To me, questions are truly important. So is a having a questioning mind.
I find that I form my best opinions from talking to people who aren’t like me. Even in (especially in) everyday conversations. Recently, a Muslim friend shared some of his frustrations at his job, and he helped me see some ways I can improve my own work. A friend who happens to be Ecumenical Christian discussed with me some community efforts. The views of a Jewish friend and her thoughts about ancestors in the Holocaust have helped me to have a new appreciation for finding more of my own family history. My Bahá’í neighbor and I continue to work closely together on an interfaith project; as we ask questions of each other, my faith is always growing. In all these discussions, I learned yet again that my way of thinking is not necessarily the only valid way to think. In all of them, I have felt the spirit of God. I peppered them with questions, as they did me. I look forward to exploring further views with friends in the future.
Through this process, I have learned that not all questions have equal weight. There are bad and good questions. It depends on the results, on where our questions lead us. Some lead us to be fully exposed to the whirlwinds of life, while other questions lead us to a place of safety and peace. Many are a matter of good, better, best. While some questions lead us to stand in holy places full of light, others lead us only to darkness. Some questions are spiritual crocodiles.
In our family, we prefer to avoid crocodiles and whirlwinds and to choose good questions that lead to places of safety and peace. As Mormons, it’s important that spiritually we stand in holy places and not allow ourselves to be moved from there.
Sometimes that’s a tough thing to do. At times, a whirlwind of answers can make us doubt our resolve, but I’ve learned that those answers always fail to satisfy in the long term. But as tough as it is to fight such winds, as tough as it is to wrestle a crocodile, I find that it’s even tougher to stand in a holy place when the sun is shining, when I think all is going well, when I let down my guard, and I’m no longer fighting an external wind but rather only fighting myself. That’s often when I notice that I’ve been asking the wrong questions again.
In addition, here are some of the holy places that are important to people whom I know and love.
If you were to stand in a holy place, where would you stand?
Where do your questions lead you?
Do they help you stand in holy places?
I know the safety and peace that comes with standing in holy places. Honest questions, good questions, and answers from God help me to stand against the whirlwinds of life. Questions and open hearts help protect me and my family. Everyone is free to ask crocodile questions that drag people down or to ask discussion questions that build people up.
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1. Watch, listen, or read Elder Neil L. Andersen as he talks to us about not letting whirlwinds drag us down but instead recognizing the need to stand strong, in his address, entitled “Spiritual Whirlwinds” (Length: 15:55.) See how the winds of trials may help us develop more solid roots at Time 3:08 through 3:45.
2. Additional holy places that are important to friends among us:
3. Holy places to Mormons
(to those of us who happen to be both Christians and Mormons):
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WebCredits—List of web resources used in this post but not explicitly credited above:
- Photo, “Whirlwinds of Life”—www.keyway.ca/htm2013/20130522.htm
- Photo, Stand Ye In Holy Places And Be Not Moved—www. lds.org/new-era/2013/03/whats-up?lang=eng
- Photo, “Temples in Bagan, Myanmar—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Buddhists”—topyaps.com/top-10-buddhist-holy-places
- Photo, “Al-Masjid al-Nabawi in Medina, Saudi Arabia—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Muslims”—en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Al-Masjid_al-Nabawi
- Photo, “On the Ganges River at Varanasi, India—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Hindus”—en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_places
- Photo, “The Golden Temple in Amritsar, India—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Sikhs”—en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_places
- Photo, “Crocodile Hiding, Lying In Wait”—www. mrwallpaper.com/crocodile-eye-wallpaper/
- Photo, “The Western Wall In Jerusalem By Night—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Jews”—en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holy_places
- Photo, “The Shrine of Bahá’u’lláh near Acre, Israel—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Bahá’ís”—en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shrine_of_Bah%C3%A1%27u%27ll%C3%A1h
- Photo, “The Garden Tomb in Jerusalem—Holy Places To Those Of Us Who Happen To Be Christians”—classic.scriptures.lds.org/en/biblephotos/14
- Photo, Stand In Holy Places (Mormonad)—www. lds.org/media-library/images/mormonad-stand-in-holy-places-1118464?lang=eng&category
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