“What should I do when I am mocked at school for following Church standards?” Liahona, December 2014, 54–55
If you are mocked for following Church standards, you can take it as an opportunity to represent Jesus Christ. Be respectful and charitable. If prompted, you might explain why you live the way you do. Consider using For the Strength of Youth to help you discuss your standards. Invite the Spirit into your life so He can touch the hearts of your peers. The Spirit can help you know what to say.
You can also get advice from your parents, Church leaders, or the full-time missionaries. Ask them how they have responded in similar situations.
At times you may feel tempted to argue with others about your beliefs. But remember that “he that hath the spirit of contention is not of [Christ]” (3 Nephi 11:29).
At other times, you may feel pressure to give in and stop following Church standards. Be strong. Standing firm will not only bless your life with peace, but it can bless the lives of your peers. Your example can encourage them to make righteous decisions.
Look to the example of the Savior for strength. The Savior was ridiculed for standing up for truth (see Isaiah 53). He knows exactly how you feel. He performed the Atonement for you and experienced the same trials you face. He is with you. Study more about His life so you can be like Him in these situations.
When people make fun of me at my school, I think of the vision that Lehi had about the great and spacious building: “It was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the attitude of mocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit” (1 Nephi 8:27). I will be like Lehi. I will never let go of this iron rod that leads to eternal life.
Pierre S., age 18, Haiti
As a friend and I were completing the virtue value project for Personal Progress, we read the Book of Mormon at school during breaks. Our teacher and our classmates began to make fun of us. At times I wanted to stop reading, but I simply could not leave my scriptures at home. We continued to read at school, and over time we weren’t made fun of anymore. One of our friends became interested in the gospel and in Personal Progress. We gave her the booklet and a triple combination, and since then we have been telling her about the gospel. Her brother also became interested in the gospel. They are both reading the Book of Mormon.
Kimberly A., age 16, Brazil
At my school, not a lot of the students are familiar with the gospel. I think the best thing you can do is show people how living the gospel affects you positively. By being kind and respectful no matter what they say to you, you set a wonderful example, and they will have a greater respect for you and your beliefs. Remembering your example, those same people may be open to learning more about the gospel later on!
Kelsey P., age 14, Florida, USA
Once you know the blessings that follow from living the standards, you don’t need to feel ashamed when mocked. You can teach the standards and share a testimony of living them. Your peers may learn and be filled with the Spirit since you’re sharing a testimony of the gospel.
Emmanuel A., age 16, Ghana
For school events, my classmates or even my friends tell me to wear clothes that are not appealing in God’s eyes. They say, “You must look cute. You must look different.” Sometimes they say that I must forget my beliefs in order to fit in with this world. But my answer is always no. I know that being the real me is being true and different from the world. It’s OK if they don’t like me for being me. It is not about what others say; it’s about following Heavenly Father’s ways.
Jazzy C., age 19, Philippines
I have had many experiences regarding living the standards of the gospel at school. I have learned that this is an excellent moment for us to strengthen our testimonies and participate in missionary work. Whenever I have found myself in a situation like this and kept my standards high, I have felt happy with myself for acting as God would like me to act. Never leave any doubt as to who you are and what you believe.
Hiram D., age 18, Brazil