What should I do if close family and friends question the Church and fall away?

young man going to church

Photo illustration by Weston Colton

If people close to you begin to question whether the Church is true, love them and stay strong. When they talk with you about the Church, focus on what they’re feeling rather than proving you’re right. Don’t make them feel ashamed for having questions or doubts. Don’t act shocked or hurt, even if that’s how you feel. If possible, talk to them about their questions calmly and try to help them find answers and to hold onto the faith, belief, and testimony they do have (for help, see “Acquiring Spiritual Knowledge” at doctrinalmastery.lds.org).

If someone wants nothing more to do with the Church, your relationship doesn’t need to end. Love them, be kind to them, and pray for them. If the Church and the gospel aren’t things you share with them anymore, hold onto things you do share. Let them know you care about them, not just their association with the Church. But don’t give up on your own spiritual goals, either. Try to lift them up, but don’t let them bring you down.

With help, I’ve repented of repeated sins. But I’m afraid I’ll fall back. How can I resist temptation and stay happy?

Replace your fear with faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, in His power to lift and transform you, and in His love and mercy. Remember Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and Their goodness to you. Be humble, pray, study the scriptures, and be faithful. (See Mosiah 4:11–12.) Then you can have joy, which is “the gift that comes from intentionally trying to live a righteous life, as taught by Jesus Christ.” 1

Complete repentance can be challenging. It often takes time, especially if you’ve sinned repeatedly. Avoid situations that bring temptation. You may need to change your daily routine, your surroundings, and your friends. If you slip, remember that you can still repent and change. Keep trying. Your Heavenly Father and your Savior won’t give up on you. “The Atonement … can wash clean every stain no matter how difficult or how long or how many times repeated.” 2