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    • IMHO, this is a fundamental question that only they can answer. It cuts to the heart of how they chose between personal comfort and personal integrity—and it gets the the very essence of how they understand the concept of obedience.

      If they feel *threatened* by things outside the church or concepts that stretch or confront the gospel, then they will chose to sacrifice the relationship rather than dwell in an uncomfortable space that continually challenges their beliefs. (Members of my own family have chosen this path. They risk developing a sense of self-righteousness and arrogance that may eventually come back to haunt them, but it is not my place to point that out or make that judgement.)

      If, on the other hand, they value the relationship and are willing to suspend judgement and allow the space for individuality and alternate perspectives, the friendship can flourish for both parties. (My Mom is one who conducts herself this way. She is clear in her beliefs, but she does not feel ithreatened by disbelief. It is also amazing that she doesn’t fall into that trap of covering up a tendency to condemn non-believers with a false sense of compassion: “Oh, if they would only accept my truth their lives would be so much better.”)

      Perhaps she has lived such a long, full life that she has learned not to judge, not to condemn, but just to love. And is that not exactly what the Savior taught? I think He called it the first and second commandments...