When I decided to join the church, my only and consider it their job to stop me from making what they thought was a mistake. However, that is just what happened.
One of the challenges was that many of them knew all the standard anti-Mormon arguments. I didn’t know them and often I had no idea what they were talking about, since my knowledge of church doctrine was shaky. It was easy to find my faith shaken a bit under the pressure and the “information” they were feeding me.
When I was trying to choose a religion, it was a point of honor to me to learn only from the source. If I wanted to know about Baptists, I went to a Baptist. When I wanted to know about Mormons, I went to a Mormon. Later I learned there were even better sources. I could ask God himself. If you’re hearing things from non-LDS friends about our church, study the doctrine yourself from official sources and then take it to God. God is the One you can completely trust to tell you the truth.
Come up with simple, brief answers to the things your friends tell you. “I prayed and asked God. He told me to join the church and I always try to do what He says.” Sometimes people respond to this by saying prayer isn’t a valid way to get an answer because Satan might answer it. My response to this was always that the God I worship can do anything, so He can give me an answer and make sure I know it’s from Him.
Another way to respond is to say, “I appreciate your concern, but I’ve worked very hard on this decision and I’m not open to changing my mind. I dislike arguing religion so I hope you’ll respect the choice I’ve made to join, just as I respect the decision you’ve made not to join.” Try not to be drawn into arguments over doctrine. You can prove anything with a Bible if you’re creative enough. I once met a man who used the Bible to “prove” Martians were secretly living on earth. If you only looked at the scriptures he showed me, out of context, it appeared the Bible really did say this! Testimonies don’t come through argument. They come through prayer.
Try to view the arguments from friends as true concern, but don’t allow them to shake your faith. Take everything to God and respond to your friends with kindness and love. Your example will go far to show them the church isn’t what they were told.
Terrie Lynn Bittner
The late Terrie Lynn Bittner—beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and friend—was the author of two homeschooling books and numerous articles, including several that appeared in Latter-day Saint magazines. She became a member of the Church at the age of 17 and began sharing her faith online in 1992.