Sunday, March 20, 2005

To shoot down or not to shoot down

I have a question that I have struggled with at times since my mission. All of us have gone to Sunday School or Priesthood or Relief Society and heard something we know is not true, or is not correct doctrine. This most often comes through comments or responses to questions asked by the teacher. Sometimes it comes directly from the teacher and on rare occasions it comes from a member of the bishopric who, ironically enough, is trying to clarify a point of doctrine!
My question is how are we, as humble members of the church, to gently correct these situations? Is there a right or wrong way? Does it depend on the situation and if so, how do we know which situation is which and know which reaction is the best to use? Is there a way to do so without offending anyone or should we just not worry about that because it is inevitable?
An example: Today in Sunday School the teacher was wrapping up her lesson on Emma Smith and section 25 of the Doctrine and Covenants when she made the comment that she had recently learned that Joseph and Emma had their calling and election made sure. This came as a great surprise to me considering all the controversy and early church leader quotes (which may or may not have actually been spoken) I have heard dealing with this very topic. She quickly ended with her testimony and we closed and I felt I should have said something but wasn't sure what or how without sounding proud and make her look like a fool.
How do we make sure correct doctrine and truth are taught without creating more damage by speaking up?