On May 16, Elder Bruce C. Hafen, an emeritus member of the Quorum of the Seventy, and his wife, Marie K. Hafen, visited BYU-Idaho to discuss the topic “Faith is not Blind” in the BYU-Idaho Center.
During the forum, Sister Hafen said we need to bridge two categories that we may find ourselves in: ideal and real. The ideal is being in an area where an individual wants to be in their faith.
Real is being placed in an unexpected conflict that may affect our faith, finding a post on the internet that contradicts one’s beliefs, or discovering doubts about the history of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
Sister Hafen said if we find ourselves in the gap between ideal and real, we are in a position for growth. This gap causes people to ask questions about Church doctrine and Church history.
Marcos Tome, a freshman studying political science, said some people have questions about the historical aspects of the Church.
“Sometimes they are just too afraid to ask those questions,” Tome said.
Sister Hafen confirmed what Tome said by saying growth and awareness can create a gap of uncertainty and complexity.
Katherine Bunn, a sophomore majoring in general studies, also said she has family members who experienced uncertainty.
“They found articles on the internet that caused them to leave,” Bunn said.
Elder Hafen recommended resources to study for those with questions on both doctrinal and historical concerns. These sources are Encyclopedia of Mormonism, Saints: The Story of the Church of Jesus Christ in the Latter-Days and gospel topic essays.
Sister Hafen urged students to consider the example of Joseph Smith translating the Golden Plates when studying Church history.
“The details of how the Lord gave it to Joseph are far less important than the context he received,” Sister Hafen said.
She said sometimes we overlook the miracles by confusing it with what we think is the reality.
“Faith is love, and love is expressed by trust,” Sister Hafen said.
“We trust what we do know, giving the Lord and His Church the benefit of the doubt about our unanswered questions,” Sister Hafen said. “It is rather a knowing and trusting kind of obedience.”
After the forum, a question and answer session occurred for students who had questions pertaining to their own faith as well as to the faith of their friends. These questions were about how to help our friends who are stuck in pessimism or personal Church history related questions.
“Hang in there,” Elder Hafen said. “Don’t quit or give up. What is happening to you is nothing simple.”
Faith is Not Blind, written by Bruce C. Hafen and Marie K. Hafen, is available through Deseret Book. It explains real situations of trials of faith and what to do when certain questions remain unanswered.