Wilford Woodruff on Preaching the Gospel
A good and wise friend of mine, Mitchell Colver, sent me this wonderful quote from Wilford Woodruff about preaching the gospel:
When you go into a neighborhood to preach the Gospel, never attempt to tear down a man’s house, so to speak, before you build him a better one; never, in fact, attack any one’s religion, wherever you go. Be willing to let every man enjoy his own religion. It is his right to do that. If he does not accept your testimony with regard to the Gospel of Christ, that is his affair, and not yours. Do not spend your time in pulling down other sects and parties. We haven’t time to do that. It is never right to do that. (Contributor, August 1895, 636–37.) [source]
I think people of all faiths would do well to heed this advice, but especially Latter-day Saints. I think the Church as an institution does a phenomenal job with abiding by the precept of letting others worship in peace without condemnation, etc.
I hope that as members of the Church in general that we can always abide by these precepts. Although I seek to proclaim the truths that I am a witness of, I feel perfectly fine in letting others believe as they will. No matter what religious organization we belong to, whether it is led by God or not, we are all at varying positions in our relationship to God and this should be respected.
We should each proclaim the good we possess and allow the Spirit to testify of truth instead of seeking to compel others by crafty reasoning or other tactics that involve the arm of the flesh or man’s wisdom.
I love all of 1 Corinthians 2, but verses 1-5,13 & 14 seem to apply:
And I, brethren, when I came to you, came not with excellency of speech or of wisdom, declaring unto you the testimony of God. For I determined not to know any thing among you, save Jesus Christ, and him crucified. And I was with you in weakness, and in fear, and in much trembling. And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God…Which things also we speak, not in the words which man’s wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.