22988_000_007Answers are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.
Some of my friends say I don’t believe in the real Jesus Christ because I am a member of the Church. Nothing I say makes a difference. What can I do?
If your friends insist you don’t believe in the real Jesus Christ because you are a member of the Church, they may be repeating what they have heard from people who don’t understand what we believe or whose views have been clouded by prejudice. As members of the Church, we may encounter both misunderstanding and prejudice.
When faced with an accusation that you are not a Christian because you are a Latter-day Saint, you can explain your belief in the Savior and bear your testimony of Him. Your friends may recognize the depth of your devotion.
Some people who make this accusation, however, are not merely ignorant of our beliefs. They may want to debate doctrine. If your friends fall into this category, you can explain our beliefs and bear witness of them, but they may not hear what you say. If this is the case, you can show them by your actions that you are indeed a follower of Jesus Christ.
The Savior said: “If ye love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:15); “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another” (John 13:34–35); “Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you” (John 15:14). The best, and sometimes the only, testimony you can bear is the way you live your life. The Church today enjoys more goodwill in the world than it ever has before—because of the good lives of its members.
Latter-day Saints Are Christians
“The biggest misconception is that we are not followers of Jesus Christ. That is the constant allegation that is lodged against us. There is not a bit of substance to it. If there is any people in this world who believe in Jesus Christ, it is the people of this Church. The Church carries His name. He is the central figure in all of our worship. [The idea that we are not Christians] is a misconception that has been fostered and refostered and broadcast, but it is gradually breaking down. Things are changing; we are more accepted than we once were. I think this is the great era of goodwill in terms of the Church.” —President Gordon B. Hinckley (“Inspirational Thoughts,” Liahona, June 1999, 3–4)
Actions speak louder than words. If we follow Jesus Christ with faith, a sincere heart, and a humble attitude; if we live the gospel and lead a Christlike life; if we try to be like Him and set a good example, people will understand that our church is the Church of Jesus Christ.
Shu Yang Wen, Chia Yi First Ward, Tainan Taiwan Stake
Follow the counsel in D&C 11:21, and seek to obtain the word of the Lord. If you do so, you will receive “the power of God unto the convincing of men.” Through this process you will surely obtain comfort and guidance.
Masaki Keikyu, Gokiso Ward, Nagoya Japan Stake
No matter what our friends say, the most important thing we can do is remain steadfast and immovable in our testimony that we belong to the true Church and that we are serving the true and living God and His Son, Jesus Christ. I believe that “to every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven” (Eccl. 3:1). The time will come when our friends will learn more about the Church. Our example, testimony, and steadfastness make a difference.
Jeoffrey N. Nool, Paniqui First Branch, Paniqui Philippines District
I am serving a full-time mission and am striving to be a living witness that Jesus is the Christ—that He is real and that He lives. In bearing such testimony, we are promised that “the Holy Ghost shall be shed forth in bearing record unto all things whatsoever [we] shall say” (D&C 100:8).
Sister Loravella Abelo Ranque, Philippines Olongapo Mission
In order to convince my friends that I am a Christian, I can show them by example my love for God and Jesus Christ. I can pray, and I can ask my friends to pray to know the truth. I know that by my example, faith, love, and obedience, my friends will come to know that I am a Christian.
Maya Saparbekovna Bisembina, Nakhodka Branch, Russia Vladivostok Mission
If we strive to love everyone, to bless our enemies, and to visit the afflicted—as the Savior did—then we will be known as true believers in Jesus Christ.
Kelepi To‘a Fameitau, East Lakes (Tongan) Ward, Sydney Australia Hyde Park Stake
What we do is more important than what we say. There were many people who did not believe Jesus Christ was the Messiah, but He showed them the truth through His perfect example, love, service, kindness, humility, and charity. We can do the same by being a light to others at all times and in all places (see Mosiah 18:9).
Elder Melvin Dorian Rodas López, Honduras San Pedro Sula Mission
The best thing I can do for my friends is invite them to church. I can also fast and pray for them and bear my testimony. I know God will help my friends understand what Jesus Christ means in our lives and what His plan for us is.
Richelle M. Miguel, Echague First Branch, Alicia Philippines District
I tell my friends that if I did not believe in Jesus Christ, I would not have listened to the missionaries when God sent them to teach me His gospel. I would not have felt the Holy Ghost, and I would not have joined the Church.
Marina Vladimirovna Khlapova, Nakhodka Branch, Russia Vladivostok Mission
If my friends questioned my belief in my Savior, I would invite them to an activity that centers on Jesus Christ, such as a baptism. I would also borrow some literature from the Church library for them to read. But before doing anything, I would pray for the Spirit to touch their hearts.
Esther N. Ninedeys, Calabar First Branch, Calabar Nigeria District
In this situation, I would tell my friends that prayer is the best way to find out if what I believe is true. I would suggest we pray together and ask Heavenly Father to make it known to us if my beliefs are correct. Through prayer He manifests the truth of all things.
Reyna Guadalupe Orozco Portillo, Las Huertas Ward, Culiacán México Tamazula Stake
We need to do everything in our power to make sure our testimonies touch others’ hearts. We need to be examples in the words we say, the way we live, the clothes we wear, and the entertainment we choose. Our friends may not believe us now, but someday they may remember the legacy of faith we gave them through our example.
Lucía Cecilia Pérez, Unión Second Ward, Trelew Argentina North Stake