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Elder Ballard says: Speak up, avoid defensiveness

August 17, 2009
source: Newsroom.lds.org

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In his commencement speech at Brigham Young University Thursday, Elder M. Russell Ballard of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints urged Latter-day Saints to proclaim their belief in following Jesus Christ and to avoid being defensive.

“In our interactions with others are we expecting always to have to defend ourselves? If so, I think we need to make a course correction.” Elder Ballard said. “It is inconsistent with where we are today as a Church and as a great body of followers of Jesus Christ.”

Elder Ballard referred to recent research that suggested Mormons can sometimes appear defensive to those who are not members of the Church. The study said that when Mormons are explaining their beliefs, they couch their language in terms that suggest they are expecting criticism.

Among the reasons for this type of reaction is the long history of persecution that Mormons faced during the early days of the Church, which included an extermination order from the governor of Missouri in the 19th century.

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