His biggest fear right now is not that the Book of Mormon might not be true, or that Joseph Smith wasn’t a prophet, instead, he’s afraid that his 25 year-old daughter won’t come to see his baptism in the Bodensee. (If you want to see pretty pictures, google image that, I’m sure it’ll be real nice.) He’s a little worried that Jesus won’t accept that baptism because he has doubts that it could be a “bathing” and not an actuall baptism, but his main concern is his daughter. He was telling us that he talked to her about the Book of Mormon and he told us her response.
I will be completely honest, when I heard this, it took everything in me not to laugh.
E’s daughter’s response to The First Vision was that the people that Joseph Smith saw were not God the Father and Jesus Christ, rather extraterrestrials. Her argument was not that Joseph Smith was a crazy person, someone wanting attention and made them up, but instead, she suggested that they were aliens. And Erwin in all seriousness, bless his heart, was enthusistically describing to us why he knew it wasn’t extraterrestrials that appeared to Joseph Smith.
“I know it wasn’t these extraterrestrials that came to Joseph Smith because they would be humans, which means they wouldn’t be able to read the minds of the ancestors who put the gold plates in the ground!”
I have heard a lot of things on my mission, but never have I had an investigator come to his testimony of the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith because he knew that aliens didn’t direct him to the plates.
I guess the Lord works in mysterious ways and he knows all of us very very well.
But I’ve been thinking a lot about difficulties in believing certain principles of the gospel, whether or not you’re investigating the church or if you’ve heard the stories from the day you came out of the womb, everyone has doubts.
I think that idea is something that people reject quite frequently, the idea of having doubts. It’s okay to have doubts, but you shouldn’t let your doubts take over your life.
President Uchtdorf, in a General Conference address said, “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.”
Doubts come in at us from all sides, and if we allow them to, they can keep us from great things the Lord has prepared for us. It’s a tactic of the devil to get you confused about what you actually believe.
Don’t lose faith and don’t lose hope. I promise that as you go to the Lord with your honest concerns with a heartfelt intent to find answers and peace to your questions and doubts, the Lord will give you that. There have been times in my life when I doubted everything that I had ever been taught was true. I thought for a while that the wool had been pulled over my eyes and that I had been deceived. For a long time I let my doubts get the better of me.
The only way that I found the faith and the strength to build a testimony was through diligent study, prayer, and church attendance. Our testimonies are built on a three legged stool, and if you lack one of these three things, scripture study, prayer, and church attendance, you could find yourself balancing a testimony in precarious ways.
I cannot express to you how important it is that you stay focused on the gospel, because that is what will bring you true happiness and joy. There is nothing in this world that is more important than the teachings of the gospel.
Don’t lose hope. Don’t give up. Pray. Cry. Plead with the Lord for help. I promise you that it will come.
I love you all, and I know that you can overcome any doubts and fears that you may have through the grace and mercy of a loving Heavenly Father who wants to give you great things if only you believe. But believing starts with a great big leap of faith into the darkness. But you won’t find yourself plunged into a long dark pit. When you have faith in Jesus Christ, you will always find your feet firmly planted on solid gospel ground.
I love you so much!