Broaden your mind

94

When you find out a fellow student is not LDS, do you get excited and feel you will be the one to finally convert them? I used to, but I discovered what seems blatantly obvious to me now: Our nonmember peers do not like it. When starting friendships, BYU students should not be motivated by a desire to convert their new friends.

BYU does not have many nonmembers, but those who do attend don’t plan on getting converted. Around 500 BYU students are not LDS. They are willing to live the Honor Code and pay non-LDS tuition, but many of them do a double-take at the occasionally out-of-control missionary efforts. Invitations to church functions are welcome, but being subject to 45-minute-long spontaneous testimony meetings and having a copy of the Book of Mormon waved in their faces? Not so much.

When encountering people not of the LDS faith, treat them like normal people. Don’t just be their friend to convert them; befriend them to be friends with them. You will discover that people can be pretty cool and might even have similar standards. Plus, you can learn from them. If you feel a burning desire to share the gospel with them, invite them to church or family home evening, or give a quick 30-second spiel, but do not pressure them. They are surrounded by many wonderful members of the church; if they have any questions or feel the need to learn more, they know where to go.

For some detailed interviews from non-LDS BYU students, visit:
http://universe.byu.edu/2011/11/27/hi-im-not-a-mormon/#sthash.qByOACt6.dpuf

Kimberly Beard
Lewisville, Texas

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