“My friend says she doesn’t believe in God. How can I share the gospel with her?” Liahona, June 2017
There are many ways to share the gospel with her. Your own life is one of the best ways. You are “an example of the believers” in how you act, dress, speak, and treat others (see 1 Timothy 4:12). Keep in mind the following ideas:
Try to help your friend out of love and respect, not with any hidden motives or expectations.
Be honest and genuine in your actions.
Respect her agency.
How you share the gospel with her depends on why she doesn’t believe in God. Some people have had a non-religious upbringing. Others are open to believing, and they will develop faith as they learn how to pray and study the scriptures. And others may have believed in God at one time but then had trials in their lives that made it difficult for them to believe. Try to understand where your friend is coming from. Pray to know how to help her.
You can get a sense for her beliefs by talking about what inspires her and what really matters to her. Build on common ground. For instance, if she believes service is a good idea, you could invite her to a ward service project.
Even though your friend does not believe right now, she is still a good person. As long as she is a good influence on you, continue to be her friend. As you follow the Spirit, continue to invite her to church and to learn more about why God is important in your life because one day she will be open to believing.
During my mission preparation, I have had many friends say they do not believe in God. When I hear them say this, I find myself praying for them. They may not believe in God while we are saying a prayer, but if we really believe in God, our love for Him will be demonstrated to others. Our example helps others understand that God really blesses us, that He exists, and that He loves us.
Emanuel L., age 18, State of Mexico, Mexico
When I was younger, I was under the impression that the only way to teach the gospel was to full-out preach it, but I was dead wrong because there are countless ways to share the gospel. But through experience I’ve found that if you’ll just be an example of Christ in all the things that you do, then you’ll be surprised by how many people look up to you and believe you. In many circumstances, actions do truly speak louder than any other word could. Lead and teach by example.
Ammon W., age 18, Arizona, USA
If your friend does not believe in God, you can talk about nature because everything testifies that there is a God (see Alma 30:44). You can also pray for her and study the scriptures with her—for example, Psalm 19:1. I know that the Holy Ghost will help her receive a testimony of our Heavenly Father.
Sophie K., age 17, Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of the Congo
You can share the gospel in many ways. First, just pray and fast for them so that their heart may open up to the gospel. Then the next time you meet them, open up topics and subjects that lead to a conversation about the gospel. Be sure to invite them to church or activities, and most of all, be friendly. Who knows—maybe someday they’ll be baptized along with their family.
Valerie K., age 14, Nevada, USA
The gospel changes people’s lives. One way you can share it with your friend is by saying how you feel that God exists, for example, in the miracles that you have experienced and that you now experience by the simple fact of waking up every day. Your example to her will be a great testimony of your happiness in knowing the love of God and living the gospel.
Victória S., age 18, Piauí, Brazil
Remember why you want her to believe in God. We don’t just share this with people because we want them to be members of the Church. We do so because they are literally our brothers and sisters. Why do you want your friend to believe in God? Keep that question in mind, pray for strength and charity, be sincere, and if they still say no, then be willing to respect their agency. There’s also the chance that they aren’t ready yet. But I promise you that if you sincerely want them to know about God, because you are their friend, they will listen. After that, the choice is up to them, and we can’t judge them for the choice they make.
Elder Eliot, age 20, Japan Sapporo Mission
Be an example to her. Help her become closer to God through your experiences and testimony. Be the angel she is looking for through your light and influence. Help her see the love of our Heavenly Father has for her, but don’t force it on her.
Mason E., age 16, Arizona, USA