That being said, I know that there are many who are not happy with things and are behaving in a less than Christlike manner as they hatefully attack those whose views are different.
The other day, when grandpa Witten was visiting to see Joshua's play, we were discussing this very issue and he mentioned how he had just finished reading Elder Hales' conference talk and how it discussed everything that is going on. So, I'd like to share the following points outlined in Elder Hales' October 2008 Conference talk entitled Christian Courage: The Price of Discipleship. (http://www.lds.org/conference/talk/display/0,5232,23-1-947-22,00.html)
Elder Hales stated that, "one of mortality's great tests comes when our beliefs are questioned or criticized. In such moments, we may want to respond aggressively - to 'put up your dukes.' But these are important opportunities to step back, pray, and follow the Savior's example." He continued, "when we respond to our accusers as the Savior did, we not only become more Christlike, we invite others to feel His love and follow Him as well."
He then outlines several different ways a follower of Christ can respond to accusers:
- True disciples of Christ see opportunity in the midst of opposition.
- As true disciples seek guidance from the Spirit, they receive inspiration tailored to each encounter.
- As true disciples, our primary concern must be others' welfare, not personal vindication.
- True disciples avoid being unduly judgmental of others' views.
- Sometimes true disciples must show Christian courage by saying nothing at all.
Finally, I'd like to share this line from Elder Hales, "We don not feel we are better than they are. Rather, we desire with our love to show them a better way - the way of Jesus Christ.
I would encourage all of you to read Elder Hales', as well as all the talks from the last conference. I think we were given great counsel.