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    Stand for Truth

    Two experiences from youth illustrate what President Monson taught about keeping the commandments even when they aren’t popular.

    In the October 2011 general conference, President Thomas S. Monson encouraged us to keep the commandments, even if they might not be popular with the world. This counsel can apply to many aspects of your life. Here are two experiences from youth that illustrate what President Monson taught.

    Staying Strong in the Classroom

    Heather C., Virginia, USA

    Even though it was a cold, hard piece of plastic, at that moment my chair was my only friend. Our English teacher had asked us to express our opinions about controversial statements. If you supported a statement, you were to move to the left side of the room. If you didn’t support it, you were to stay to the right. “First statement: Coed sleepovers should be allowed,” she said. There was a brief pause, then a giddy stampede to the left side of the room. I was the only one left sitting.

    girl in scarf

    In my mind it wasn’t an option to go to the left side of the room. I knew what I believed. So I stood up, faced my friends, and told them I didn’t think coed sleepovers were appropriate. As I did so, I said a silent prayer that my words would make sense and testify of truth. Then the bell rang, and the students scrambled to collect their backpacks. A girl from my class stopped me in the hall. “I just wanted to say that was really brave of you,” she said. “I don’t think I would be able to do that.” I smiled and said a silent prayer of thanks to Heavenly Father for showing me that I was able to touch someone.

    Although that was a difficult experience, I was able to define myself. Because I had the gospel in my life, I knew where I stood and I knew nothing could shake me. I eventually found friends who really cared about me and respected my beliefs. I am a much happier person because I understand that when I stand up for my beliefs, the Lord is with me and He will never leave me alone.

    “It may appear to you at times that those out in the world are having much more fun than you are. Some of you may feel restricted by the code of conduct to which we in the Church adhere. My brothers and sisters, I declare to you, however, that there is nothing which can bring more joy into our lives or more peace to our souls than the Spirit which can come to us as we follow the Savior and keep the commandments. That Spirit cannot be present at the kinds of activities in which so much of the world participates” (Thomas S. Monson, “Stand in Holy Places,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 83).

    It’s Better to Stand Alone

    Lauren M., Utah, USA

    group of young men

    I went to a party one night with a group of my closest friends. As we sat laughing, the conversation turned. My friends started to gossip about a young man we all knew who was my friend. The conversation went on for a while with everyone except me agreeing with what was being said. Eventually I had enough. I expressed my feelings that it was wrong for them to belittle this young man.

    The room went silent, and no one stood by me. I had never felt so alone in my life than at that moment. Eventually the conversations moved on, but everyone ignored me. I decided to call my mom to come pick me up. Then I announced that I was going home. No one asked questions, and small good-byes were said as I left.

    It was hard for me to go against my friends, but I knew that it was the right thing to do. This experience changed my life, and I feel good about my decision to stick up for this young man. I learned that even if you stand alone, you should always do what’s right. Your crowd may not be the crowd you’re meant to be with. It’s better to stand alone and do what’s right than to stand with others doing wrong.

    “We have been and continue to be taught God’s laws. Despite what you may see or hear elsewhere, these laws are unchanging.

    group of youth

    “As we go about living from day to day, it is almost inevitable that our faith will be challenged. We may at times find ourselves surrounded by others and yet standing in the minority or even standing alone concerning what is acceptable and what is not. Do we have the moral courage to stand firm for our beliefs, even if by so doing we must stand alone? … It is essential that we are able to face—with courage—whatever challenges come our way” (Thomas S. Monson, “Dare to Stand Alone,” Ensign or Liahona, Nov. 2011, 60).

    Take a Stand Today

    Think of some situations where you may need to stand for truth in the future. Decide now what you’ll do in those situations so you’ll be prepared, ready, and committed to stand up for your beliefs.

    • When inappropriate music comes on at a dance, I will ______________________.
    • When someone asks me to cheat in school, I will ______________________.
    • When I see trendy clothes that are not appropriate, I will ______________________.
    • When ______________________, I will ______________________.
    • When ______________________, I will ______________________.

    Share how you will respond to these situations by clicking Share your experience below.

    More of President Monson’s Conference Messages

    To read, watch, or listen to President Monson’s full addresses, go to “Stand in Holy Places” and “Dare to Stand Alone.” You can find all of the conference messages at

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