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by Joseph Fielding McConkie
Shouldn't the Church make a greater effort to respond to the ugly, dishonest, foolish, and false things that are said about it?
Little is to be gained by kicking skunks or entering into a spitting contest with camels. We accomplish more in the declaration of the truth-that is, in teaching the message the Lord has given us-than in responding to the endless falsehoods that are hurled against us. Few falsehoods deserve response. The adversary will often use such things to divert our attention from the greater labor of declaring our message.
President Ezra Taft Benson shared an experience he had as a young missionary in the British Isles that illustrates the principle. He and his companion were invited to speak in the South Shields Branch. They were asked to respond to the "lies that were being printed about the Church" for the benefit of the investigators who would be present. Elder Benson was assigned to speak on the Apostasy and prepared himself to do so. When he stood to speak, he felt a strong impression to talk about the Book of Mormon, which he did. Afterwards, he said, he couldn't recall what he had said, though he had enjoyed a great freedom of expression. At the conclusion of the meeting, he was surrounded by nonmembers who told him that while he was speaking, they had received a witness that Joseph Smith was a prophet and they were now ready for baptism (see Dew, Ezra Taft Benson, 55). Our commission is to bear witness of the restored gospel among every nation, kindred, tongue, and people, not to respond to every objection the adversary and his legions raise against it.
Answers To Tough Gospel Questions
Copyright by Deseret Books
(See Response to Criticism home page; Accusatory Questions home page)
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