“Questions & Answers: Standing Up for What’s Right,” New Era, November 2017
Questions & Answers
People make fun of me for standing up for what’s right, even at Church activities. What can I do?
It can be confusing and increasingly difficult to stand up against the immorality that the world teaches is acceptable or even desirable.
The Apostle Paul saw our day and gave us this counsel:
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils;
“Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron” (1 Timothy 4:1–2).
Does that describe our day? Then he counseled Timothy, his young and trusted assistant, on how to overcome the mocking: “Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity” (1 Timothy 4:12).
So what do you do when you are mocked and ridiculed for your beliefs?
The Apostle Paul gave us the pattern: “Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;
“And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus” (2 Timothy 3:14–15).
When we are examples of the believers, study the scriptures, and keep our covenants, the Lord will guide us and give us the courage we need to stand up for what’s right.
Ask for Courage
It can be hard to stick to your standards when others around you aren’t, and it’s even harder when they mock you for it. I think one of the most important things to remember is: Who are you trying to please? Remember that you only need Heavenly Father’s approval, not the world’s. If you look from that perspective, and ask Heavenly Father for courage to stand up for what’s right, you’ll be able to have confidence while keeping your standards. Think of the words, “Fear not, though the enemy deride; Courage, for the Lord is on our side. We will heed not what the wicked may say, But the Lord alone we will obey” (“Let Us All Press On,” Hymns, no. 243).
Anne Marie L., 15, Utah, USA
Don’t Let It Affect You
The best thing to do in a situation like this is to ignore what they say because it doesn’t matter what others think of you. In the end all that matters is what you think of you and what God thinks of you. The only person who can really affect your confidence is the person staring back at you in the mirror.
Matt N., 16, Mexico
Don’t Get Discouraged
People are placed in our lives for various reasons. No matter the situation, we need to be strong and live the gospel faithfully even if those around us aren’t living it at all. We need to be examples of the believers. We need to stand up for what we believe in. It is not always easy, but God will bless our lives so greatly if we are willing to strive to follow Jesus Christ.
Becca C., 19, Utah, USA
Explain Your Standards
In middle school, other kids commonly question me about why I don’t date, drink coffee or tea, or cuss. Sometimes they even tease me. One way I deal with this is to tell them about my standards and what I believe in. There is so much sin and profanity everywhere that it is hard to avoid being teased or asked why you don’t participate in it. I answer that I am a Mormon and live by high standards. For example, when I am asked why I don’t drink coffee, I explain that I live by the Word of Wisdom and want to keep my life free from addiction. Usually after explaining my standards, people are understanding and willing to believe me.
Elijah S., 14, Washington, USA
Always stand up and live the standards. When you are consistent in calmly but firmly standing up for what is right, you will have others’ respect, even if you do not have their kindness. This has also helped me have more respect for myself, making it easier to handle the hurt caused by things people have said and done. While it is not always easy, having trust and respect is best.
Audrey F., 17, Illinois, USA
Remember Who You Are
The best thing you can do in this type of situation is to remember who you are. But who are you? You are a child of God with infinite worth and potential in the Creator’s eyes. When you compare the rude things people say with the love God has for you, the words don’t sting as much.
Landon C., 17, Mexico