“Stories from Conference,” New Era, May 2014, 16–17
“Clinicians, academicians, and politicians are often put to a test of faith. In pursuit of their goals, will their religion show or will it be hidden? Are they tied back to God or to man?
“I had such a test decades ago when one of my medical faculty colleagues chastised me for failing to separate my professional knowledge from my religious convictions. He demanded that I not combine the two. How could I do that? Truth is truth! It is not divisible, and any part of it cannot be set aside.
“Whether truth emerges from a scientific laboratory or through revelation, all truth emanates from God. All truth is part of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Yet I was being asked to hide my faith. I did not comply with my colleague’s request. I let my faith show!
“In all professional endeavors, rigorous standards of accuracy are required. Scholars cherish their freedom of expression. But full freedom cannot be experienced if part of one’s knowledge is ruled ‘out-of-bounds’ by edicts of men.”
Elder Russell M. Nelson of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
“Recently, I spoke with a Laurel from the United States. I quote from her email:
“‘This past year some of my friends on Facebook began posting their position on marriage. Many favored same-sex marriage, and several LDS youth indicated they “liked” the postings. I made no comment.
“‘I decided to declare my belief in traditional marriage in a thoughtful way.
“‘With my profile picture, I added the caption “I believe in marriage between a man and a woman.” Almost instantly I started receiving messages. “You are selfish.” “You are judgmental.” One compared me to a slave owner. And I received this post from a great friend who is a strong member of the Church: “You need to catch up with the times. Things are changing and so should you.”
“‘I did not fight back,’ she said, ‘but I did not take my statement down.’
“She concludes: ‘Sometimes, as President Monson said, “You have to stand alone.” Hopefully as youth, we will stand together in being true to God and to the teachings of His living prophets.’”
Elder Neil L. Andersen of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles
“Knowing who you really are makes decisions easier.
“I have a friend who learned this truth in a very personal way. His son was raised in the gospel, but he seemed to be wandering spiritually. He frequently declined opportunities to exercise the priesthood. His parents were disappointed when he declared that he had decided not to serve a mission. My friend prayed earnestly for his son, hoping that he would have a change of heart. Those hopes were dashed when his son announced that he was engaged to be married. The father pleaded with his son to get his patriarchal blessing. The son finally agreed but insisted on visiting the patriarch alone.
“When he returned after the blessing, he was very emotional. He took his girlfriend outside, where he could talk to her privately. The father peeked out the window to see the young couple wiping away each other’s tears.
“Later the son shared with his father what had happened. With great emotion he explained that during the blessing, he had a glimpse of who he was in the premortal world. He saw how valiant and influential he was in persuading others to follow Christ. Knowing who he really was, how could he not serve a mission?”
Randall L. Ridd, second counselor in the Young Men general presidency
“World War II was a time of great spiritual turmoil for me. I had left my home in Brigham City, Utah, with only embers of a testimony, and I felt the need for something more. … While stationed on the island of Ie Shima, just north of Okinawa, Japan, I struggled with doubt and uncertainty. I wanted a personal testimony of the gospel. I wanted to know!
“During one sleepless night, I left my tent and entered a bunker which had been formed by lining up 50-gallon fuel drums filled with sand and placed one on top of the other to form an enclosure. There was no roof, and so I crawled in, looked up at the star-filled sky, and knelt to pray.
“Almost mid-sentence it happened. I could not describe to you what happened if I were determined to do so. It is beyond my power of expression, but it is as clear today as it was that night more than 65 years ago. I knew it to be a very private, very individual manifestation. At last I knew for myself. I knew for a certainty, for it had been given to me. After some time, I crawled from that bunker and walked, or floated, back to my bed. I spent the rest of the night in a feeling of joy and awe.
“Far from thinking I was someone special, I thought that if such a thing came to me, that it could come to anyone. I still believe that.”
President Boyd K. Packer, President of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles