I am a convert to God’s kingdom on this Earth and my wife is a nonmember. I’ve tried to teach her of the practice of the baptism for the dead but the concept eludes her as she does not even believe that baptism is an essential part to our eternal progression or an essential ordinance. The scripture that is given in John 3:5 does not satisfy her as she states the following verse clarifies that being born of the water means being born of the flesh. I’ve searched what you have said about this on your site and will continue to try to teach her but her speaking on this appears to be more argumentative than inquisitorial and I don’t really want to embark on a discussion that is born of contention. Any words of advice would be appreciated.
Richard, from Nevada, Missouri
I agree with your statement that you don’t want to embark on a discussion that is born of contention. Such an approach only strengthens the other person in the beliefs that they are defending. There is one way that your wife could be convinced of the truth, and that would be to have it revealed to her by the Holy Spirit. The question is, how could that be brought about? Well, the Holy Spirit will not reveal or confirm the truth to a person with a doubting mind, or to one who does not sincerely ask the Lord for knowledge and understanding. So, how could your wife ever be brought to such a condition when her own belief system is at present so dogmatically opposed to accepting your viewpoint.
Here are my suggestions—
First, stop trying to convert her to your way of thinking by argument or by attempts at rationalization.
Next, be accepting of her way of thinking i.e., let her know that you respect her right to believe as she wishes, just as you would like her to respect your way of thinking. Support her in her beliefs.
Next, develop a stress-free social relationship by doing things together that are enjoyable and that are not marred by discord over differing beliefs.
Next, invite her to social functions in your Ward or Stake of the Mormon Church. Develop friendships with other members of your Ward.
If you can involve her in the social activities and in good personal relationships with other participating members of your Ward, she will come to see the beneficial effects in the lives of others of living the principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. When she sees how happy and confident you and your friends are in living the principles of the gospel she will come to the point of wanting to know what it really is that makes you so happy, and then she may begin to ask the Father the vital questions that will bring answers that could turn into a testimony of the truth.
As you can appreciate, this transition period will take a little time–sometimes counted in years. But there is one other essential activity on your part–you must pray every day that your wife will be blessed with a testimony of the truth. Pray with faith–in other words have the fully confident expectation that in the time and in the economy of the Lord your prayer WILL be answered. With that confidence of faith you may relax in your relationship with your wife, knowing that the Lord will take care of the problem, and that relaxed relationship will in itself help bring about the desired results.