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Are Mormons "Likable"? When Being Likable Matters

Standing up for our beliefs doesn’t always make us the most popular people in the school/office/crowd. The mere fact that we admit we are Latter-day Saints may pre-dispose some to dislike us. As we become “everyday missionaries” and make others aware of our church membership, the chance of being disliked may increase. Our membership in the church automatically says something about our morals, our standards and our values. Our morals, standards and values are anything but popular in today’s world.

Those who have come to me for counseling frequently feel despair because, in standing up for their beliefs, they have sacrificed their popularity. With complete sincerity I ask, “What does it matter? You’re not running for office. The people who don’t like you are not in a position to hire you, promote you or fire you. The parties you don’t get invited to are parties you wouldn’t want to attend anyway. How are you worse off because people don’t like your beliefs, and as a consequence have decided they don’t like you?”

When criticized for being “narrow-minded” or “prudish” I have often taken comfort in the Savior’s words, “Blessed are ye when men revile you and persecute you and say all manner of evil falsely against you for my name sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted the prophets which were before you.” (Matt 5:11-12)

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