When we come across something in Church history or when we struggle with a point of the Church’s doctrine, Elder M. Russell Ballard reminds us that “There is absolutely nothing wrong with asking questions or investigating our history, doctrine, and practices. The Restoration began when Joseph Smith sought an answer to a sincere question.”
In a Facebook post, Elder Ballard continued, “When I have a question that I cannot answer, I often turn to those who can help me—such as trained scholars and historians. Blessed by the information they provide, I am better equipped to seek the guidance of the Holy Ghost.
“To those of you with questions, I invite you to turn to your parents; auxiliary leaders; Church teachers, including seminary and institute; bishops; and stake presidents.
“And to those of you offering answers I say, please do not simply brush the question off. Do not tell him or her to not worry about the question. Please do not doubt the person’s dedication to the Lord or His work. Instead, help the person find answers to their questions. We need to do better in responding to honest questions. Although we may not be able to answer every question about the cosmos or about our history, practices, or doctrine, we can provide many answers to those who are sincere. When we don’t know the answer, we can search to find answers together—a shared search that may bring us closer to each other and closer to God.
“Of course, we may not always find satisfying answers to our questions. At such times, it’s good to remember that there is still a place in religion for faith. Sometimes we can learn and study and know; sometimes we have to believe and trust and hope.”
The Church provides many excellent learning resources. One of the best for coming to an understanding of gospel doctrines, Church practices, and Church history is the Gospel Topics section of LDS.org at topics.lds.org. Each Gospel Topic includes a brief overview of what the Church teaches about the topic, links to resources that will help you learn more about the topic, and ideas to help you teach it to others. It also contains a section called Gospel Topics Essays, with longer, in-depth explanations on a number of topics.
In addition, just because we know something doesn’t mean it’s always appropriate to share it. And sometimes it’s better for individuals to seek answers for themselves.