Too often, I believe, people view proselytism as something sinister; a propaganda campaign launched to get people to believe the way you do, or a grab for power. But when done with the right spirit and intent, this couldn't be further from the truth. As LDS Apostle, Boyd K. Packer said in his October 1974 talk, "Where Much is Given, Much is Required", "Today it is my hope to inform those who are not yet members of the Church, and at once to remind all of us who are members of the Church, of our responsibility to share the gospel."
I have seen friends and acquaintances become insulted when someone discusses their religious views. "Why are they shoving that in my face?" They might think, "Don't they love me the way I am? Why is it so important to them that I don't worship the way they do?"
If you have ever felt this way, I'd like to offer an analogy for why your friend might try to share his religious views with you. Picture this:
You're hiking through the mountains with your friends. You reach a point where the path diverges in several directions. You each decide to explore a different path and meet back later. As you walk down your own path, you notice that the path is a little rocky. Several times you nearly roll your ankle, but you move on, confident. The trail leads you to a metal railing that seems to stretch off into the distance. You grab onto the railing to steady yourself, and resume your hike, which is long and tough. After going a great distance, the railing ends and you've arrived at the most beautiful tree you've ever seen. Large and majestic, its boughs spread out in all directions, festooned with delicious-looking fruit that seems to glow. You approach a branch of this spectacular tree and pluck some fruit from it. As you take a bite, you realize that this is without a doubt the most delicious thing you have ever tasted. Your whole body sings as your taste-buds process this exquisite flavor.
Where are your friends? They must taste this! You run back to the fork where you all split up to find them waiting for you. You know how amazing this fruit is, and you know your friends will feel the same if they came back with you to the tree.
When a friend with the right spirit talks with you about Church, this is exactly how they feel. They know how wonderful this Gospel is, and how happy it makes them, and they want to share that with you. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I have a right and duty to share what I have been given. Because I have been given so much from my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, I have a personal obligation to help others find the same. It would be selfish of me to horde something I know my friends, sisters, brothers, will love. I proudly consider myself a trail guide, and want to do all in my power to point you in the right direction, so you and yours can have a taste of this delicious fruit. You'll have to work for it, but I promise its worth it. After all, where much is given, much is required.