Sometimes its hard to stand up courageously for who we are. A lot of the time we are more worried about what others think of us rather than what the Lord thinks of us and what he would have us do. Check out this story about Joseph F. Smith and how he became strong and proud of who he was.
“It was back into that world that nineteen-year-old Joseph F. Smith drove his team and wagon. One evening the little company with which he traveled had barely made camp before a company of drunken men rode in on horseback, cursing and swearing and threatening to kill. Some of the older men, when they heard the riders coming, had gone down into the brush by the creek, waiting out of sight for the band to pass. But young Joseph F. had been out a distance from the camp gathering wood for the fire and so was not aware of the potential problem. With the openness of youth he walked back toward the camp, only to realize too late the difficult circumstance he now faced almost totally alone.
His first thought was to drop the wood and run toward the creek, seeking shelter in the trees in his flight. Then the thought came to him, “Why should I run from [my faith]?” With that compelling sense of loyalty firmly in his mind, he continued to carry his armful of wood to the edge of the fire. As he was about to deposit his load, one of the ruffians, pistol cocked and pointed squarely at the young man’s head, cursed as only a drunken rascal can and demanded in a loud, angry voice, “I’m a killer of Mormons, boy. Are you a Mormon?”
Without a moment of hesitation and looking the heathen directly in the eye, Joseph F., scarcely old enough to be entering the MTC, boldly answered, “Yes, siree; died in the wool; true blue, through and through.”
The answer was given so boldly and without any sign of fear that it completely disarmed this belligerent man. In his bewilderment he put down his pistol, grasped the young missionary by the hand, and said, “Well, you are the– –bravest man I ever met! Shake, young fellow, I’m glad to see a lad that stands up for his convictions.”
Years later, while serving as the president of the Church, Joseph F. Smith said that he truly expected to take at point-blank range the full charge from the barrel of that man’s pistol. But he also said that after his initial inclination to run, it never again entered his mind to do anything but stand up for his beliefs and face the death that appeared to be the inevitable result of such conviction. (Taken from Joseph Fielding Smith, Life of Joseph F. Smith [Salt Lake City: Deseret News Press, 1938], p. 18889.)”
Think about how you can stand up for what you believe in…