I don’t want you to talk to me about commandments or scriptures. It hurts me.
I have had missionaries and members come to me and talk to me about scriptures and commandments. It hurts me. I don’t want them to come.
Elder Hall drew a deep breath. The man talking was a former branch leader, who had taken offense and stopped coming to church.
I don’t want to hurt you. But would you mind if I shared a story with you?
I have a son who has had many problems in his life. He does not have the gospel in his life. May I tell you about when he became inactive?
It started when he was seventeen years old. A church leader said something to him that bothered him.
Elder Hall shared more details about his son. His voice cracked as he shared his pain. The sister missionaries wiped tears from their faces.
That was over twenty years ago. He stopped coming to church. He chose friends who were not members of the church, and he made some serious mistakes. He does not have the gospel in his life now. His children do not have the gospel in their lives.
The man looked up. His voice was soft and his answer was a surprise.
Please tell your son I say hello to him.
Being active in the church is not a matter of duty or guilt. It is about helping and being helped by others as we receive the love and protection of God in our lives.
We shook hands as we left.
Will you be angry if we come to see you again?
No. I would like you to come.