Standing with God sometimes means that we are standing alone. Even though this is a difficult position to be in, God will bless us for our faith.
A memory that still hurts me is of a time that a dear friend lashed out at me because of my beliefs. I can still remember how shocked I felt reading the unprovoked Facebook message and, when I tried to defuse the situation, my despair as her words became more and more unbearable. “I thought she knew what I stood for and who I was,” I remember tearfully telling another friend. “Did she ever really understand me at all?”
I tried to make sense of her behavior. It wasn’t me she was angry at; there were other things going on in her life, and she had used me as an outlet. Because our beliefs had always differed so greatly, I was an easy target. However, none of that changed the fact that I would not budge on my faith. I could not change into what she wanted me to be.
Since that difficult experience, I have found myself reflecting on Elder Jeffrey R. Holland’s April 2014 general conference talk titled “The Cost—and Blessings—of Discipleship.” In his talk, Elder Holland discusses the challenges that disciples of Christ experience as they try to live the gospel. He also discusses the blessings of being true to the gospel. Elder Holland promises, “In courageously pursuing such a course, you will forge unshakable faith, you will find safety against ill winds that blow, even shafts in the whirlwind, and you will feel the rock-like strength of our Redeemer, upon whom if you build your unflagging discipleship, you cannot fall.”
I’ve clung to those words. I know that I’m not the first person to be attacked for their beliefs, and I know that I won’t be the last. Still, at times I have felt so impossibly isolated. It was at those times I saw the hand of the Lord in my life. Other friends rallied around me, personal scripture study revealed new comforts, and small things each day blessed my life.
Losing one of my closest friends hasn’t been easy, and it certainly hasn’t been fun. I don’t have a happy ending to my story, and I don’t know if I ever will. But through this experience I have learned that when I stand with God, I will never stand alone.
LDS General Conference
—Laurie Rackham, Mormon Insights contributor
feature image by jeremy vessey
Find more insights
Listen to President Monson’s experiences in his talk “Dare to Stand Alone.”
Watch “Courage” to learn about three women who stood with the gospel in times of adversity.