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How can I find answers to my own gospel questions?

Part of becoming spiritually self-reliant is learning how to answer our own gospel questions. Revelation often occurs when we earnestly seek answers to sincere questions and have faith in the promise made by the Savior: “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you” (Matthew 7:7). We can find answers to our own gospel questions as we pray, study the scriptures and words of the living prophets, and seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost.

Prepare yourself spiritually

Prayerfully study these scriptures and resources. What will inspire the youth to seek answers to their own gospel questions?

1 Nephi 15:2–11 (Laman and Lemuel had questions but did not inquire of the Lord)

Alma 40:1–12; Ether 2:18–23; Joseph Smith—History 1:10–18 (Examples of people seeking answers to their questions)

D&C 6:14–15 (The Spirit can enlighten our minds when we inquire of the Lord)

D&C 9:8–9 (When we have questions, we should study them out in our minds and then ask the Lord if it is right)

W. Mark Bassett, “For Our Spiritual Development and Learning,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2016, 52–54

Jeffrey R. Holland, “Lord, I Believe,Ensign or Liahona, May 2013, 93–95

James B. Martino, “Turn to Him and Answers Will Come,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2015, 58–60

The Book of Mormon Answers Questions of the Soul,” Preach My Gospel (2004), 107–8

Video: “Elder and Sister Bednar—Can I …”

Make connections

During the first few minutes of every class, help the youth make connections between what they are learning in various settings (such as personal study, seminary, other Church classes, or experiences with their friends). How can you help them see the relevance of the gospel in daily living? The ideas below might help you:

  • Invite the youth to share how something they learned in one setting (personal study, family home evening, seminary, and so on) has helped them understand something they learned about in another setting.
  • Invite the youth to make a list of questions people often ask about life or religion (for some examples, see Preach My Gospel, page 107). What does the Lord expect us to do when we have questions? Encourage the class to think about these questions during the lesson. Don’t spend a lot of time in class trying to answer these questions, but instead focus on teaching the youth principles that will help them seek answers on their own.

Learn together

Each of the activities below can help the youth learn how to find answers to their own gospel questions. Following the guidance of the Spirit, select one or more that will work for your class:

  • Invite the youth to make a list of questions they might ask on the Internet and find instant answers to, such as, “What is the weather going to be like tomorrow?” Help them think of examples of questions of a spiritual nature that require more effort and patience, such as, “Is the Book of Mormon true?” In Elder W. Mark Bassett’s talk “For Our Spiritual Development and Learning,” read together the three paragraphs beginning with the phrase “In order to understand the mysteries of God.” Invite the youth to read 1 Nephi 2:16 and 1 Nephi 10:17 and identify how Nephi demonstrated each of the seven steps for seeking knowledge mentioned in Elder Bassett’s talk. Challenge the youth to follow Nephi’s example when they have questions about the gospel.
  • Invite class members to review Elder James B. Martino’s talk “Turn to Him and Answers Will Come.” What do we learn about finding answers to our questions from his account of the sons of Mosiah and Laman and Lemuel? You could invite class members to contrast these two stories by making a list of differences between how the people behaved and the consequences of their actions. You could also invite class members to share their experiences with receiving answers to their questions.
  • Invite the youth to read the following scriptures: Matthew 7:7; D&C 6:14–15; 9:7–9. As a class, make a list of principles these verses teach about asking questions and receiving answers. Why doesn’t the Lord always answer our questions completely or immediately? Consider telling the youth about a time when you had a question about the gospel and received an answer. Ask the youth to share similar experiences.
  • Ask the youth to think of people in the scriptures who asked questions that led to revelation (if needed, you may refer them to the scriptures suggested in this outline). Invite the youth to read about these people in the scriptures and identify what questions they asked, how they sought answers to their questions, and the answers they received. Invite them to share what they learned with the class. What other principles about asking questions can they learn from these experiences? How can the youth apply these principles to their own questions? As part of this activity, you could also show the video “Elder and Sister Bednar—Can I …”
  • Ask a class member to come prepared to relate the story in Mark 9:14­–27, or read the story as a class. Divide the class into three groups, and give each group one of the three observations of Elder Jeffrey R. Holland about the story in his talk, “Lord, I Believe.” How can they use Elder Holland’s observations when they or someone they know has questions or doubts about the gospel?
  • As a class, read the first four paragraphs of “The Book of Mormon Answers Questions of the Soul,” in Preach My Gospel (page 107). Invite each class member to select one of the questions listed that they or someone they know has wondered about. Give the youth time in class to read the passage from the Book of Mormon cited for the questions they chose. Ask them to share answers they find and explain how they could use the Book of Mormon to help others answer similar questions.

After completing one of the above activities, invite the youth to review the questions they wrote down at the beginning of the class. Give them the opportunity to plan ways they will seek for answers to their questions. If possible, allow them to begin looking for answers in the scriptures, words of living prophets, For the Strength of Youth, and other Church resources.

Ask the youth to share what they learned today. Do they understand how to find answers to their own gospel questions? Do they have any additional questions? Would it be worthwhile to spend more time on this topic?

Invite to act

Invite the youth to share any impressions they have had during class. What will they do to find answers to their own gospel questions? Encourage them to share what they find in future classes.