This week, I am feeling frustrated. We have a new convert who has already left the church. There is a strong effort by the anti-Mormon community here to turn new converts away. Unfortunately, one of the downsides of freedom of speech is that those people can tell people things that are not true.
I really struggle with followers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ seeking to destroy the faith of others who may believe differently than they do. When Christ was here on the earth, the Samaritans were a people who were not accepted by the Hebrews. The animosity was so severe that the Hebrews would not even walk through a Samaritan town. The Lord Jesus Christ refused to follow that practice. He taught the Samaritan woman at the well. He taught the story of the good Samaritan. In that story, a man was attacked by robbers and left for dead. Leaders of the church walked by the man and left him. It was the Samaritan who took the man to an inn and paid for him to be cared for until he was well.
Jesus Christ set the path for us to follow. We are not to judge others. We are to love our neighbors as ourselves. We are to show charity. The actions that I see don't seem to be part of the gospel he taught.
I wonder about the consequences for those who spread falsehoods. In the Book of Mormon, there is an account of a lawyer (wouldn't you know it), named Zeezrom. Zeezrom was a very influential person and a powerful speaker. He convinced the people that those who believed in Christ were bad. Because of his words, the people cast the believers into a fire: women, children and their records. Zeezrom began to see that what he had taught was wrong. He began to plead with the people to spare the believers, but the people would not listen and began to say that he was crazy. Zeezrom eventually was on the verge of death from his anguished soul. He asked that the prophets come to him to heal him. After he was healed, he began to preach the gospel.
I have seen the anguish of parents who made bad choices in their lives and then live to see their children repeat those patterns. I have seen people's reputations destroyed at the hands of those who have something to gain. I have experienced first-hand the prejudice and bias of the uninformed. I have seen truth twisted until it no longer resembles truth.
So, I took some time refreshing my soul with things that are true. I watched some beautiful videos which tell the truth about the Church. I cried as I felt the spirit of those messages. I went to Church. I heard the messages there. I took of the sacrament. I taught a Primary lesson about John the Baptist. I taught a Young Women lesson on the Holy Ghost. I went with the missionaries to a lesson for a couple investigating the church. I explained about my own conversion and struggles. I talked to my daughter.
And tonight, I will pray. I will pray that we can overcome the adversary. I will pray that we can find those who have been prepared for His word. I will pray for those who are struggling. I will give thanks for the gospel in my life and that I did not have people trying to destroy my faith when I was baptized. I will say thanks to my parents who, though not members of the Church, taught me to love other people and to live up to commitments that I made.