Yesterday at Church, the Bishop (you-know-who) had some words of advice for a young departing missionary from our ward. This was after the counselor in the bishopric, Brother Dye, [on the right in the photo] had talked about the opposition that the young Elder was sure to encounter on his mission. Brother Dye talked about how the Adversary has and will attempt to scare or intimidate and dissuade those who intend to preach the gospel or do good in the name of the Lord. Brother Dye said that the appearance of opposition is evidence or a sign that we are indeed doing the Lord’s work, and that what we are doing poses a threat to Satan. So then the Bishop gave the following advice (as I remember it). He said that Elder Carr would not fail in his mission if he kept the mission rules; and for the congregation that this translated into keeping the commandments. The reason why this is important, he said, is as long as any of us are doing our best to do what is right so that we can have the companionship of the Holy Ghost, we will not be deceived or derailed. If we have the Holy Ghost, we will be guided and protected, even as Satan rages at us and all around us.
Well, I confess to being easily frightened and that I tend to go out of my way to avoid conflict in any and all circumstances. I am not proud of my cowardliness. I recognize it as a terrible moral weakness. I admire people who serenely stand up for what is right in the face of hatred and hostility. How do they do that? I begin shaking in my boots and want to run away or cry or die of fright and embarrassment.
Anyway it was a great sacrament meeting. I felt inspired and encouraged to not cower when the going gets tough, as it undoubtedly—and increasingly— will as Satan rages in the hearts of men all around the world. Perhaps I can have faith that the Lord will go before my face, and will be on my right hand and on my left, and angels round about to bear me up, with the Spirit in my heart. (D&C 84:88.)
I was also heartened by Michael Medved’s response to a Mormon-hater who phoned into Michael’s radio program last week. (I emailed several of you a link to hear the conversation, but if you missed it, it’s on YouTube.) This ex-Mormon guy phoned in to say that the Mormon’s were conspiring to “take over the government” and that if they succeeded they would round up all the FLDS people and “exterminate” them. What’s scary about him saying such outrageous fear-mongering things is that there are ignorant people out there who actually believe that. It’s these ignorant ones who strike terror in my heart. They act on their fears and prejudices and blow-up chapels. But, I loved Michael’s perceptive and pointed response, he said the man’s statements were not just “odd,” they were “slanderous and untrue.” Michael went on to laud the Church for their “conspiracy” to do good, to promote traditional morality and marriage, etc. Bravo!
Nevertheless, I still cringe when I hear rumors that McCain might choose Mitt Romney as his VP. I think that if he does so, “all Hell will break loose” and the target will be the Church. It will be much worse than what happened when Romney was running for President. It could get really ugly. But, according to the Bishop, my job is to keep the commandments and make sure that I have the Holy Ghost. I really like having angels bear me up. Perhaps the time will come when my eyes, too, will be opened and I will see, like Elisha did, the “mountain full of horses and chariots of fire round about,” for they that be with us truly are more than they that be with them.