Friend to Friend: Standing for Righteousness


Wolfgang H. Paul
Thou standest by faith (Romans 11:20).

Standing for Righteousness

When I was growing up in Germany, my family and I were the only members of the Church in our city of about 60,000 people. We couldn’t go to sacrament meeting, Sunday School, or Primary because the nearest Church building was several hours away. With special permission, we had church at home. My father conducted the meetings, blessed the sacrament, and often taught the lessons.

I was always the only Church member at my school. Sometimes classmates made fun of me for my beliefs, and at first I was a little uncomfortable. But I knew that they didn’t have the gospel knowledge I had been blessed with, and remembering that made me grateful to be a Church member instead of being embarrassed.

One time one of my teachers teased me about the Church, and I told him, “It’s not funny. This is something that I really believe.” After that he didn’t tease me anymore. When my classmates saw that I stood up for my principles, they respected me and even elected me as the class president. I learned that I would never regret standing up for my beliefs.

I carried that lesson with me as a young man when I joined the German military. Once again, my fellow soldiers made fun of me at first. But after they learned that I lived my beliefs, they protected me instead. They tried to make sure no one offered me alcohol. If I had ever gone against my beliefs, they would have been disappointed in me.

Children, sometimes you may be teased or misunderstood because of your beliefs. You too can stand for righteousness. Perhaps the people who make fun of you now will one day see you as an example and show their respect for you. No matter what others may think, Heavenly Father is pleased when you are true to your standards. He will help you.

Part of my testimony comes from having received so many answers to prayers. When I was five or six years old, I had a terrible pain in my ear. I received a priesthood blessing, and I was amazed when the pain disappeared. That was the first time I remember feeling the power of prayer and the priesthood in my young life.

Answers to prayers have continued to help me as an adult. One time I had to give a presentation, and I needed a very important file. I looked through all the material I had and could not find it. Time was running out. I was nervous. I locked my door, knelt down, and prayed. When I opened the closet where I had looked many times before, I discovered that two folders in a pile were stuck together. That is why I couldn’t find the one I needed at first.

I rely very much on Heavenly Father’s help. My dear young friends, you too can trust in the Lord and rely on Him. Always remember the answers to prayer you have already received. If you have simple faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ, you will have personal miracles that help you solve your problems and stand for righteousness.

[illustration] Illustration by Robert W. McKay

[photo] Border © PhotoSpin

[photos] Right: At age 6. Far right: At age 14. (Photographs courtesy of Elder Wolfgang H. Paul.)