Good morning brothers and sisters and Aloha.
Today I have been asked to talk about my favorite talk in General Conference. My favorite was President Monson’s in priesthood session called “Dare to stand alone”. In his talk he told a story about being in Navy boot camp. One Sunday the Chief Petty Officer told them they would all go to church. The Christians, Jews and the Protestants all were assigned to meetings. Pres. Monson Says
“Instantly there flashed through my mind the thought, “Monson, you are not a Catholic; you are not a Jew; you are not a Protestant. You are a Mormon, so you just stand here!” I can assure you that I felt completely alone. Courageous and determined, yes—but alone.
“And then I heard the sweetest words I ever heard that chief petty officer utter. He looked in my direction and asked, “And just what do you guys call yourselves?” Until that very moment I had not realized that anyone was standing beside me or behind me on the drill ground. Almost in unison, each of us replied, “Mormons!” It is difficult to describe the joy that filled my heart as I turned around and saw a handful of other sailors.”
“Lehi’s vision of the tree of life, found in 1 Nephi 8, Lehi sees, among others, those who hold to the iron rod until they come forth and partake of the fruit of the tree of life, which we know is a representation of the love of God. And then, sadly, after they partake of the fruit, some are ashamed because of those in the “great and spacious building,” who represent the pride of the children of men, who are pointing fingers at them and scoffing at them; and they fall away into forbidden paths and are lost. What a powerful tool of the adversary is ridicule and mockery”
When I moved here I was worried about going to a new school. I worried that there would be no one like me and that I would be alone. My parents told me to be courageous. I was surprised that there were so many Mormons. It was reassuring.
But sometimes we still have to stand up for our beliefs. Sometimes at school kids might say we should watch bad movies or video games, or listen to inappropriate music. Some people will tell us to curse or smoke or drink or do drugs. When this happens to me I will remember the poem that President Monson recited:
Dare to be a Mormon;
Dare to stand alone.
Dare to have a purpose firm;
Dare to make it known.
I want to be a good example of the Gospel and “to make it known” that I follow the teachings of Jesus. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ Amen.