Maybe it's not fair to slap up a poll like that without explanation. My polls are exhausting me. I need to go back to the diaper polls. They require no explanation. A friend of mine shared something to this effect, "I voted NO WAY, that I would not stand up for my beliefs if I would be knowingly jeopardizing my family's safety and security." But then she said, "Of course, it depends on what belief is in question." I thought about that for a moment and slapped my forehead, "Of course!" said I. "That makes perfect sense. I believe in modesty, but I wouldn't go about defending that belief until my family was in danger." Then my friend said that if I had specified religion rather than belief, she would have heartily clicked "ABSOLUTELY!"
But now that I think about it even more, and my brain is getting tied up in scrambled knots, I wonder . . . . I believe in modesty as is taught by the Prophets of the Lord. Basically, modesty is a principle entrenched in my religious beliefs. Right now, I have no need to defend modesty because there is not currently a movement to burn a government stamp of approval on immodesty (not that I know of, anyway). Of course, I will always promote and encourage modesty against an industrial tidal wave of so-called "fashion," but defense is not necessary . . . yet. Then I think of people like Joseph Smith, who died defending Truth, not religion, but TRUTH, and "safety" acquires a new definition. He had a family, a wife, children. What gave him the strength to submit himself to the angry mob as a testament of Truth? What gave any of the Savior's disciples the ability to do the same as they died gruesome deaths, one-by-one giving up mortality as a testimony of their lives lived in the preaching and defense of Truth? The best answer I can come up with is that they knew this life was short. That the existence of this earth is but a blip in the Master's eternal time line. What matters most here on Earth is what we are doing to ensure our safe return to Heaven and our Father. That eternal perspective is what lends weight to the weightier matters of life. While the natural man in me begs to be let loose on my belief system, to make me "cool" in the eyes of society - boasting persuasive arguments revolving around so-called love and compassion - the spirit in me understands that love and compassion cannot abide where Truth is discarded for sympathy and in the name of understanding. My family is safest when they are not only allowed, but encouraged, by all around them (including our esteemed government), to walk the path of Truth. How can I live with myself if I stand idly by as that straight and narrow path is hacked to pieces by a governing body that believes itself to be wiser than my Father in Heaven? How can I live with myself if I sit back and watch as my children stand at the start of that path, rattled by the steady thrum of machinery, tearfully watching as Truth gets mauled by man and their Father stands on the other side of the growing trench with arms outstretched and waiting? Could I face my Father if I didn't defend Truth with every fiber of my being? No. Absolutely not. I would be ashamed. As astounding as it may seem to some, my duty to feed my children, bath them, clothe them, make sure they are not hit by a car, stolen, or assaulted by an angry mob, this duty is but a secondary duty. My primary duty, my most exalted mission on earth, is to nurture their spirits, to make sure they know Truth and have the best possible opportunity to walk that path.* If I do not stand up for what I know to be True - as has been personally confirmed to me by a loving Heavenly Father - then how can I possibly hope that my children will choose to walk its path? For them to turn away from Truth would be the most heartrending experience I could ever have in my life. I know, because I have experienced it to a lesser degree with close family members. It hurts like the dickens.
My heaven is beautiful beyond imagining, with lush, green vegetation everywhere and no mosquitoes; beautiful, crystal aquamarine oceans with no sharks; dazzling blue skies with puffy, milky white clouds. My heaven has weeping willows hanging limp and vibrant over ornate, stone benches. It has hushed, babbling brooks and distant, thundering waterfalls. It has familiar faces, friends, acquaintances - all dressed in white and glowing with peace. But most important of all, situated right at the end of the path of Truth and Good Choices sits a large, sturdy table built of intricate woodwork, boasting a breathtaking spread of the finest foods you could imagine, delicate china, and steaming cups of hot cocoa. In beautiful, high-backed chairs surrounding the feast is every. single. one. of my family members from generations back to generations forward, laughing, talking, hugging, and basking in the glory of Those who sit at the head of the table - our Merciful Father and our Selfless Brother. My heaven is eternal family dinner and I have sworn to my Father that I will do everything in my power to get as many people to that meal as possible. I can't do that if I sit down and shut up when my inherent, heavenly knowledge (a knowledge that has been born in each and every one of us, by the way) is challenged by mere mortals. A wise man once said, "So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me" (Paul to the Hebrews; Hebrews 13:6). A sentiment which was later echoed by another wise man of the Book of Mormon, ". . . Behold, I speak with boldness, having authority from God; and I fear not what man can do; for perfect love casteth out all fear" (Moroni 8:13). So, I stand by my answer. Though I do not, necessarily, have "authority from God," I nevertheless sustain and support those who do. Yes, I will absolutely stand up for what I believe in, even if that means I put my family's safety and security in jeopardy through such activism. Because perfect love is to care more about the welfare of the soul than the welfare of the mortal body. In my opinion, anyway . . . .
What were your thoughts as you submitted your answer to this latest poll?
*Please don't take this to mean that I neglect the temporal needs of my children, propping them up at a table half-starved and exhausted, forcing them to listen to hours of scripture reading in order to earn their food and sleep. Seriously. If you think this of me, you do not know me.
Note: When commenting, please remember to refer to my family members by their pseudonyms to help protect their privacy. Thank you!