The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is becoming more and more known throughout the world. Since it’s inception, and even before with Joseph Smith’s claims of seeing God the Father and Jesus Christ, the Church has seen, and more poignantly, heard their fair share of critics.
After I had first learned of the Church and gained interest in joining, I experienced such opposition first hand. I was amazed at the strong, negative opinions people had against a Church I had barely heard of. I wondered what bad experiences they had to justify such harsh feelings.
I’ve come to learn over the last few years as a member of the Church, and even more so when I was a full-time missionary, that opposition is a good thing. Yes, the fact that there is so much opposition is indeed positive.
My testimony of such a truth stems from a teaching of Neal A. Maxwell:
“If the Church were not true, our enemies would be bored rather than threatened, and acquiescent rather than anxious. Hell is only moved when things move heavenward.”
When Jesus was on the earth during his mortal ministry, he and his followers were easily the minority, and very much disliked. Jesus was mocked, spat upon, threatened, betrayed, and ultimately crucified. His disciples were likewise ridiculed. Jesus’ message was truth, yet he and his followers experienced great opposition.
A Book of Mormon prophet, Lehi, taught the following:
“For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so…righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must be compound in one; wherefore, if it should be one body it must needs remain as dead, having no life neither death, nor corruption nor incorruption, happiness nor misery, neither sense nor insensibility.” -2 Nephi 2:11 (Book of Mormon)
In a letter to John Wentworth, editor of the Chicago Democrat, the Prophet Joseph Smith wrote the following:
“The Standard of Truth has been erected; No unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing. Persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, and calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, until it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, ‘till the purposes of God shall be accomplished, and the Great Jehovah shall say the work is done.”
God’s work is meant to roll forward. The battle may continue but the outcome is already decided. Truth will always prevail, and right will always win.
So whenever I read, hear, or see opposition towards my faith, I remember Neal A. Maxwell’s quote, and do what I can to stand up for what I know to be true.