Give the Lord Equal Time

Elder M. Russell Ballard shared a personal experience in the CES Fireside talk that was broadcast to young adults on 7 November 2010.[1]

Some years ago one of my missionaries came to see me. He said: “President, I am losing my testimony.[2] I have some questions that no one will answer for me. My bishop and stake president just told me to forget them, and they had no answers.”

I asked for his questions in writing and then suggested he come to see me in 10 days, and I would answer every one of his questions.

As he was leaving my office, I was prompted to ask him, “Elder, how long has it been since you have read from the scriptures?”

He acknowledged that it had been a long time.

I said: “You have given me an assignment; it’s only fair that I give you one. You read at least one hour from the scriptures each day until you come back for your answers.”

He agreed to do this.

When he came back, I was ready. He said: “President, I don’t need the answers. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know Joseph Smith is a prophet. I’m OK now.”

I replied: “You will get your answers anyway. I worked hard on them!” …

After our discussion I asked him, “Elder, what have you learned from all of this?”

And he gave me a very significant response: “I’ve learned to give the Lord equal time!”


[1] Ballard, M. Russell. “Follow the Doctrine and Gospel of Christ.” CES Fireside for Young Adults. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, 7 November 2010.

[2] In the culture of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, someone who once was a faithful member but has since become a non-practitioner or a non-believer in the fundamental doctrines of the church is said to have lost his or her testimony. (See “Testimony.” Study by Topic. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.)

tagged: agency, apostasy, conversion, gospel study, revelation, testimony

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