11 February 2011

Do What's Right

Welcome to the Neighborhood News

When we are presented with choices, there are always at least two sides to a story, and we have to choose which side we’re going to be on.

Today’s newsletter is about doing what’s right. Sometimes the choices are not that critical, like what socks am I going to wear today, or what’s for dinner. Reason and good judgment should tell you what to wear to work and what’s better suited for tonight’s dinner.

Other times, the choices we make define who we are. I’m sure you recall Prop8 and how the church came to the forefront of that battle. And I’m sure you remember how divided our members were about that issue.

I’d like to bring to your attention two situations that happened just this week in California.

Elder Oaks spoke about religious freedom last Saturday. This is what he had to say:

"Along with many others, I see a serious threat to the freedom of religion in the current assertion of a 'civil right' of homosexuals to be free from religious preaching against their relationships. Religious leaders of various denominations affirm and preach that sexual relations should only occur between a man and a woman joined together in marriage. One would think that the preaching of such a doctrinal belief would be protected by the constitutional guarantee of the free exercise of religion, to say nothing of the guarantee of free speech. However, we are beginning to see worldwide indications that this may not be so."

The other news belonged to an LDS missionary who just happened to witness an accident, sprang to action and saved lives.

"They're giving me too much credit," said Johnson, 19, of Aloha, Ore., who serves as a Spanish-speaking missionary in the California San Bernardino Mission and is five months into his two-year call for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”

My question is, do we make our own choices and decide who we’re going to be, or do we let others make it for us? Do we go along with other people’s opinions (as misguided as they may be) just to have it ‘easy,’ or do we make a stand and send a clear message to everyone around as to who we are and what we believe?

I watch the show ‘Lie to Me,’ and to me the fact that people can make assumptions on behavior based on facial expressions is fascinating. In one episode the main character, Dr. Lightman, said that popular people are popular because they don’t really stand for anything (I’m not quoting verbatim here). He called them 'facile' (easy).

Are we like that? Do we want to be popular more than the blessings promised to us from above?

Sometimes, choosing a side will make us unpopular. I hope we’re strong enough to deal with that.

As always we welcome your comments.

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To view a copy of the Neighborhood News for Friday, 11 February, please click here.

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