Doubt or Question

This last Sunday in church doubt came up often. Part of the Come Follow Me reading for the week was Matthew 14 which has the story of Peter walking on water and then sinking when he gets afraid. After pulling Peter up Jesus asks him, “wherefore didst thou doubt?” In both our testimony meeting and Sunday School people talked about doubt and if it’s okay or not.

This is something that we have discussed in our own home recently as well. Our family discussion started at the beginning of the year when we read Luke 1. In Luke 1 the angel Gabriel appears to Zacharias and Mary separately and tells them that they will both experience seemingly impossible things. Both of them initially respond with a question as to how that is possible. They both seem to doubt what Gabriel has told them. We talked about this in our scripture study and how it is okay to doubt.

A few weeks later I was listening to the BYU Speeches podcast. They record the weekly devotional and post them to their podcast channel so that anyone can listen to them. In January Lawrence Corbridge, a member of the Quorum of the Seventy, spoke at the devotional. Toward the end of his talk he said, “I heard someone say recently, ‘It is okay to have doubts.’ I wonder about that. The Lord said, ‘Look unto me in every thought; doubt not, fear not.’ I have a lot of questions; I don’t have any doubts.”

That same night, during our scripture study, I played that part of the talk for my kids and talked to them about the difference between questioning and doubting. I think most of us, when we talk about doubting things, actually mean questioning them we just use the words interchangeably. The two words actually mean different things.

I wonder if doubt is borne from fear while questioning comes from faith? I don’t know but it seems to make sense to me. What do you think? Do you think there is a difference between questioning and doubting? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

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