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SHIDHABAL - What is the best thing to say that debate is not a righteous way to tell the truth when it comes to the gospel issue?

JOEL - Someone once said:
"A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still."

Debate invites contention and we have been told:
"For verily, verily I say unto you, he that hath the spirit of contention is not of me, but is of the devil, who is the father of contention, and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another." (3 Ne. 11:29)

"Only by pride cometh contention: but with the well advised is wisdom." (Proverbs 13:10)

"A fool’s lips enter into contention, and his mouth calleth for strokes." (Prov. 18:6)

"For I fear, lest, when I come, I shall not find you such as I would, and that I shall be found unto you such as ye would not: lest there be debates, envyings, wraths, strifes, backbitings, whisperings, swellings, tumults:" (2 Cor. 12:20)

The fact that the word debate finds iself in a scripture within this list of other undesirable activities, make it a thing to avoid. In secular life and worldly subjects there can be winners and losers in debates. But when it comes to religion and matters of faith, no one wins.

It is possible to have "friendly" debates over religious subjects so long as the goal is to simply inform rather than to convert. Debate may provide some knowledge and information about another's beliefs or opinion, but conversion to a belief is best helped by simply teaching and testifying and allowing the spirit to cause a person to change if they are willing.

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