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Dear Gramps,

I’m appreciative of the time you take to answer gospel-related questions. I’ve been very troubled lately by some experiences I’ve had in college. I’m a freshman, back from a mission in Peru, and now in my second semester at a college in Utah. I have an English class with a teacher who hates God and any part of our “patriarchal society,” whether that be marriage, gender, or conservativism in general. After we read the essays she assigns, the class often remains silent while she subtly takes what the author has said and tries to shift our opinions on these issues. I never buy into it, but I’ve seen friends lose their faith to similar experiences in college, and she reminds me of Korihor and the other anti-Christs in the Book of Mormon. I always leave the class feeling drained and angry. I don’t know if I should take a stand and speak for my faith or just keep my head low and focus on something else when we have these
lectures.

Bob

 

Answer

Dear Bob,

You have been put in a difficult position.  I had a very similar experience while attending a college which was  sponsored by another religion.  We were required to take a religion class.  I didn’t think it would be a problem since it was on the Old Testament.  It was taught by a Priest from one of the local congregations.  Try as I might not to be disruptive, it was difficult as his interpretations of the scriptures was far different from what I believed.  It didn’t take him long to realize that I was the lone Mormon in the class and we had a few spirited scriptural discussions.  He told a friend of mine in the same class that if I wanted a passing grade, it would be best for me to back off.  Since I was attending school on an athletic scholarship I realized that I needed to keep my opinions to myself.  Though I did back off and received a passing grade, the teacher knew that I didn’t agree with his teachings, as did my classmates.

In your case, I would let your teacher know privately, this is where I didn’t handle my situation correctly, that I didn’t agree with what she was teaching and if so moved bear your testimony to her.  Try to do it in a way that is not confrontational.  If she tries to argue with you, just tell her you know what is true and you do not wish to discuss it further.  Hopefully when she realizes that you are not going to believe what she is saying, she will respect your beliefs.

I would strongly encourage you to visit with those whose faith has been shaken and bear your testimony to them.  We each need to be strengthened.  This is one of the reasons that you and your companion would bear your testimonies to each other prior to leaving your apartment each day.  When we let the Spirit testify to another, He can accomplish what our words cannot.

As we each go through life we need to keep in mind the counsel of the Savior to be in the World, but not of the World.  In His great intercessory prayer found in John 14, He prayed to Father:   14 “I have given them thy word; and the world hath hated them, because they are not of the world, even as I am not of the world.  15 I pray not that thou shouldest take them out of the aworld, but that thou shouldest bkeep them from the cevil.”  I find great comfort each time I read His prayer and trust you will too.

Gramps

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