Standing as a Witness in Class
August 2022

“Standing as a Witness in Class,” For the Strength of Youth, Aug. 2022.

The Theme and Me

Youth share how they are living the words of the Young Women and Aaronic Priesthood Quorum Themes

Standing as a Witness in Class

“I will stand as a witness of God at all times and in all things and in all places.”

In English class, our teacher handed everyone an article that criticized The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and said we’d be discussing it the next day. As I read it, feelings of fear and anger welled up inside me. That night, I wrote a rather unkind “comeback list” in response to the article.

My mom listened to me rant about my plans for the discussion. I was a bit shocked when she said, “You need to pray about it.”

That night, I prayed for help and forgiveness. Then a verse popped into my head: “The spirit of contention is not of [God], but is of the devil, … and he stirreth up the hearts of men to contend with anger, one with another” (3 Nephi 11:29).

The next morning, I felt at peace. I knew that Heavenly Father wanted me to be kind. But when I got to class, I started to feel nervous.

Classmates spoke in favor of the article. I felt I should speak up, but I worried about failing or ruining my social life. Then I remembered a quote I saw on social media that morning from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles: “Defend your beliefs with courtesy and with compassion, but defend them” (Apr. 2014 general conference [Ensign or Liahona, May 2014, 9]).

So I raised my hand and told them I was a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and clarified points in the article that were unclear or untrue. My hands trembled, but my words didn’t. The class stared at me, but I knew I did the right thing.

I learned that compassionately defending the gospel is a blessing, not a burden. The Spirit was with me, and I had an overwhelming feeling of love from Heavenly Father. I knew He was proud of me, and I was proud of myself too.

The author lives in Arizona, USA.