I used to believe that having doubts was a horrible thing. Lately I have had a few questions about things that should already be written on my heart. I felt so guilty for questions coming up in my mind. I had this deep fear of sharing these doubts with anyone. What would they think of me if they knew I had questions like this? I couldn't even figure out why these questions were appearing, where were they coming from? I was living right, I was doing everything I should be doing, so why have such silly doubts?
I finally got the courage to bring up my question to a church leader that I have the utmost respect for and he shared something with me. He said that the question I had is the question he hears most often. He told me that this is the question he heard over and over again from missionaries as he was serving as a mission president. I couldn't believe it. There had been others that had been living a life devoted to the Lord and they were questioning the same things that I felt horrible for even doubting in the first place.
I not only learned the answer to my questions by being brave and asking, I also learned something as well through the outcome of this experience. The lesson I took away from this experience was doubts aren't always bad. Doubt and faith can't co-exist, this is a simple principle that we already know. But faith can't come to pass without first having a doubt. If you already know the answers, there's no need to have faith, so doubts are essential.
It's what you do with your doubts and fears that can either destroy you or will take you to the top of the mountain you are climbing.
Doubts make you think, when you recognize a doubt and you take care of it right away, you are allowing something that could eventually demolish all you have worked for to actually be a ladder that has the steps you need to be able to reach the destination Heavenly Father has in store for you. You start to realize when you fight your doubts, it's helping you climb to a higher destination than you thought was ever possible.
Every time doubt tries to sneak into your life, you have to make a decision about what you're going to do about it. You can keep doubting until you reach ultimate misery or you can do everything that is in your control to fight the doubt. I hate doubts, fear takes away my energy and it's depleting to my mind. I don't feel happy when I am full of doubt but I'm starting to realize why doubts come my way. Doubts make me think, they make me search for answers. Any time I have a question that won't leave my mind, it leads me to search, ponder, and pray which gives me a strong foundation of faith and anchors my testimony deeper and deeper.
The key to allowing doubts to become an anchor for your faith is to constantly
"Doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith!"
- Elder Uchtdorf
Every time I've ever been faced with doubt but chose to move forward with faith anyways, I came out stronger and my testimony has been renewed to a greater strength. Ask your questions, it demonstrates strength when you're trying to find answers to the questions you have. Questions are good! Ask away and then act in faith with the answers you receive. The greatest one to ask these questions to is our loving Heavenly Father, He will answer!
Never feel bad for the doubts that come your way, feel bad about what you do or don't do about them! Allow your doubts, your questions, your fears, and the lack of knowledge you have to become a tool and an anchor that will build your testimony. There will be opposition in all things (2 Nephi 2:11). This is expected and we can't do anything about it. Doubts often happen to be the opposition that we face.
Doubts are something that you can't avoid in this life, but do something about them!
Be patient as you search out answers to your doubts. Study, pray, and push through every voice in your head that is telling you to give up! You will find the truth, you will find the answers, and you will become a new person with a changed heart in the process. This I testify of in the name of Jesus Christ, amen!
If you want more on this subject, I suggest this talk.