David B. Marsh: Helping those who struggle with doubt


Technology has revolutionized the way church members communicate with others and receive information. This ease and access of information has allowed the church to spread its message, but it has also allowed the enemy greater access to those honestly seeking truth.

During Education Week David B. Marsh, a manager of development and design for the LDS Church, addressed how people can help others they know deal with their doubts and questions about the church through following the pattern of the Savior.

Marsh used the story of Peter walking on water toward the Savior to demonstrate the compassion and patience the Savior had in dealing with those who experience doubts. The Savior immediately reached out to Peter when he began to sink because of his doubts. Marsh said people must be immediate in their response to them before their doubts deteriorate their faith.

All God’s children chose to come to Earth and follow His plan. Marsh emphasized that those who know someone struggling with doubts or questions about the church should trust that those struggling will choose the correct path in the end.

“Trust that, given the opportunity, they will do so again,” Marsh said.

It is all right to have doubts if they do not linger and overcome the faith a person already possesses. Even though doubt exists, it shows that the person still believes.

“You can’t have doubt if you don’t believe something,” Marsh said.

While reason and rational argument do not create belief, they can create an environment in which the seed of faith can grow. Marsh advised those who know someone struggling with doubt to help clear the clutter. He showed a picture of a grassy area covered with sticks and debris. It was not the ideal environment to grow plants. After the clutter was cleared away plants could more easily grow.

“Strengthen the soil of their belief,” Marsh said.

Understanding where doubts come from can help people understand how the doubts arose. Marsh compared helping doubts to curing an illness.

“If you understand the source of a sickness you are more readily able to find the cure,” he said. When people understand where a person’s doubts come from they are better prepared to approach the situation.


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