Thursday, June 4, 2015

To sit or to stand for truth and righteousness

There have been many issues and debatable topics popping up in the media lately. As exhausting has it has become, I am not about to step down from defending what I know to be truth. We knew this time would come, it's talked about in the Book of Mormon a lot, we can't hide or ignore the issues and so we have a choice.

I saw a few posts today about how we should be encouraging Bruce Jenner because that's what love is. My heart sunk, is that what we are teaching our children nowadays, that it doesn't matter what another person is doing, we need to support them and tolerate everything we see because that's what love is?

I believe there is a STRONG difference between showing Christ-like love towards someone and agreeing and tolerating everything a person is doing. Just because Bruce Jenner is our spiritual brother DOES NOT BY ANY MEANS mean that we have to approve and support everything he has or will ever do. If we all became tolerant to every decision everyone was making, wouldn't we become numb ourselves to the standards we have, the covenants we have made, and even the beliefs we stand for?

You can still love someone and not support their choices. You can still address issues while being respectful. You can still make appropriate judgements to protect yourself while displaying Christ-like respect to another individual.

I thought really hard about sharing a blog post voicing strong opinions on my Facebook page before I actually did it. I came to the conclusion that it was more important for me to risk confrontation than to just stand on the sidelines not doing anything to defend truth.

Sister Oscarson gave an excellent talk this last conference, she said "The Lord needs us to be brave, steadfast, and immovable warriors who will defend His plan and teach the upcoming generations His truths."

I don't think the timing of her talk was by accident, while I can't for tell the future, something is telling me this isn't the one and only debatable issue that will happen this year. Even if I'm the only human on the planet that feels this way, I want to be the one that is willing to risk anything and everything to defend truth and righteousness. I am willing to risk respect, I am willing to risk opposed opinions, and I am even willing to risk my life if I must, but I am NOT willing to stand still and sit on the sidelines not defending truth and righteousness anymore.

Elder Holland said "You will one day find yourself called upon to defend your faith or perhaps even endure some personal abuse simply because you are a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Such moments will require both courage and courtesy on your part." 

We don't need to name call or hate others for the choices they are making, but we DO NOT have to agree either. I can't and I won't just stay stagnant.  I refuse to just sit by watching others make choices without defending what I believe in. Christ was one with Heavenly Father, he was bold in his proclamations and he knew that facing towards Heavenly Father was essential and more important than the approval of others. He had enemies, not everyone agreed with what he taught but he stood for something, that's the example I want to follow, STANDING not sitting!

If we teach our children to tolerate everything they see, they too will become numb and oblivious to the calamities happening around them, and they too will drown. In institute tonight I heard a quote I just loved, "If we don't teach our children to follow Christ, the world will teach them not to." When we are saying yes to something, we are constantly saying no to something else. I want to be found saying yes to truth, yes to honor, yes to fighting for what I believe in and no to acceptance of sin. So I will keep my opinions strong and I will keep my love even stronger. 

Right as I was graduating high school, a boy came into my life. I knew he had problems, problems that worried and scared me. I voiced them but was in quite a bit of a conflict with myself; what about loving everyone? What about missionary opportunities through acceptance? What about tolerance? I regrettably gave into these questions believing it was the Christ-like thing to do, allowing this boy to become a bigger part of my life that I should have permitted. The line on this conflict I was put in was so thin that I ended up being too accepting to the point that I was the one that ended up losing that day. I learned my lesson hard and so clear through such pain and sorrow that I will never allow tolerance to overtake defending important beliefs ever again. 

In the hymn 'How Firm a Foundation', we sing about how we can not and will not stand still. I know I personally can't afford the cost to not defend what I believe in. I can't afford it as a daughter of God, I can't afford it as a future wife or mother, I can't afford it as a disciple of Christ, and I can't afford it as a defender of the Book of Mormon. So today, I choose to stand. I choose to stand as a witness of God, no matter the cost because with Heavenly Father on my side who could ever be against me?

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