In the Expanse of Silence


Not long ago, I found myself asking the same questions over and over, “Do other people think that too?”

For a long time, I believed that all those encompassed under the cloak of Mormonism believed the same thing. I felt the Church was unanimous in what it believed – that the leaders of the church were there to tell us all what was right to believe and that all who believed merely agreed with that which was said. It was a world of right and wrong. It was a world of doctrine and non-doctrine. It was a world of things that should be said and believed, and things that shouldn’t.

It was a simple life: go to church, read my scriptures, pray to receive the answers I knew I should receive, listen to the leaders of the church so that I might better discipline my own beliefs to be in line with that which was true. Questions were welcome in theory, but if the answers weren’t readily available, questioning seemed to require too much work and was simply left for future days to come.

“Does everyone live like this?” I asked myself. “Do people still live like this? Are people happy living such a way?” I no longer felt I could live in such a manner. Questions creeped up and wouldn’t subside. I found myself not having answers to the questions I had, but I no longer wanted to wait for future days to come. I heard the same answers, but they no longer satisfied me. Was I going astray? Was I losing my testimony, my belief? I’d ask God for the answers but I didn’t seem to hear Him speak. Did I really expect to hear answers? I doubted God would speak to me to give me an answer to my confused and uncertain questions. I wrestled with my questions and the lack of answers.

In the expanse of silence my questions became more refined and more thoughtful. God has an amazing talent of knowing when to speak and when not to speak. I’ve come to believe that much of revelation comes in the process of questioning opposed to that of receiving an answer.

This isn’t to say that the answer isn’t important, but rather that the answer brings no fruit if the soil wasn’t first properly prepared. In wrestling with our questions we are forced to really formulate and solidify what we believe or think we believe. Asking questions helps us to realize that which we do not know and leaves us in a vulnerable state from which we can learn and grow – to experience a metamorphosis of faith.

It can be frightening. What changes will we experience? Where will we be left in the end? Perhaps it’d be best to remain inside our cocoon – though we see the fractured lines running across the membranes of our tenuous faith. Uncertain of what awaits on the outside or our capabilities of coping with it; maybe we can remain within our cocoon a little longer.
I believe to ask a question is to act on faith and hope. The sole purpose of asking a question is to find a reassuring response even if we might have given up that an answer will come or that a voice will be heard.

True and genuine questions release the contents of our hearts. The soul yearns to connect with something or someone so that it can once more feel tethered to something. Questions are the soul’s attempt to reconcile that which we don’t understand with that which we hope to believe, and it isn’t until we really begin to question that we can find out what it is we truly believe or hope to believe. It’s also in the question where we can find the cords which connect us all and see the hearts of those around us.

1 thought on “In the Expanse of Silence”

  1. This was a wonderful expression of thoughts and ideas. Thank you for sharing how questions and uncertainty are a process of growth and not a sign of unfaithfulness or disbelief.

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