Friday, May 25, 2012

Voices All Around

Yesterday I was talking with my friend about the increasingly secular views of the world. In particular, we were talking about homosexuality and how the response to people “coming out” is often “Cool!” or “Good for you!” Not only is homosexuality accepted in today’s world as normal – it is becoming increasingly viewed as “cool” or “good”.

A few nights ago I was reading my conference issue of the Ensign and I read this quote from a talk by Elder Paul B. Piper of the Seventy.

Today the struggle continues. Secular voices are growing in volume and intensity. They increasingly urge believers to abandon beliefs the world considers irrational and unreasonable. Because “we see through a glass, darkly” and “do not know the meaning of all things”, at times we may feel vulnerable and in need of greater spiritual assurances. The Lord told Oliver Cowdery:

“If you desire a further witness, cast your mind upon the night that you cried unto me in your heart, that you might know concerning the truth of these things.

“Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter? What greater witness can you have than from God?”.

The Lord reminded Oliver and us to rely on sacred personal witnesses already received when our faith is challenged. Like Moses’s, Alma’s and Joseph’s before, these divine encounters serve as spiritual anchors to keep us safe and on course in times of trial.

The sacred cannot be selectively surrendered. Those who choose to abandon even one sacred thing will have their minds darkened, and unless they repent, the light they have shall be taken from them. Unanchored by the sacred, they will find themselves morally adrift on a secular sea. In contrast, those who hold sacred things sacred receive promises: “That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light, and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day”.

I was struck by his statement that “Secular voices are growing in volume and intensity.” I definitely see this happening. I believe that it is our responsibility as disciples of Christ to make sure that our voices are growing in volume and intensity. Those of the world would stamp out, mute, and deny the voices of those who proclaim to follow Christ.

As if the one witness wasn’t enough, the very next talk was Elder Neil L. Andersen’s talk where he said

President Thomas S. Monson has described our day as moving away “from that which is spiritual … [with] the winds of change [swirling] around us and the moral fiber of society [continuing] to disintegrate before our very eyes.” It is a time of growing disbelief in and disregard for Christ and His teachings.

In this turbulent environment, we rejoice in being disciples of Jesus Christ. We see the Lord’s hand all around us. Our destination is beautifully set before us. “This is life eternal,” Jesus prayed, “that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent.” Being a disciple in these days of destiny will be a badge of honor throughout the eternities.

I am so grateful for the words of the prophets in General Conference, which Elder Andersen referred to as “guideposts from the Lord on our journey of discipleship.” If we will listen to these messengers of Christ and try our best to follow their counsel, we will be able to stand strong in the face of the “winds of change” as the secular voices grow louder in every direction.


My only fear is for my children. I have faith that my testimony will carry me, but I am sometimes so afraid that my children will not have the testimony that I have and they will not be able to stand strong. I worry that my children will grow up in this secular world and will be distracted from the sacred and focus instead on the secular.

As I have been struggling with his fear in the past several days, I have been trying to have faith and take my fears to the Lord in prayer. I have poured out my heart to Him, and I am learning to trust Him to teach me and help me teach my children.

And some days all I can do is cry out to the Savior in tears and say,
“Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.

Do you ever doubt your abilities as a mother to raise children who will have unwavering testimonies? How do you increase your faith? How do you feel better about the increasing secular world? How do you make it? How do you keep your children safe?


  1. One of the best ways to protect children is to heavily censor TV viewing (we raised our children completely without TV), and movie viewing. Read good books with them, view old-fashioned movies for entertainment, and talk a lot about the ways of the world vs. the ways of the Lord, read the Book of Mormon daily with them. Because Satan is blunt and "in your face" about sin, I've learned to be blunt and very open while talking to our children about sin. I also point out the way the Lord is moving in the world and how we know who wins in the end, so which team do we want to be on?

  2. All through my youth, I was told over and over that I was of the "chosen generation", that I was "saved for the latter days" and that I was "strong."

    At the time I was almost convinced that the 2nd Coming would happen before I reached adulthood!

