Hesitant to share your beliefs? Elder Perry emphasizes that “in speaking about the Church, we do not try to make it sound better than it is.”
Members of the Church often aren’t aware that there is “a wide difference––a gulf of understanding” between the perception of the Church from the inside and the way others view it from a distance. Many well-intentioned people have a hard time understanding why Mormons dress, speak, interact with others, and share their beliefs the way they do.
In a general conference talk, Elder L. Tom Perry encourages members to be open about their beliefs and suggests that the best way to share the gospel of Jesus Christ is to be genuine and natural.
Ideally, talking about the Church should be a two-way conversation. Elder Perry suggests that when others ask about Latter-day Saint beliefs, members should also ask them about their faith. In addition, members should focus on understanding what their friends most want to know. “If they are asking a lot of questions, focus the conversation on answering those questions. Always remember that it is better for them to ask than for you to tell.”
Even members who have doubts or questions about the Church can feel confident when talking about what they do believe. According to Elder Perry, “We do not need to put a spin on our message. We need to communicate the message honestly and directly. If we will open communication channels, the message of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ will prove itself to those who are prepared to receive it.”
Elder Perry promises that by acting naturally and talking about our beliefs, “suspicions will evaporate, negative stereotypes will disappear, and [we] will begin to understand the Church as it really is.”
Read L. Tom Perry’s full address “Perfect Love Casteth Out All Fear.”
Source: LDS General Conference
—Abby Pace, Mormon Insights
Find more insights
To get additional courage to share your beliefs, watch or read Elder M. Russell Ballard’s talk “Put Your Trust in the Lord.”
Learn how to share the gospel and be yourself while doing it.
Want to know more about ordinary members of the Church? Watch Meet the Mormons on Netflix.
Photo courtesy of Yourdon Edward