Missionaries often suggest for members to write down people they know to share the Gospel. For me, I can’t say “I don’t know anybody.” I have two jobs, and over the years have had multiple side gigs and part-time jobs. I’ve interacted with tons of people while teaching (all grades including the Texas correctional system as a substitute teacher!), driving for Uber, working in customer service and sales and being steadily employed since I was 16.
The other day at my night job I was invited into a religious discussion with a co-worker who I’ve known for years. She was discussing religion with two trainees who are new to our department. During the conversation, it became clear the two trainees shared (at one time) the faith of the restored Gospel along with me. It turns out both left the church (along with the wife of one of the trainees) over cultural issues – the priesthood ban, gay marriage and the fact the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints did not conform to the world’s view on religious and moral ethics.
As the night was ending and I was waiting for the ride home, it hit me… I know a lot of former members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints right now… A TON. This current semester I’ve met two students whose families are active members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, but they are not. A couple of weeks before that I learned another co-worker was raised in the Church. On top of that, I know at least two other former members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. By the time the ride came to save me from the chilly, windy Las Vegas night, I had counted at least eight people I know RIGHT NOW that at one time were part of the Kingdom, but have since left. Most left because the Church does not conform to current social norms on religious and moral issues.
I think about the problems and temptations I have in my life. It struck me that evening: it’s no wonder I need to make sure I’m overcoming temptation. It is no wonder Paul taught Timothy to “be thou an example of the believers, in word, in conversation, in charity, in spirit, in faith, in purity.” Right now there are eight individuals, children of our Heavenly Father who have left the church and Kingdom and I know them, I talk to them, some daily. I need to be that positive tool in his hands. What can I do today to help them, even if it’s being an example of righteous conduct, to come back?
The world’s pull is strong, especially now in “woke” SJW cancel culture. Society will now destroy you personally, financially, and professionally if you do not have the “correct” view on social and political issues. We need to be stronger than the world in our personal lives and we’ve been called to help those within our reach who are struggling. Let us be an example of the believers.
- “Inspired Ministering” -President Henry B. Eyring, April 2018
- “Be an Example and a Light” -Presiden Thomas S. Monson, October 2015
- “Perfect Love Casteth Out Fear” -Elder L. Tom Perry, October 2011
You can follow Troy on Twitter at @troybeals2.