Proud of Who I Am

    “Proud of Who I Am,” New Era, June 2009, 44

    Proud of Who I Am

    As an 11-year-old, I prepared for my first real babysitting job, and I didn’t quite know what to expect. As I entered the home I became a little nervous at the sight of cigarettes on the table and various containers of alcohol on the kitchen counter.

    As the mom explained the basic babysitting procedures for her children, she also asked me where I went to school and what my favorite subjects were. Then she asked what church I went to. At that moment I froze. I didn’t know how to answer because I didn’t know what kind of reaction I would get from someone who obviously didn’t live by LDS standards. I tried to pretend I didn’t hear her, and I continued to prepare the baby’s crib for her nap. A little louder and more curious, she asked again, “Where do you go to church?”

    I turned around slowly and with my head slightly lowered whispered, “I’m Mormon.” Although my response was barely audible, she knew exactly what I said. Contrary to what I was expecting, this woman began to reprimand me for lacking the confidence to be proud of being a Mormon. Although I don’t remember her exact words, I do remember her sharing stories about all the Mormons she had encountered in her life and how wonderful they were. She lectured me about standing up for what I believe in, holding my head up high, and being proud to be a Latter-day Saint.

    The rest of the evening I babysat and pondered this woman’s words. I knew that if I was going to be a good member of the Church, I had to give it my all. I don’t remember how much money I made that evening or even how long I babysat, but I do know that once you discover you have a testimony, you have to stand up for what you know is right.

    Sometimes it takes someone else to remind us how important the gospel really is in our lives before we realize how strong our testimonies are. Hold your head up high and stand up for what you believe.