I used to find it difficult to use my beliefs as a response to a question as simple as “Why don’t you drink coffee?” In the past I came up with excuses like “It’s too bitter” or “I don’t like the taste.”
Why was I embarrassed? Why was I so afraid to stand up for what I believe? Looking back now, I don’t understand exactly what I feared. But I do remember exactly when I stopped hiding behind excuses.
One day in my high school English class, the teacher announced that we’d be viewing an episode of a TV show I knew I shouldn’t watch. While other students cheered in excitement, my classmate Sarah raised her hand and asked if she could leave.
When the teacher asked why, Sarah responded matter-of-factly, “Because I’m Mormon and I don’t watch shows with profanity.”
Her courage to stand up in front of the class was amazing. Thanks to Sarah, I too stood up and waited outside with a clear conscience for the show to finish.
I was forever changed. I started explaining my beliefs instead of avoiding the subject. And as a result, I found confidence in myself and participated even more in Church and school activities.
I never told Sarah how much her example meant to me, but I try to emulate her example of confidence. I now realize that being a member of God’s wonderful, sacred Church is absolutely nothing to be ashamed about. I hope that I can, through my example, be someone else’s Sarah.