How do I deal with conversations about the gospel when the other person is just trying to win a debate through logic?
    Footnotes

    “How do I deal with conversations about the gospel when the other person is just trying to win a debate through logic?” Liahona, March 2013, 42

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