During my junior year of high school, I moved to live with my dad. I found it very difficult to make friends in my new town. Since I had arrived halfway through the school year, I was at a disadvantage. I felt rejected and lonely.
Because I love to sing, choir class is where I thought I could find my niche of friends. No one was particularly cold to me; however, I found it challenging and awkward to interact with the other choir kids. This made me feel even more isolated and alone.
In stark contrast to the way I was feeling, one girl in choir class seemed to have it all. I will call her Anna. She was stylish, witty, and very popular. She was outspoken with a great sense of humor. Although I didn’t really know her, I found her very likable. Nevertheless, she had one exceedingly offensive and disturbing habit. She frequently took the Lord’s name in vain. She would say His name in a casual and flippant manner. I would cringe when she would say it, but I didn’t know what to do. I thought about asking her to stop, but I was worried that she would laugh at me and mock me in front of the others. I couldn’t stand the thought of feeling even more out of place.
One day our choir class was standing on risers, practicing for a school assembly. While singing, we unexpectedly squawked out a note that was way off pitch.
Anna laughed and yelled, “We sound bad!” punctuated by using the Lord’s name.
Right then and there I decided that I couldn’t take it anymore. The thought came to my mind: “How can I continue day after day to deny my Savior by saying nothing as His name is blasphemed? I have got to speak up now!”
At that moment, I was amazed to hear my voice—loud and firm—saying, “Please don’t say His name that way anymore. He is my Savior.”
Instantly, the room was silent. There was no doubt that the whole class had heard me. I was as shocked as anyone that I had spoken up so boldly. I held my breath and got ready for the repercussions.
After a brief pause, a voice from directly behind me whispered, “Thank you for saying something. I can’t stand it when she says that.” Immediately, I heard another classmate quietly agree. Surprisingly, many in the class seemed to be relieved that I had spoken up.
Anna was silent for a moment. Then she turned to me with tears in her eyes and said softly, “I am so sorry. I didn’t even realize what I was saying. He is my Savior too.”
I am thankful that the Spirit touched me that day in choir class to open my mouth to defend the sacred name of the One who has redeemed me. The Holy Ghost gave me courage to stand up for what is right, and by doing so, I could finally let my light shine (see Matthew 5:14–16).
After that day, I definitely held my head a little higher. Even though I didn’t become popular, I was able to make one first-rate friend in that choir class who joined the Church soon after this experience. As for my other classmates, they seemed to respect me more. One thing I am certain of is that standing up for my Savior gave me more self-respect and confidence. I am eternally grateful for Jesus’s sacrifice. I feel blessed to have been able to do something meaningful to show my love for Him.
Illustration by Scott Snow