"It is your reaction to adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life's story will develop."
-Dieter F. Uchtdorf-

Persecution; bashing; mocking. These are all words that describe the immature, and honestly sick, actions of individuals, who seek to destroy our faith in Jesus Christ. There are many of these people in the world; and that number will only grow as we get closer to the second coming of our Savior. In the Book of Matthew, we are given examples of what will happen before Jesus Christ returns to this earth.

Matthew 24: 9-13 says:

9 - "Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake."
10 - "And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another."
11 - "And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many."
12 - "And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold."
13 - "But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved." 

Since the beginning of time, believers of the gospel have been mocked and persecuted. Whether it was the followers of Jesus when He was first on the earth, all the way to the 1800's, when Christ's church was restored upon the earth; and members of our church were killed, beaten, tarred and feathered, all because of our faith. But even when you are persecuted, if your testimony is built upon rock (firm ground), and not sand (fragile ground), you will be able to rely on your testimony and your faith, to endure those times which you are mocked for your beliefs.

The reason I decided to study this topic was because of something that happened today on Twitter. All I seek to do is to uplift others through the words of the apostles, prophet and the scriptures. Those who have turned their hearts away from the Savior look upon those of us who express our beliefs with disdain, and when they see us trying to uplift others, they respond angrily and will stop at nothing to try to tear us down. Which brings me to the experience I had today.

This afternoon, someone made a new Twitter account with a random name, and proceeded to throw personal insults at me. To start off, they made fun of my being homeschooled, and the last insult they hurled included my brother, who died 5 years ago. For them to stoop to such a low level of humanity to include a deceased loved one as part of their mockery... well, honestly, I was shocked and angry. But the verse in 2 Timothy 3:12 came to mind:

"Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution." 

Then I thought of D&C 68:6, which states:

"Wherefore, be of good cheer, and do not fear, for I the Lord am with you, and will stand by you..."

The person who sought to ruin my day (and potentially my future with the gospel) tried to use my personal, spiritual experiences against me; but I was not going to let this sad, lost person, dictate my happiness. And I remembered what the scriptures and the apostles have taught us about Satan.

Richard G. Scott, during the October 2001 General Conference, spoke on just this:

"As your testimony is fortified [and you continue to grow it], Satan will try harder to tempt you [whether by his own power or by influencing evil men]. Resist his efforts. You will become stronger and his influence on you weaker." 

Satan is well aware of the faithful's goal of seeking to return to our Heavenly Father, and he will try his hardest to throw us off the path. He will influence people in society, who will proceed to persecute and mock followers of Christ. It is our duty to not let him. It is our duty to use these experiences of persecution to GROW our testimony, to become stronger in our beliefs. This is how we defeat the evil of the world.

The Apostle Paul spoke on this:

"This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come... For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy... Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good... Traitors, heady, high-minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God... Having a form of godliness; but denying the power thereof: from such turn away... For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts.."

Wow. That's a lot to read, but think of the world today; think of your experiences you've had thus far... does the quote above ring any bells? I see so many of the descriptions above that fit those who seek to destroy the faith of those who follow Christ.

So, this post is dedicated to all those who are attempting to destroy the testimony that others have in the gospel. More specifically, this post is to that person who insulted me with things that are deeply personal. I would like to thank this person. Not for the insults, not for the vileness that came from his fingers as he typed his messages of hate, but for helping me strengthen my testimony in this gospel. 

I know now, more than ever, that this gospel is true. That we have a loving Heavenly Father, who has a plan for each of us; and if we do the things we are commanded to do and grow our testimony in the gospel, we will return to Him one day. I would like to thank him for reaffirming my belief in Jesus Christ as our Savior; as Jesus Christ himself felt the feelings I felt after reading those tweets. And lastly, I would like to let him know that I forgive him and have prayed, and will continue to pray for him. 

"Your personal security and happiness depend upon the strength of your testimony, for it will guide your actions in 
times of trial or uncertainty."
-Richard G. Scott-


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