In this month's new-member newsletter, I included something meant specifically for recent converts who are struggling with their testimonies and have stopped attending church on a regular basis for one reason or another. Something that they have in common is that they aren't doing the things they need to in order to feel the Spirit and increase their testimony.
One of our Sacrament meeting speakers recently spoke on priorities, specifically how we can make excuses for why we don't have time for things of the God, but we always make time for what is really important to us. It was an excellent talk, but I was secretly wishing that more people who really needed to hear that message would have actually been at Church that day to hear it.
Out of my personal frustration with multiple situations like this, I wanted to do something to address it without being directly confrontational to specific individuals. I wanted to be bold, yet kind. My former Mission President, A. Keith Martin, always referred to it as "sweet boldness".
I basically just laid out what should be done if you feel like you're struggling. I hope that this will help at least one of our new members. Maybe it will help some of yours? Feel free to use the text for your own new-member newsletter if you like....
Are YOU struggling with your testimony?
At some point in our lives, we have all experienced a time when we've had limited understanding of the gospel. Sometimes people (even long-time members) may find themselves struggling with their faith and testimony. This can be especially difficult for those who are new to the Church. What can you do?
Remember the basics- Reading the scriptures, prayer, attending Church (including Sunday School and Relief Society/Elders Quorum). These are the things that the missionaries had you do before you were baptized...how did you feel then?
Counsel with the Bishop about your personal concerns- He is available to help you and private matters will be kept confidential. Make time to let the Ward-missionaries teach you the "new-member lessons"- These lessons are meant to strengthen the knowledge and testimony of new members as they continue to learn.
Make time to let the Ward-missionaries teach you the "new-member lessons"- These lessons are meant to strengthen the knowledge and testimony of new members as they continue to learn.