I woke up on a hot summer morning thinking, “Can I make it through the day?” I don’t do well in the heat, and the forecast for this particular morning was 110⁰F (43⁰C). I logged onto social media to cheer myself up. The first thing I saw was an “invitation” to participate in a form of protest at Church against an action that a stake president (Church leader over several congregations in a geographical area) took in some stake far away from my own.
What? Again? I raise my right arm to the square as an outward gesture of my inward commitment to sustain the leaders of Christ’s Church on the earth. Each time I see one of these “invitations,” it’s like Satan is personally slapping me down. I need to stay strong. How do I stay strong when those around me bail on what is most important to me?
I’m not “Molly Mormon,” or a “Cookie Cutter Mormon.” I was not active in the Church for 20 years—time I can never get back. I’m the first one to understand that we all have different opinions and varying experiences in the Church—as we do in life. I don’t understand everything that happens in life, or in the Church.
I don’t need to understand everything. What I do know is that there is a way to deal with what you don’t understand without taking on the ways of the world. The world would have us protest and try to make Christ’s Church look bad in the eyes of others. Christ would have us stay strong and ask Him for understanding.
As I closed windows and turned on air conditioners and fans, the heat I felt was more than just weather related. Everything I love was yet again being challenged. I took it personally that morning. Satan had taken a slap and the priesthood of my Church, and that made me angry. Where was my strength?
My family room began to cool down, and as it did, a thought came to my mind that it is not my Church; it is His Church. Don’t I have faith? Jesus Christ knows what is going on, and He is perfectly capable of handling it. This is not my worry. I need to stay strong.
It is my responsibility to keep the faith, support the priesthood, and sustain my leaders. I’m charged with spreading the gospel, sharing gospel truths, and living a Christ-centered life. Jesus Christ is quite capable of running His Church. I need to be strong and stay strong.
Since childhood, I’ve wanted to be a writer. That didn’t happen until late in life, and really only began in earnest when I retired. I didn’t know where my writing would take me, and was quite surprised that the road ahead was gospel related. Almost immediately, I was introduced to people on social media who guided me to writing the things of my heart.
That was six years ago, and I’ve written articles and blog posts in a variety of places. The knowledge I’ve gained in the process has been life changing. However, it seems I still have more to learn. I’m still learning how to stay strong when Satan is out and about trying to mix up the works and stir people to anger. It seems I need to back off and remember that I’m not the one running things.
[W]e have the responsibility to stand strong with a shield of faith against the fiery darts of the adversary. We are role models to the world, protecting God-given, inalienable rights and freedoms. We stand in defense of our homes and our families (Elder Robert D. Hales, “Stand Strong in Holy Places,” Apr. 2013 General Conference).
I have to stay strong and stand strong against Satan. That’s my job. I can’t worry about every whim and protest out there. It’s not my place. It’s my place to defend the gospel; it’s not no place to change the hearts of men. Only the Holy Ghost can change the hearts of men after they are humbled and repentant.
Therefore, let your hearts be comforted concerning Zion; for all flesh is in mine hands; be still and know that I am God. (Doctrine and Covenants 101:16)
This is my new favorite scripture. I will be still. I will know that He is God. I will stay strong, write about what it closest to my heart, defend the faith, and wear the armor of God. I’ll wear my heart on my sleeve.
I will have faith and be comforted concerning Zion because He is in charge. I will learn to defend the faith without being personally slapped down by Satan. I will try to see things with eternal perspective. I will be still and stay strong.
Tudie Rose is a mother of four and grandmother of ten in Sacramento, California. You can find her on Twitter as @TudieRose. She blogs as Tudie Rose at http://potrackrose.wordpress.com. She has written articles for Familius. You will find a Tudie Rose essay in Lessons from My Parents, Michele Robbins, Familius 2013, at http://www.familius.com/lessons-from-my-parents.