How do I deal with conversations about the gospel when the other person is just trying to win a debate? People like that don’t want to hear testimony.

young man and young woman by school lockers

Logic and reason can help us understand the truth, of course, and it is possible to make logical arguments in defense of the Church and its teachings. But when one is more interested in winning an argument than understanding another’s belief, contention becomes the consistent outcome. Be firm in bearing testimony of what you believe and know is true.

If the person you’re talking to presses the issue, let that person know that you respect what he or she believes but that you will have to agree to disagree. Discussions about religious beliefs should not be about “winning.” And if you get contentious or angry, you will not be an example of what you believe, nor will you have the Holy Ghost with you.

Elder Robert D. Hales of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles has taught that when we talk to people about the Church, “our aim should be to help them understand the truth, not defend our egos or score points in a theological debate. Our heartfelt testimonies are the most powerful answer we can give our accusers. And such testimonies can only be borne in love and meekness.”1

Things of the Spirit are learned “not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power” (1 Corinthians 2:4). Even though it may not change anyone’s mind, you should bear your testimony and let people know what you believe. And when you share the gospel, how you say things may be as important as what you say. Speak patiently and with love. Follow the Spirit and you will be prompted to know what to say (and what not to say) and how to react.

    Note

  1.   1.

    Robert D. Hales, “Christian Courage: The Price of Discipleship,” Ensign, Nov. 2008, 73–74.

What is the point of class and quorum presidencies for youth?

young man in front of class

Young Women class presidencies and Aaronic Priesthood quorum presidencies benefit both those who hold the positions and those they serve.

Members of the presidencies are entitled to inspiration about the class or quorum, which can help them know how to pray for and fellowship members of their class or quorum, especially those who are new or less active. Being in a presidency helps youth learn leadership skills such as delegation, service, communication, and participation in councils. Learning to organize and lead meetings and activities helps youth leaders prepare for a mission or other future callings as they learn the importance of doing their duty and how to create a plan and carry it out.

Class and quorum members also get certain blessings through these leaders. They have someone their age to talk to who can help and encourage them in living the gospel and doing many things, especially as they complete Personal Progress or Duty to God. Because the presidents of classes or quorums serve on the bishopric youth committee, they can inform the bishop of problems, concerns, or good works in their classes and quorums.

Being called to a class or quorum presidency is a great responsibility that helps youth gain greater confidence, learn to be a leader and an example, and develop love and unity within the class or quorum.

For the Strength of Youth says to avoid extreme hairstyles. What types of styles would be considered too extreme?

What is considered extreme may vary from culture to culture and time to time, so it would be difficult to say exactly what hairstyles are too extreme for everyone. So how do you know whether a hairstyle is “extreme”? Ask yourself, “Why am I doing this?” If you’ve gone out of your way to give yourself unusual hair color(s), length(s), and styling solely for the purpose of “making a statement” or getting attention, then you may have gone to the “extreme” referred to in For the Strength of Youth. 1

Do Church leaders ask you to avoid extremes just because they want you to look plain and ordinary, without any style or personality? Of course not. They’ve given this counsel because your appearance says something about you. “Through your dress and appearance, you can show that you know how precious your body is. You can show that you are a disciple of Jesus Christ.”2 Extreme hairstyles might overshadow this message and send a more worldly message about you.

    Notes

  1.   1.

    See For the Strength of Youth (booklet, 2011), 7.

  2.   2.

    For the Strength of Youth, 6.