We should engage in the conversations, we should do our best to understand the gospel ourselves, and we should prepare ourselves for the times that we will face our own Zeezroms.
This can be accomplished using some key principles of truth:
Maintain civility in conversation
Do not be afraid to be bold and assertive when moved upon by the Holy Spirit
Speak to and answer the criticism, do not focus on the critic posing the question
If necessary, expound and provide greater understanding in answering the criticism
Stand on what the scriptures say and teach
Do not be afraid to share your testimony — even if the critic responds that your testimony is, for a lack of a better word, worthless
Call out and expose the error of the criticism without insulting the critic
In the case of social media conversations — link to pertinent talks and teaching resources to help those who actually may be interested in learning more
Speak simply and forthrightly and with conviction and truth
Criticism of our faith will not go away. Such criticism is designed to take our hearts and thoughts away from the validity of the truth one finds in the message of the atonement of Jesus Christ. The words of Christ provide the foundation for us to build upon and as we build upon that foundation we not only strengthen our testimony in the gospel, but we also are able to faithfully proclaim the message of the gospel to all who are willing to hear and give heed.
We should not be afraid of the criticism because it is through the criticism launched against the Church that we will find the greatest opportunity to stand on our convictions and testimony in a darkening world.
Timothy Berman is a columnist for the Marysville LDS Church Examiner, Marysville Parenting Examiner, and Newsvine. He also maintains a blog at www.mormonapologeticstudies.org.
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