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A plea on behalf of would-be converts

This will be my third article on the dynamics and challenges of sharing the gospel since my wife and I left Utah eight weeks ago. My most recent conclusion: Missionaries need to become experts in divorce.

That may sound shocking to some, but I suspect many readers know where I'm going with this. I started actively thinking about the problem when I read a letter earlier this week from my sister, who's serving in Chile.

She mentioned that missionaries in her district have been strongly discouraged from teaching unmarried, co-habitating couples and that they would no longer be counted among the recorded key indicators: new investigators, lessons taught, etc. She didn't provide much information on the new policy — for example, whether it her district leader's rule or was mission-wide — but it's not difficult to guess at the logic behind it.

Having served as a Spanish-speaking missionary, I fully understand the frustrations of teaching investigators who live with their significant others. It is, perhaps, the hardest cultural obstacle to overcome. Many of them are extremely interested in the gospel. They come to church. They're willing to pay tithing. They give up drinking. But the Law of Chastity is so often the one commandment that prevents them from baptism. And it's not simply a matter of resisting temptation or tying the knot.

Read the rest of this story at deseretnews.com
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