Friday, June 8, 2012

Be Thou an Example

A woman in my parent's ward told a story once in Relief Society.  She said she'd found an amazing hair product. It was a hairspray of some sort that made her hair easier to style and stay exactly how she wanted it.  I wish I could remember the name of the product! She said that she was so excited that she told all of her friends about it so they could enjoy hassle-free hair days too.  No more bad hair days! It was a miracle!

She then compared her miracle hairspray to the gospel. If our testimony is so precious to us, and our faith gives us strength on bad days, why do we not bare it more often? Why do we not become so excited about the gospel that we share it not only with our friends, but with strangers too? Gospel means "good news," and we all need some of that!

I am nervous to share my beliefs with neighbors of other faith, unless it is during a religious conversation that they initiated.  I'm afraid they will be offended or think I am too pushy, maybe self-righteous. Once I had a dream that I went to my next door neighbor's house - wonderful people who have fallen away from the church - and the husband screamed that he "didn't want to hear no Mormon preaching" and to get out of his house! It is kind of funny because he is one of the friendliest guys I know. Even though it was a dream, I do not intend to bring up religion with him. Ever. His wife has told me they are not interested in coming back to church and I will respect that, but I hope they change their minds!

I think we often hear stories in the church about someone who was nervous to approach a nonmember about the gospel, but felt prompted to do so and the person was baptized.  A wonderful young mother in my ward converted to the church when she was in college.  She said that members lived in the apartment on either side of her, but none of them told her about the church. She thinks the friend who did share the gospel with her was sent to her because her neighbors failed to do so. Yikes. She told us how much joy the gospel has given her and encouraged us to tell people about the church. She is right.

The picture in this post is of my brother Levi. He is currently serving in the Florida Tallahassee Mission. We are all so proud of him! As a missionary, his entire life right now is dedicated to preaching the gospel. I know he appreciates referrals and support from ward members. We do not have to wear a suit and a name tag to share our beliefs. We should keep pass-along cards in our purses! I think this might be easier now that Mormons are more prevalent in the media. Mitt Romney's presidential run is even more of a reason to share some accurate and correct LDS beliefs. Sometimes nonmembers need help discerning LDS fact from fiction! The phrase "magical underwear" does sound silly until you explain the sacred meaning behind garments and temple ordinances...

However, we also need to recognize that some people do not want to hear about the church. Trying to convert them will only push them away. This is my solution: Live your life in such a way that when people know you, they'll want to know Christ. Be a friend, respect their beliefs, keep the commandments, serve one another, love your fellow men, and be happy to do all of it! I am a firm believer of sharing the gospel by example.  We never know who is watching us, and I believe we influence more lives than we ever know.

"Let no man despise thy youth; but be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity" (1 Timothy 4:12)


Cheltz said...

I have a really tough time starting a conversation about the gospel, but then I generally have a tough time starting a conversation about anything.

I would really like to be better at sharing the gospel, though. I'm actually hoping that the blog I just started can influence others toward the gospel and toward families.

Here's to hoping :).

Emily said...

Thanks for sharing Cheltz! Unless I know people will be receptive, I have a tough time too. Part of the reason I write this blog is to help myself become better in areas I struggle with, hence a post about not being afraid to share our beliefs!

pogilvie said...

I always enjoy your ability to put your feelings into words, feelings that I share. I feel your angst, remorse and joy. I agree with your sentiments and share with your solutions and your testimony. Maybe I should get some pass-along cards, the Lord could use me better if I'm prepared. Thanks for sharing!