Playing Defense

Written by Brother Rich Nath on Tuesday, November 10, 2015. Posted in Devotional

Playing Defense

Have you ever had someone ask you to explain your beliefs or The Church? I've had a few opportunities, and each time there has always been a feeling of excitement. I can't wait to tell all about it.

I remember one of the first times I was asked. I couldn't wait to talk about Christ, The Church, the Book of Mormon, everything. I started to imagine how it was going to go. Everything would be wonderful and maybe, just maybe, this man would come to church. The day came for our lunch discussion, and I just couldn't wait.

To give you a little background, it was my first semester of college. I had put together a flag football team for intramurals on campus. We needed a quarterback, and a friend suggested a guy named Ralph. Although I thought he was a student, it turned out he was actually a member of the campus ministry staff. One day after a game, he asked if we could talk about my beliefs.

I've never been shy about what I believe — some might say I'm a little too vocal. But, needless to say, I was more than happy to sit down and talk. He suggested lunch at a local restaurant a couple of days later, and I thought it was a great idea.

The day came for our discussion, and I had prayed, read, and asked God to bless it.

The meeting went totally opposite of what I had in mind.

Although I thought he was going to ask questions about what I believed, he actually questioned me about why I believed the way I did. He wasn't interested in learning more about The Church or the Book of Mormon; he wanted to pull me out of it. As I said at the Wednesday night meeting after this encounter, "I had to strap on the helmet and shoulder pads and play defense."

Ralph couldn't understand my faith, especially in the Book of Mormon, and was truly worried about my soul. He honestly felt that I was doomed for destruction because I believed in it. No matter what I said, or how I tried to explain it, he wasn't budging. And frankly, I wasn't swayed either. By the end of the conversation, we had agreed to disagree. There was no animosity between the two of us going forward, and he actually left campus not long after for a new job.

I learned a few different things that day. One, this wasn't going to be the last time I'd need to defend my faith. Two, I was trying to explain my beliefs the wrong way. I was trying to use reason and logic to explain why things were true to me. What I should have done, and what has worked better since, is just saying that by faith I hold these beliefs to be true.

Last, something that I already knew but was reinforced, don't be afraid to tell someone how you feel or believe, and rely on God to give you the words to say. He did that day, and He has every other time a similar conversation arose. Hopefully there will be more opportunities in the future, and hopefully those seeds will fall on good, fertile ground.

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Comments (1)

  • Teri-Lyn Tunno

    Teri-Lyn Tunno

    10 November 2015 at 19:01 |
    Really enjoyed your blog Bro. Rich!! I can imagine exactly how you feel. It brings to mind about a high school classmate, who does nothing but missionary work, and has talked to me about God. He often says that we should go out for coffee (I don't drink coffee) and talk. I always feel he wants to try to dissuade me from my faith so I do not oblige. I am afraid it will turn out like your experience. Though yours wasn't bad but I worry that I will not do our faith the justice it deserves. I need to study more and be stronger in my knowledge of what we believe. God bless you for your strength and unwavering faith!


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