Respond with Love

“Respond with Love,” Topics and Questions (2023)

father in Uruguay hugs his son

Helping Others with Their Questions

Respond with Love

When someone close to you shares their questions or concerns about the Church, it’s normal to feel anxious or worried. Try to set aside these emotions and respond with kindness and compassion. You may not fully understand the other person’s experience, but you can follow Jesus Christ’s example and always show love.

Sometimes people hesitate to share their struggles because they fear they might lose their relationships with those who are close to them. If someone reaches out to you, they’re looking for support. Respond with love, even if you don’t know what to do or say. Look for ways to show compassion and kindness, even when they make choices you do not agree with.

Here are some principles that will help you show love to people when they share their questions with you:

  • Speak with love. Communicate with humility, kindness, and sincerity. Eloquence and brilliant ideas are less useful than showing Christlike love. Express your love simply, sincerely, and repeatedly. As the Spirit directs, look for the right time and way to give “a reason of the hope that is in you.”1

  • Serve them in meaningful ways. Find ways to show your love and commitment. Ask them what makes them feel valued and how you can support them. Then consider how you can act on what you learn. Your service will reinforce your words of love and will reassure the person that you care.

  • Preserve your relationship. It is more important to cultivate a relationship of love and trust than to provide quick answers. A good goal may be just to keep the conversation going. Maintaining your relationship while keeping your covenants is the best way to continue having a positive influence.

  • Try to see them through the Lord’s eyes. Elder Dale G. Renlund taught, “We cannot completely fulfill our covenant obligation to mourn with those who mourn and comfort those who stand in need of comfort unless we see them through God’s eyes.”2 Your friend or loved one is a child of God with divine potential. They are experiencing the trials the Apostle Peter said we should expect in life.3 Jesus Christ calls upon His disciples to love others as He loves them.4 Pray for perspective to see them as He does.

  • Love them without compromise. When someone we love decides to believe differently than we do or makes decisions we don’t understand, we should respect their agency and continue to love them. We can do this without abandoning our own deeply held beliefs. President M. Russell Ballard taught: “We can love one another without compromising personal divine ideals. And we can speak of those ideals without marginalizing others.”5

Key scriptures: Proverbs 15:1; John 13:34–35; Doctrine and Covenants 52:16; 121:41–42