I just finished reading “Holding Fast” by Robert L. Millet
Quick Take: Quick and easy read. A great reminder that questions are both normal and necessary. Will provide relief for those struggling with struggling.
Robert L. Millet is one of my favorite LDS authors (Check out “Men of Influence,” “Men of Valor”, and ”Men of Covenant.” They’re all excellent). So a book on faith and doubt from one of my favorites was a no-brainer.
“Holding Fast” does not strive to answer questions disciples of Jesus Christ may have that cause doubt. But instead, Millet looks at what doubt is from a gospel context. He shares how he has dealt with doubt and how the scriptures teach us to do so. He reminds readers that there is nothing wrong with having questions and not understanding everything. He stresses that most revelation from God to his children has been rooted in questions.
Someone who is currently overwhelmed by doubt may at times be put off by Millet’s frankness. But I could feel his sincerity in wanting to help those who are genuinely seeking to find their faith. I thoroughly enjoy his writing style and would recommend this book.
Some of My Favourite Quotes:
“A testimony of the gospel is a precious and priceless commodity; indeed, it is a necessary weapon in one’s spiritual arsenal against the adversary.”
“Asking questions can and should be a useful and productive enterprise whereby we gain knowledge, understanding, perspective, confidence, assurance, and boldness. … Questions, when faced earnestly and with the proper spirit, are spiritually healthy.”
“…there is no sin, no shame, and no stigma associated with having unresolved questions. Our Father in Heaven is not displeased with us when we wonder. Our Savior does not frown upon us when we wrestle with intellectual or spiritual dilemmas. And leaders of the Church do not consider us a defective disciple or less of a Latter-day Saint when we don’t have all the answers.”
Quoting Alister McGrath: “The simple fact of life is that everything worth believing in goes beyond what we can be absolutely sure about.”
“God our Father does not expect perfect knowledge on the part of those who love and serve him; he who knows all things knows that we do not. What he does ask of us is not to surrender to our doubts. What he does call upon us to do is to pursue answers to questions, with trust in him and his anointed servants, and not to allow those questions to fester and morph into doubts. This exercise is not just about the intellect; it is also about the will. This challenge to deal faithfully with doubt is not about blind obedience; it is very much about trusting the Almighty and learning for this time and season to view all things with eyes of faith.”
Quoting Elder Boyd K. Packer: “…faith, to be faith, must center around something that is not known. Faith, to be faith, must go beyond that for which there is confirming evidence. Faith, to be faith, must go into the unknown. Faith, to be faith, must walk to the edge of the light, and then a few steps into the darkness. If everything has to be known, if everything has to be explained, if everything has to be certified, then there is no need for faith. Indeed, there is no room for it.”
Quoting Elder Richard G. Scott: “Be thankful that sometimes God lets you struggle for a long time before that answer comes. … You may want to express thanks when that occurs, for it is an evidence of His trust.”
Recounting the words of Elder Harold B. Lee to him as a young missionary: “Elders and Sisters, I sense that not all of you have the kind of testimony that you would like to have. I sense that some of you are a bit hesitant to say with boldness, ‘I know.’ Well, let me say this: If you don’t know for sure, then you lean on my testimony, for I do know.”
“Though my witness is independent, I have been leaning on the testimonies and talents and insights of good people for a long time. I still do. I plan to continue doing so.”
“Putting hard questions on the shelf is not a way of escaping. It is not burying our heads in the sand and pretending there is no problem. It is not living in a form of spiritual denial. Rather, it is an acknowledgment that God’s ways are not our ways and that his thoughts are not our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8–9). It is an act of tender surrender to “believe in God; believe that he is, and that he created all things, both in heaven and in earth; believe that he has all wisdom, and all power, both in heaven and in earth; believe that man doth not comprehend all the things which the Lord can comprehend” (Mosiah 4:9).”
“To put things on the shelf is to exercise spiritual discipline, to show divine restraint. It is to refuse to throw the baby out with the bathwater. It is to affirm what we believe and to admit that there are, for the time being, some things that do not make sense, that do not add up, and that need further work.”
“My recommendation to someone wavering in testimony is to expend the same time and effort to rekindle the flame of faith as was spent in gaining a witness in the first place. If you once came to know the message is true by the power of the Spirit, have you spent as much time on your knees recently, in the spirit of fasting, as you did then?”
“Truly, our faith is worth fighting for.”