When it comes to living your religion there is one phrase which I love. Going to McDonald’s does not make you a hamburger any more than going to church makes you a Christian. I have known many people who profess being Christian or LDS within the church that are anything but. From home teachers that took me to strip clubs to friends that would throw drinking party’s while claiming membership in the church. These people I spent time with in my younger days would never acknowledge there membership in the church outside of church meetings. They knew they were not living the gospel.
These people were like the ones described in Lehi’s vision of the tree of Life found in 1 Nephi 8 vs 26-28
And it was filled with people, both old and young, both male and female; and their manner of dress was exceedingly fine; and they were in the aattitude of bmocking and pointing their fingers towards those who had come at and were partaking of the fruit.
So what does it really mean to live your faith without shame. How can we do this in the modern age of political correctness. Can we stand for truth and righteousness without being ashamed of our faith?
As Christians there is a lot of pressures and objections to our doctrine and life style. The devil is waging war on those of christian faith. If he cannot get us to reject our faith he can at least get us to be ashamed of it. By doing so he can convince us to remain silent and even side with those who persecute us by shaming us for speaking to our faith and promoting those standards which the world hates.
This is no more evident than in our public spheres. you wont find the mention of God anywhere in our public offices, government buildings, schools, and other public services. Terms like Merry Christmas have all but been eliminate in favor of saying “season greetings” or “happy holidays”. Our holidays have become secular and religion has all but been expunged from our public life. Children are being sent home from school for daring to bring a bible to school to read in there spare time. I have had teachers tell my daughter that she needs to read something other than the book of Mormon as part of her nightly reading. While they have not stopped her from counting that as her nightly reading they have in the past encouraged her to read something else. Some teachers don’t like kids reading books that would go against the secular education they are providing.
I myself have been attacked and criticized for my christian beliefs and views. I have been told that I am a bigot, Right wing fascist, Radical and even the spawn of Satan by some. All this because I dared to share my thoughts or opinion on a matter derived from my Christian and LDS faith. There are many who cower in the corners when opposition strikes. They fear the persecutions of men. They fear what man can do and they don’t fear God the father of us all.
Are you ashamed of the gospel of Christ. Ask yourself these questions. If you answer no to any of them you might be.
1 Do you willingly live your religion both publicly and privately?
2 do you speak out against those things which go against the gospel of Christ?
3 Do you publicly acknowledge that your are christian?
4 When asked about your faith do you openly talk about your faith even if it is surrounding controversial subjects?
5 Do you actively promote the things of God and not hide your faith in all that you do?
If you answered yes to all these questions your are not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. Perhaps now you can start asking yourself what are you doing to share your faith in God?
It is really quite amazing what simply living your religion can do to spread the word of Christ. I have been asked on numerous occasions about the church, what we believe, and even for copies of the book of Mormon, not because I brought up the topic but because others have noticed how I live, talk and act. They have seen the light that radiates from me and have asked. “No man, when he hath lighted a acandle, putteth it in a secret place, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light.” Luke 11:33. When we live our religion we show that we are not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. We let our light shine forth that others may see it. When other see that light they will naturally be curious about it and want to know more.
When we show we stand for something others will want to know what it is we stand for and why. If we shy away from stating that Christ’S gospel has declared this or that. God has said, Or I believe through my faith in Christ or other such phrases we show that we are ashamed of Christ’s gospel. We must be strong in our convictions and not shy away from the truth of God’s gospel. We must be completely justified in our convictions, We must be completely committed to our God and his gospel.
God has given us his gospel so that we may have the opportunity to “choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil;” (2 Nehpi 2:27). Because we have been given this opportunity we have been given the charge to warn our neighbor. “And let your preaching be the warning voice, every man to his neighbor, in mildness and in meekness.” (Doctrine and Covenants 38:41), “Behold, I sent you out to testify and warn the people, and it becometh every man who hath been warned to warn his neighbor.” (Doctrine and Covenants 88:81)
How can we effectively warn our neighbor if we are ashamed of the gospel of Christ and fear publicly living it, sharing it and talking about it. The simple answer is we can’t. God has asked us to do so, we must not fear sharing it.
When Joseph Smith let the first 116 pages of the Book of Mormon manuscript get lost the Lord rebuked him. (Doctrine and Covenants 3:6-10)
Behold, thou art Joseph, and thou wast chosen to do the work of the Lord, but because of transgression, if thou art not aware thou wilt afall.
But remember, God is merciful; therefore, repent of that which thou hast done which is contrary to the commandment which I gave you, and thou art still chosen, and art aagain called to the work;
Except thou ado this, thou shalt be delivered up and become as other men, and have no more gift.”
Joseph Smith because of his fear of man nearly lost his gift from God. Luckily he repented so that the work could continue. Do we want to be as other men as God said we would become if we fear men more than God? Other men are the natural man. In Mosiah 3:19 we read
“For the natural man is an enemy to God, and has been from the fall of Adam, and will be, forever and ever, unless he yields to the enticings of the Holy Spirit, and putteth off the natural man and becometh a saint through the atonement of Christ the Lord, and becometh as a child, submissive, meek, humble, patient, full of love, willing to submit to all things which the Lord seeth fit to inflict upon him, even as a child doth submit to his father.”
We must not be ashamed of the Gospel of Christ. We must be courageous in the face of the enemy and “stand as witnesses of God at all times and in all things, and in all places that ye may be in, even until death, that ye may be redeemed of God, and be numbered with those of the first resurrection, that ye may have eternal life—” (Mosiah 18:9)
The expectations of the Lord could not be more clear in this matter. “And at all times, and in all places, he shall open his mouth and declare my gospel as with the voice of a trump, both day and night. And I will give unto him strength such as is not known among men.” (Doctrine and Covenants 24:12). God has promised us blessing if we will just stand up and speak his truth and not be ashamed of the gospel. He has warned us if we fear what man can do we will loose our blessings and become as other men.
For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ. I will spread his message not just through words but actions and by living my religion. I will not be ashamed of what I am. I am a Latter Day Saint. I know it, I love it, I live it.