“You have a tremendous inheritance,” President Gordon B. Hinckley told the youth at his special fireside in November 2000 (see New Era, Jan. 2001, 4). He explained that whether we have pioneer ancestors or not, we all belong to a church with a history of faith and dedication—“a Church which has been made strong by the loyalty and unwavering affection of its members throughout the generations.” Because of this great inheritance we each have a responsibility to be true to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
This is your church
Be true was one of the six B’s President Hinckley presented at the fireside. He reminded the youth that as “members of this Church [we] must have loyalty to it. This is your Church.”
President Hinckley’s counsel about being true impressed one young man from Arizona.
“I have always thought about this,” wrote Scott Moore. “I have pondered about my past and about how loyal and true I have been to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I can remember that there have been many times when I could have spoken up and declared that I am a Latter-day Saint. After President Hinckley’s talk, I thought about my loyalty to the Church and how I could change myself to be better in this particular aspect of my life. The answer that came to my mind is that there should be no hiding myself and who I am when the opportunity arises.”
Scott went on to describe a time soon after President Hinckley’s talk when he was able to share his beliefs with some friends even though he was nervous they might not accept him after he did. But Scott’s friends were impressed with his beliefs, and he experienced the joy that comes with being true.
In all circumstances
In some situations it may be inconvenient or uncomfortable to stand up for what we believe in. But it is still important to follow the commandments and live righteously. We must, as President Hinckley reminded the youth, “Be loyal to the Church in all circumstances.”
Tiffany Roy, of the Port Charlotte Ward in Florida, had an experience in which she was true to the teachings of the Church even though it was uncomfortable.
“I had just moved to another state and started school. There was a group of girls who found out that I was Mormon and started asking me all these questions. When they found out that I would not swear, this little group of girls blocked me from going inside the classroom. They told me that they would not let me go in until I would swear. I told them that we would be sitting there all day because I would not lower my standards for them. The girls let me go inside because they knew I wouldn’t do it. They avoided me the rest of the year. I did not care what they thought of me. I stood true to my faith by doing this.”
A great responsibility
By standing up for what we believe in, we set examples for those around us.
“You have as great a responsibility in your sphere of action as I have in my sphere,” President Hinckley said. For many of us our sphere of influence includes friends and peers. If we live the gospel teachings, we are true to our beliefs as Latter-day Saints.
“I want everyone to know that I am a member of this Church,” wrote Brie Brown. “But even more I want everyone to know how much I love it. I want to be a living, walking, and talking testimony of the love that I have for my Savior and how thankful I am for all that He has blessed me with. I want to stand as a witness at all times, even if I am doing something as simple as smiling at someone who needs to be cheered up. By being true to the Church I am true to myself, and I have never been happier.”
When we realize how important it is to live the gospel, other things in our life will no longer seem as important.
As Dave Martin explains, “By being faithful and being diligent in following the prophet’s words, I found that my life fell in order, and all the things that are important like church, my priesthood calling, and living the gospel eliminated the things that I don’t really need in my life. By following the prophet’s counsel I can learn more and strive toward establishing a place at God’s right hand.”
The hardest decision
Being true to the Church means following the commandments. President Hinckley reminded the Church’s youth that “You know what is right and you know what is wrong. You know when you are doing the proper thing. You know when you are giving strength to the right cause.”
Choosing the right is not always easy, but a comforting spirit will accompany the decision. Emily Naegle of Woods Cross, Utah, felt the peace of the Spirit when she decided to obey the commandment to keep the Sabbath day holy.
“A few months ago I had to make one of the hardest decisions of my life,” writes Emily. “I am an athlete, and for the past three years I have been involved in volleyball year-round. The only downside to this is that it required me to play on Sundays. I knew that playing on the Sabbath was wrong, but I wanted to be successful in volleyball too.
“When tryouts rolled around again this year I decided not to play. It was the hardest week, and I had to pray continually to reaffirm that I had made the right decision. I wanted to play so badly, but I wanted to follow the prophet even more. When I went to the fireside, I was still shaky about my decision. But when I left the Conference Center, a warm feeling of peace and comfort surrounded me, and I knew I had done the right thing.”
Walk in faith before Him
By being true we can walk before our Heavenly Father in faith. As President Hinckley stated, you can “walk in faith before Him with your heads high, proud of your membership in this great cause and kingdom which He has restored to the earth in this, the last dispensation of the fullness of times.” We will gain wonderful blessings as we walk in faith before the Lord, live up to our tremendous inheritance, and live true to the teachings of the Church.
“You know what is right and you know what is wrong. You know when you are doing the proper thing. You know when you are giving strength to the right cause.” —President Gordon B. Hinckley