“I have a couple of friends who don’t come to church anymore. What are some ways to help them return?”02248_000_007
Every new member needs a friend at church, a Church assignment, and nourishment “by the good word of God” (Moroni 6:4). 1 While your friends may not be recent converts, these three things can help them.
Let your friends know that you care, and be a good example. Show them that living gospel standards is a great way to be happy (see Mosiah 2:41).
Finally, don’t give up. The Lord respects our agency and allows each of us to come to Him when we are ready. For some this may take longer than others. But no matter how long it takes, your efforts will be worth it.
By helping your friends return to church, you are following the Savior’s example. With love and compassion, He invited others to come unto Him, live the gospel more fully, and rise to their full potential.
Talk about Gospel Topics
It worried me when I noticed that my good friend was not coming to church anymore. Her close friend, I found, had recently passed away, and she was beginning to doubt. One day I invited her to a party with some girls from church. I made it a goal to bring up the Church once. After the others left, we talked about various Church topics that I would have never thought to talk to her about. I learned that by doing my part, the Lord will take care of the rest. All we need to do is open our mouths (see D&C 28:16).
Rebecca T., 16, Washington
Pray for Them
Something that would help a lot is to visit them and show an interest in them. Invite them to Church activities. Pray a lot to Heavenly Father. Ask Him to help you see what the best way would be to help them to return, and pray for them so there can be a change in their hearts to replace any sinful desire with a desire to follow Christ. Give them a good example, and show them that the gospel brings happiness.
Marilú P., 17, Nuevo León, Mexico
Share Your Testimony
The first thing I want to find out is why they aren’t coming to church. After that I will invite them for dinner, family home evening, and some Church activities as well. At the same time, I want to let them know how much our Heavenly Father loves them by sharing some scriptures and inviting them to church. I will bear my testimony to them of the truthfulness of this Church, that it is the only way we can go back and live with our Father in Heaven.
William V., 20, Tongatapu, Tonga
Answer Their Questions
Getting friends to come back to church is hard. People have many reasons for falling away. You should talk to your friends about their reasons for not coming. You can also help them understand the answers to the questions they have that could be keeping them from coming. Also let them know how much they are missed. When they do come to church, make them feel loved and welcome.
Madison B., 14, Arizona
Be a Good Friend
Just be the best friend you can. Be there for your friends. Be an example. Pray for them. Let the Lord show you how you can help your friends. He knows and loves His children and will lead them back to the correct path if they will let Him.
Jenna K., 19, Lower Saxony, Germany
Help Them Remember Spiritual Experiences
Ask them to remember their testimony, which moved them to be baptized. Ask them to remember the miracles the Lord wrought for them according to their faith. Also have them remember the power of prayer and the power of the priesthood.
Anna R., 21, Donets’k, Ukraine
Let Them Know You Care
I have found that the easiest way to encourage them to come to church again is just telling them that you love them and that the ward loves them. I have recently gotten one of my less-active friends to commit to coming to our Mia Maid activities. God will show you how to touch their hearts.
Denali L., 15, Alaska
Responses are intended for help and perspective, not as pronouncements of Church doctrine.
Lift Those Who Need Help
“Under the sacred and compelling trust we have as members of the Church of Jesus Christ, ours is a work of redemption, of lifting and saving those who need help. Ours is a task of raising the sights of those of our people who fail to realize the great potential that lies within them.”
President Gordon B. Hinckley (1910–2008), “What This Work Is All About,” Ensign, Aug. 2002, 5.
“My friend has started smoking. How can I offer to help her quit without offending her?”
Please send your answer by September 15, 2008, to:
New Era, Q & A, 9/08
50 E. North Temple St., Rm. 2420
Salt Lake City, UT 84150-3220, USA
Or e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The following information and permission must be included in your e-mail or letter:
Ward (or branch)
Stake (or district)
I grant permission to print response and photo:
Parent’s signature (if you are under 18)