Missionary Moment: Amy Perkins
After her mission she wanted to have an opportunity to share her testimony again. She was on her way to Canada for her grandpa's funeral so she got prepared to talk to someone on the plane. She had written her testimony in a Book of Mormon and had brought along pass along cards in the hopes of finding someone to share them with. She ended up sitting next to an older man who had just lost his wife and was on his way home from a trip he went on to get away. She ended up asking him questions like did he think he would ever see her again and had the opportunity to talk to him about the plan of salvation. They had a really great talk. When it was time to land they handed out the customs cards and she felt prompted to memorize his address which she thought was extremely weird, but was able to memorize the first part of his address. They landed and on her way to her uncle's house who she was staying with, her dad asked her about her flight and she told him about the man she had met and then said she had felt prompted to memorize his address. Her dad asked her what the address was and as she was telling him she was reading the address of the house right next door to her uncle! It happened to be her uncle's next door neighbor. She went over to his house with her dad who is a convert and he was able to share his conversion story. As they were leaving, the missionaries happened to be riding by and they were able to come meet this man.She doesn't know the end of the story. Her uncle moved so she doesn't have any way to get in touch with him, but she felt so grateful to feel the presence of the Lord in her life, and how clearly His hand was involved in that experience.
“The scornful often accuse prophets of not living in the 21st century or of being bigoted. They attempt to persuade or even pressure the Church into lowering God’s standards to the level of their own inappropriate behavior, which in the words of Elder Neal A. Maxwell will ‘develop self-contentment instead of seeking self-improvement’ and repentance. Lowering the Lord’s standards to the level of a society’s inappropriate behavior is—apostasy.”
“Some members don’t realize they are falling into the same snare when they lobby for acceptance of local or ethnic traditions of their fathers that are not in harmony with the gospel culture. Still others, self-deceived and in self-denial, plead or demand that bishops lower the standard on temple recommends, school endorsements, or missionary applications. It isn’t easy being a bishop under that kind of pressure."
Do you have a mantra? A mantra comes from Hinduism or Buddhism and is often used in yoga during meditation or running to keep you from quitting. Its definition is a statement or slogan repeatedly frequently. Happyblackwoman.comdescribes a mantra as a phrase or statement to inspire courage to overcome fear.
Elder Robbins reminds us of the first and second commandments Jesus Christ gave us found in Matthew 22:37-39. The first is, “Love God with all your heart.” The second is, “Though shalt love thy neighbor as thyself.” He reminds us that pleasing others before God is inverting the first and second great commandments. We often make this mistake because of the fear of mean. We fear confrontation, we fear offending, we fear embarrassing others, and we fear being accused of judging or being called “self-righteous.”
Think of some situations where either you or someone you know demonstrated followed the first commandment before the second commandment. Someone who demonstrated courage by choosing what the Lord would have them do, even in the face of what others may think about them.
Elder Robbins says, “While it certainly takes courage to face perils, the true badge of courage is overcoming the fear of men.” The scriptures and this talk are full of examples of great men and women who overcome to the fear of men to do what was pleasing unto God (think Nephi, Esther, Captain Moroni), and others who didn’t (think King Noah, Peter, King Herod, etc.).
Sometimes we show courage by choosing to live our lives the way the Lord would have us do even if friends, family, or coworkers may not understand our choices. Sometimes we show courage by remaining silent in a charged situation. But sometimes we may find it necessary to speak up in order to keep God’s first commandment. How can we tell if we should speak up? With a prayer in your heart for help in guiding your words, use Christ’s example to know how to speak to others.
If you find yourself in a situation where you need to speak up in order to follow the first commandment, develop a mantra to help you have courage and try to speak as Christ would speak.
Some mantras we developed in class were:
“Be a first time listener.”
“It doesn’t matter what others think.”
“It doesn’t matter how fast or slow, only what direction you go.”
Use one of these mantras, or develop one of your own, when deciding which way you face. Don’t let peer pressure let you invert or confuse the order of the first two commandments.