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Question

 

Dear Gramps,

I often see on social media people spreading false rumors about the church or extrapolating true things about the church and it makes me feel uneasy. Is there anything I can do to help them?

Trevor

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Answer

 

Dear Trevor,

All of us here at Ask Gramps know exactly what you mean. In fact, I think every member of the Church who uses social media has seen what you are describing. While social media is a huge blessing in our lives, it can also be a curse at times. Meeting people who share our interests and beliefs is fantastic, but sadly we also have the chance to meet people whose views are vehemently against what we believe.

Some people might act differently online than they do in face to face interactions. I highly doubt that people in “real life” are as abrasive, argumentative, or confrontational as they sometimes act online. Because people often forget that there is a live, breathing human on the other side of the screen, they’ll act much more rudely and acrimoniously. Sadly, that’s the nature of the internet and it’s not likely to change anytime soon. If you can’t accept that, than it’s probably best to severely limit your time spent online.

Someone who is really against the Church and likes to broadcast that opinion does need help, and you are a wonderful and compassionate person to try and offer to help them.  Unfortunately it’s nearly impossible to change someones strongly held opinion, especially online, and all you can do is generally add fuel to the fire. It’s like wrestling with a pig in the mud-it doesn’t accomplish anything, you both get dirty, and only the pig likes it. It’s best to pray for the person, but other than that there isn’t much you can do.

To quote a popular saying, “haters gonna hate”.  That hate that we see towards the Church is deeply troubling, and in some ways, deeply sad. That kind of hate will eventually turn on itself and loved ones and lead to serious problems in life. You can’t save everyone Trevor, and as sad as it is, sometimes you need to leave people alone and pray that they don’t self destruct.

You are in my prayers,

 

Gramps

 

 

 

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