    Now I see things differently; I believe that I was saved for these latter days -- in order to raise up these valiant souls in my home. For whatever reason, I am able to see through many of Satan's lies and not only protect my children from them by shielding them, but giving them the ability to see the deceit for themselves as well.

    My nine year old daughter is so incredibly wise and valiant at such a young age. I don't think this is a coincidence; I think children now are capable and have been prepared for this wicked world. That isn't to say I don't do what I can to teach, train and nurture them, but I am confident that after all *I* can do, in partnership with the Lord, they will be successful.

  3. Media censoring isn't enough. It's not the only voice in Satan's chorus. It's definitely a start though (we don't have TV either). I agree that reading the Book of Mormon daily is a huge piece of arming children against the mess that is out there. I think your post, Becca, about teaching children to recognize the influence of the Spirit speaks about a very important component, without that essential piece, they won't be able to tell the difference between the voices and know which one to follow.

    Some of the scriptures I look to for help are 2 Ne 25:26 (talk of Christ, rejoice, preach, prophesy, write of Christ so our children know . . .), D&C 88:119 (House of God= prayer, fasting, faith, learning, glory, order), Luke 2:52 (Jesus increased . . . wisdom, stature, favor w/ God and Man=balanced growth). I love Elder Bednar's talk from April 2009 conference (talking about bearing testimony, showing love, being consistent). In our home, we talk a lot about feeling the Spirit, about how they feel when they make good choices, versus how they feel when they make bad choices or even just let things get out of hand (anger, apathy, etc), about covenants they have made and are preparing to make, about goals and what they need to get there, about how their choices today effect their ability to reach those goals. The most difficult thing for me is to know that I cannot keep them safe. I can only teach them, give them tools, so that they can use their agency in such a way to keep themselves safe, and pray, pray a lot for them. We do talk a lot about how obedience keeps them safe. When we are doing the right thing in the right place at the right time, the Lord can bless and protect us. When we aren't, He can't. When things go wrong in my children's lives, I will often ask them if they were where they were supposed to be, doing what they were supposed to be doing. When we are obedient, we are trustworthy and when we are trustworthy, God can bless us. I also hammer the concept of agency a lot. We get to choose our actions, we don't get to choose the consequences. To be safe, we must do safe things. To get blessings, we must obey God's laws. I shut down quickly the idea that "I didn't mean to do it" is any real excuse, because at the beginning of every bad result is something that they meant to do that ended up in the bad consequence.

    I think a lot about friends I had in college who would say they wouldn't do x or y because their parents would be so disappointed--some of those people fell apart when those parents made poor choices. Their testimonies were wrapped up in their parents. I was very grateful that, while my relationship with my parents through my teen years was very rocky, they had given me the tools and patterns to develop a testimony of my own, so that I wouldn't do x or y because I want to go HOME, regardless of how I felt about my parents at the time.

    We also talk a lot (on the subject of balance) about lifestyle choices we can make to enhance our ability to feel the Spirit (healthy eating, exercise, sleep, learning, good friends, enriching experiences, wholesome media choices). Bad choices in our lifestyle can make it so much harder to manage feelings, brain chemistry, choices and then our agency is compromised and our testimonies can falter, if only because our capacity to feel the love of the Lord is diminished.

    Ultimately, the only way I have found to feel better about the increasingly secular nature of the world is to remember that our obedience entitles us to the companionship of angels. How can we lose with the hosts of heaven at our side?

  4. Hi! I just discovered your blog, have read through several posts and really like what I see here! I understand your concern about helping your children's testimonies grow. I'd like to share with you a blog post that I wrote about scripture study in the home here:

    I have found that my scripture study as a Mom trickles down to my kids. In so many ways!

    The habits that have been earned by my own diligence to do my own study really helps me when I create a rhythm in our family to study. Even if it's just a verse a day.

    The scriptures invite the spirit, and the spirit is the teacher and will confirm truth to our kids: the Lord will strengthen them if we do our part and lead them to the truth. I know that is absolutely true. Keep up your study and sharing studying the scriptures with your kids, pray together, live the Gospel, and they'll be okay.

    Thank you for your blog and your boldness in sharing your beliefs!

    Eve @


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