A 14-year-old boy recently said to me a little hesitantly, “Brother Holland, I can’t say yet that I know the Church is true, but I believe it is.” I hugged that boy until his eyes bulged out. I told him with all the fervor of my soul that belief is a precious word, an even more precious act, and he need never apologize for “only believing.” I told him that Christ Himself said, “Be not afraid, only believe,” a phrase which, by the way, carried young Gordon B. Hinckley into the mission field. I told this boy that belief was always the first step toward conviction and that the definitive articles of our collective faith forcefully reiterate the phrase “We believe.” And I told him how very proud I was of him for the honesty of his quest.
Elder Jeffrey R. Holland, "Lord, I Believe", General Conference, April 2013
"Be not afraid, only believe". There are many questions that come to my mind about various topics related to the church and to this gospel. There are many things that, frankly, I don't understand. My finite mind only thinks of these events in the context that I know. So, they are head scratching, but I don't have the infinite view of them.
However, no matter what I don't understand in this life, that will not derail me from the track of knowledge and belief I am on. I know I am a son of God. I know He is real. I know His Son, Jesus Christ, is real and is very much alive. I know that Christ sacrificed Himself for me so that I have the opportunity to better myself (or not if I so choose but I have the opportunity) . I know the truth was restored again to the earth through the prophet, Joseph Smith, an imperfect boy and then imperfect man. He, himself, admitted he wasn't perfect.
I know that there is only One way back to Heavenly Father and that is by way of Jesus Christ. I know that we must receive the saving ordinances, that Christ Himself instituted, to make it back. It is not enough to just be a good person, although that's important too. And, I know that the power and authority of God was restored by those who had that power and authority, namely John the Baptist and Peter, James and John.
I know that only the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has that authority from God. Despite the frailties and weaknesses of those who are members of the church, the church and gospel are true. The weaknesses of members, no matter what position, do not void the truth.
Knowing these things for one's self begins simply with a belief, the size of a grain of mustard seed even. We all must walk by faith (even belief), and faith is a principle of action to act on that knowledge and understanding we subsequently gain.