Among the topics explored in this month’s Liahona magazine was the issue of how to help those to whom you minister when they are struggling with doubts and questions. God encourages us to ask questions and seek His help in finding clarity, but sometimes it can be easy to go down the wrong roads to find answers. Here is an excerpt from a Liahona article that has good suggestions on how we can help those with questions find personal revelation instead of confusion and frustration:
1. Love above all. If someone is struggling with a question or has come to a different conclusion than we have, they still have the need for love (see Luke 10:25–37).
Those who are having a difficult time will turn to someone they trust. Loving others and building meaningful relationships can put us in a position to minister when they need us. It also opens the door for someone who wants to return but may feel uncomfortable coming back (see Luke 15:11–24).
(For ideas on strengthening relationships, read “Building Meaningful Relationships,” Ensign or Liahona, Aug. 2018, 6–9.)
2. Listen with humility and compassion. We limit our ability to help others with their questions if we too quickly assume that we understand rather than patiently listening to understand. There are many reasons someone may be struggling. Some have questions about doctrine. Others have questions about policy or history. Some simply wonder if they fit in the Church.
Humbly listening and asking questions will help us understand the complexities of their situation so we can give better answers, and it can help them be more open to our answers if they feel we have truly heard them.
(To learn how to listen better, read, “Five Things Good Listeners Do,” Ensign or Liahona, June 2018, 6–9.)
3. Persist in faith and recognize this may take time. The questions that truly challenge us are rarely resolved in a day. So we shouldn’t put additional pressure on ourselves or those we want to help by feeling like we need to “fix it” in the moment we learn of their concern.