Do You Find Yourself Doubting Answers to Your Prayers?

Many of us struggle with doubt and fear after receiving personal revelation. Elder Holland suggests three ways to stay confident after God has revealed his will to us.

Photo by Hello I’m Nik

Have you ever faced doubts after receiving an answer to a prayer? Elder Jeffrey R. Holland addressed these doubts at a BYU devotional. “Don’t assume that a great revelation, some marvelous illuminating moment, or the opening of an inspired path is the end of it,” he says. The last thing Satan wants you to do is feel confident about a revelation you have received from God.

When fear and doubt test your confidence, Elder Holland advises, “Don’t panic and retreat. Don’t lose your confidence. Don’t forget how you once felt. Don’t distrust the experience you had.” If Moses had doubted the revelation to part the Red Sea, thousands would have been lost.

“Yes, there are cautions and considerations to make,” he says. “But once there has been genuine illumination, beware the temptation to retreat from a good thing. . . . Don’t give up when the pressure mounts. . . . Don’t give in. Certainly don’t give in to that being who is bent on the destruction of your happiness. He wants everyone to be miserable like unto himself.”

“Cast not away therefore thy confidence” (Heb. 10:35).

Elder Holland cautions that “at those times fear will be the strongest of the adversary’s weapons against us.” He offers three specific tips about how to stay firm when we receive answers from the Lord:

1. Let revelation be your guide. “The Red Sea will open to the honest seeker of revelation.”
2. Do not fear. “If it was right when you prayed about it and trusted it and lived for it, it is right now.”
3. Remember that God will provide a way. “If God has told you something is right, if something is indeed true for you, he will provide the way for you to accomplish it.”

When you encounter Red Seas in your life, “cast not away therefore thy confidence” (Hebrews 10:35).

Read Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s article, “Cast Not Away Therefore Thy Confidence.”

Source: BYU Speeches

—Chelsea Jamison, Mormon Insights

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7 Comments

  1. I think I’m going to have one of my family members read this article. They are having a hard time differentiating between the spirit and their own feelings. They think they get an answer to their prayer but they then begin to doubt it shortly after. This is something that we all struggle with as human beings. Satan wants us to be unsure of the promptings we get from the Holy Ghost so that we don’t follow his counsel.

  2. Everyone has questions that arise in regards to faith. I’m so grateful for Elder Holland’s example of faith. We can believe in our feelings that come from the Spirit. In big decisions, it’s hard to remember how we felt when we felt a confirmation, but, like the article says, we need to hold on to them. This is a great reminder for me as I’m in the stages of making big, life-changing decisions.

  3. I love this so much. If it was right then, it’s right now—we just have to remember what we know, what we have already felt. Sometimes it’s hard to remember. It’s easy to second-guess ourselves as we think back to the thoughts and feelings we had, and think that maybe they didn’t actually come from God, just from us.
    It helps to write statements down—statements of fact. Writing them down when you feel you know it, or when you have that feeling, that burst of clarity, can help so much down the road when you feel yourself starting to doubt what you once knew. Write down what you know, and go back and refer to it, whether actually reading through it or just reviewing it mentally.

  4. We all struggle with faith from time to time. But it is important to never question the big answers. If you know the church is true, then that doesn’t change, only you do. There are so many out there who find the truth, only to let themselves be derailed later. If it was true once, then it will remain true. It is unfortunate that some categorize stalwart faith as blind.

  5. This is a beautiful article. I love the reminder to hold fast to the revelation you have already received. I also like Charlotte’s reminder to write things down. It is so much easier to make decisions and to hold to what the Lord has already instructed us when we have written it down in a journal or notebook. I especially like point number three at the end of the article. It is hard sometimes to move forward with decisions when we can’t see the end from the beginning, but it is good to be reminded that if the Lord asks you to do something He will make sure that you can do it. I think all of us can come back to this article at different times in our lives for the reminder of Elder Holland’s counsel.

  6. I have loved this talk ever since I first heard it. I love how this article boils it down to the takeaway messages, but read the full article! it is so amazing and inspiring.

    I also agree with what Charlotte said about writing things down. If I don’t write down my feelings or thoughts, it can be so easy to forget, question, or doubt them. The act of physically writing them down somehow solidifies the answers we get and makes them more “real.”

  7. I love this talk by Elder holland. It’s one that was really meaningful to me as i was preparing to serve my mission and again as i prepared to be married. I’m so glad mormon insights highlighted it.

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