Originally posted by Jessica, Art History & Mythology:
[qb]I don't see it as a flaw in the religion, I just see it as a flaw in these peoples character (harsh as that sounds)[/qb]
Jess, you hit the nail right on the head, as they say. <img src="/images/graemlins/frown.gif" alt="" /> I'm sorry that your friends turned out not to be real friends after all. We had a man attend our ward for over 5 years before he was baptized, and while we were all thrilled, we all let him know that whether he joined the church or not, he would always be a part of our ward (his wife is a member). He's been a member for over a year now, and while we're all happy that he decided to join, our feelings about him wouldn't have changed any. He would still be our friend, and we'd still look forward to seeing him whether in church or out.
I think your friends had good, but misguided, intentions. I'm going to tell you my philosophy--the gospel according to me <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" /> and the experiences I've had, both as a convert and in dealing with friends who have shown an interest in the church. A person who decides to join the church does so NOT because he or she is "converted" by someone. The decision to be baptized is a highly personal and private one between that person and God. As a mere mortal, I can introduce someone to the gospel. But it is the light of Christ that changes hearts--and this does not and will not happen until that person has been prepared and is ready. No one can judge that timetable except that person and God. I have a son who is 16 and will serve a mission when he turns 19. His father and I talk to him about his mission, and we tell him that his success will not be determined by how many people he gets to baptize, but by how honestly and whole-heartedly he serves the Lord. Even if he doesn't get to baptize anyone, he will have planted seeds in people's hearts that someday will hopefully help them grow closer to God.
Whew! I've got to stop being so longwinded when I answer your posts! <img src="/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />