Mormon Women Stand’s collaborative effort will consistently follow the counsel from Elder M. Russell Ballard that “every disciple of Christ will be most effective and do the most good by adopting a demeanor worthy of a follower of the Savior… The Apostle Paul has admonished us to not be ‘ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation.’ (Romans 1:16) Let us all stand firmly and speak with faith in sharing our message with the world” (Ensign, July 2008). With this in mind, anything contentious, contrary to or criticizing the teachings, doctrines, or leaders of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will not be welcome. Mormon Women Stand Mission Statement
In the world of today, women are on the battlefield. Many don’t know it and many choose not to acknowledge it. Still, others are quick to note the places in which they find themselves and accept it, even relish it, and charge forward on the battlefront with the banner of the Gospel of Jesus Christ held high–unashamed of their testimonies, and proud of who they are as women in the Church.
Sometimes it is hard to stand boldly against the world and the people in the “tall and spacious building,” especially when many of those people are members of our own faith and even our own families. It seems the building looms larger each and every day. While some people believe that to be Christ-like is to be weak, silent, and opinion-less, I believe that to be Christ-like requires great strength, courage, determination, and zeal. Christ knew what His mission was.
He knew what was true and what was not true. Was He contentious? No, but he was not afraid to speak the truth and he spoke it boldly. Jesus proclaimed the gospel, which means He taught with strength and conviction. I believe to be compassionate means to be strong. Is it not the greatest measure of compassion to invite us all to repent? To speak truth?
“And no unclean thing can enter into his kingdom; therefore nothing entereth into his rest save it be those who have washed their garments in my blood because of their faith, and the repentance of all their sins, and their faithfulness unto the end.”
— 3 Nephi 27:19
Sister Julie B. Beck spoke at the Church History Symposium last week and I had the privilege of hearing her speak. She said, “speak the truth; we are past the pleasantries.” We need to construct our banner of testimony, trade our fear for faith, and wave our banners high and with all energy of soul. We need to listen to our Prophets and Apostles and follow them, in faith, for they are the Lord’s chosen servants and will not lead us astray. We need to not be ashamed of the Prophets and Apostles.
A beautiful example of following the prophet is told in Alma Chapter 46:12, 13, 14, 18-21.
“And it came to pass that he (Moroni) rent his coat; and he took a piece thereof, and wrote upon it–In memory of our God, our religion, and freedom, and our peace, our wives, and our children–and he fastened it upon the end of a pole. And he fastened on his head plate and his breastplate, and his shield, and girded on his armor about his loins; and he took the pole, which had on the end thereof his rent coat, (and he called it the title of liberty) and he bowed himself to the earth, and he prayed mightily unto his God for the blessings of liberty to rest upon his brethren, so long as there should a band of Christians remain to possess the land–
For thus were all the true believers of Christ, who belonged to the church of God, called by those who did not belong to the church.
And he said; Surely God shall not suffer that we, who are despised because we take upon us the name of Christ, shall be trodden down and destroyed, until we bring it upon us by our own transgressions.
And when Moroni had said these words, he went forth among the people, waving the rent part of his garment in the air, that all might see the writing which he had written upon the rent part, and crying with a loud voice, saying:
Behold, whosoever will maintain this title upon the land, let them come forth in the strength of the Lord, and enter into a covenant that they will maintain their rights, and their religion, that the Lord God may bless them.
“And it came to pass that when Moroni had proclaimed these words, behold, the people came running together with their armor girded about their loins, rending their garments in token, or as a covenant, that they would not forsake the Lord their God; or, in other words, if they should transgress the commandments of God, or fall into transgression, and be ashamed to take upon them the name of Christ, the Lord should rend them even as they had rent their garments.”
Moroni was the prophet. He was not ashamed. He proclaimed. “The people came running.” They were not ashamed.
I have a testimony that Jesus is the Christ because the Holy Ghost has testified of it to me. I have a testimony that Joseph Smith was and is the Prophet of the Restoration, because the Holy Ghost has told me so. I have a testimony that we have living prophets and apostles on the earth today and that Thomas S. Monson is the Lord’s representative and mouthpiece, because I prayed and the Holy Ghost has witnessed it to me. I know that the Book of Mormon is true, because I have not only read it, but studied it and loved it, and prayed over it, and the Holy Ghost has born witness to me that it is true. I have a testimony that the Lord Jesus Christ is the Head of this church, that He speaks with the prophets, and that there is nothing anyone can do to stop His work from covering the earth. I believe God is our Father in Heaven and that His Son came to do His will and that as our Father, He hears and answers our prayers. He only asks that we align our wills with His.
I love this church. I am not ashamed of my Lord, nor am I ashamed of my testimony of Him. I stand with my sisters and friends of Mormon Women Stand to testify of and declare the truthfulness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. We are so blessed to be women of His church for He truly loves us and cherishes us. My prayer is that we will all recognize the battlefield we fight upon, against the evils of this world and against the anti-Christs of our day, and shed our fears to stand arm in arm with one another to raise the banner and declare the good news, for it is wonderful news!