Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Just Stand

Have you ever felt betrayed or forgotten or hated? Have you ever had to stand up for something with your personal image on the line?

In the Old Testament, many heroes stand for events such as these. Usually they were not in the land of their inheritance. Esther did. Daniel did. Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego did. Each was faced with a death sentence for what they stood. 
Consider that for just a moment. Are there things we face death for? People? Morals? I have not been threatened with physical death. I have though felt some of the sting of spiritual death. In my heart, I recognize the times I didn't want to stand up because I didn't want to look foolish. Those events are very clear in my memory. That is embarrassing to admit. I knew the truth and feared what others would say.

How can this great change occur? Howard W. Hunter gives encouragement saying,

A successful life, the good life, the righteous Christian life requires something more thaan a contribution, though every contribution is valuable. Ultimately it requires commitment—whole souled, deeply held, eternally cherished commitment to the principles we know to be true in the commandments God has given. We need such loyalty to the Church, but that must immediately be interpreted as a loyalty in our personal habits and behavior, integrity in the wider community and marketplace, and—for the future’s sake—devotion and character in our marriages and homes and families.
If we will be true and faithful to our principles, committed to a life of honesty and integrity, then no king or contest or fiery furnace will be able to compromise us. For the success of the kingdom of God on earth, may we stand as witnesses for him “at all times and in all things, and in all places that [we] may be in, even until death.” (Mosiah 18:9.) (source)
 As I ponder where this might begin, I am struck by how my behavior is magnified by my sons. The place to start to stand as a witness in our homes with our families.

Home is strongest and most beautiful in which we find each person sensitive to the feelings of others, striving to serve others, striving to live at home the principles we demonstrate in more public settings. We need to try harder to live the gospel in our family circles. Our homes deserve our most faithful commitments. A child has the right to feel that in his home he is safe, that there he has a place of protection from the dangers and evils of the outside world. Family unity and integrity are necessary to supply this need. A child needs parents who are happy in their relationship to each other, who are working happily toward the fulfillment of ideal family living, who love their children with a sincere and unselfish love, and who are committed to the family’s success. (source)
 With the idea that it starts at home, the parents of Esther, Daniel, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-nego must have taught them the law, and at some point they made their decision. As I have participated in our advent this season, I have found areas in where I need to better myself as an individual, spouse, and parent. The hope for this change comes through knowing Jesus Christ better and having faith in the atonement that I can repent and change to truly stand as a witness.

1 comment:

Sue said...

Oh, this is a good one! We all need to stand up and be counted, and it isn't always easy to do.

But it's what the Lord expects us to do.